“… then I get to try to put it back together.”
Last Thursday I filed a request for a one-year leave of absence from my graduate program. There was no one big factor that led to this, but there were a million little ones, the pieces of which will likely emerge as I continue blogging, offering up little pieces of how I got to where I am. But where I am, for the next several months, is someplace old and yet suddenly new and unfamiliar.
For a whole host of reasons, it makes sense for me to leave the Bay Area during my leave and return to my roots in Southern Ohio. This will involve whittling my life down to what will fit in my little sports sedan as I drive off into the sunset–or the sunrise, I suppose, since I’m heading East. It’s at once incredibly sad and indescribably exhilarating–not to mention completely overwhelming–to think about this feat before me. I’m a clutter junky; I like my stuff. But there’s something really seductive in a refreshing detox kinda way about the idea of weeding out everything I can live without, discovering what’s truly essential. This excites me to a degree that is, quite likely, insane.
I made the decision to take this leave while back in Ohio visiting family. In fact, I’m writing this post from the attic of my parents’ house–the bedroom I called my own from the age of eight til I left for college at eighteen. Thinking about the work I’ll have to do when I get back to California in a week to be able to move out in a month at first sent me into unreal anxiety attacks, but now just has me itching for this fresh start. And now that I’ve said that, I see the work that lies ahead of me in the next couple days: I need to prepare my old room for becoming my new room. The old posters of “Kermit Clein” and the cast of “Friends” (taken when Jennifer Aniston was still sporting “the Rachel”) hanging on my closet door and the scattered trophies, prom photos, and cheerleading memorobilia usually make me warm and nostalgic whenever I visit my hometown. But if I–the new Stacy who’s changed a lot since she was eighteen–am going to be living here for an extended period of time and trying to make decisions about my future, the nostalgia will have to go to make room for new memories. This could be interesting…
I’ll still be blogging a bit about past events, but don’t be surprised if my present seeps into these entries rather suddenly. It’s a sudden change in direction, but it’s one that I think will ultimately be for the best. I’m still feeling my way through this, so–wish me luck!