Saturday, 14 April 2012

7 things I've learnt in the past two weeks

So, a couple of weeks ago I found out that I've been accepted onto the Fulbright programme and am off to teach in Colorado for a year, come July.  Since then it has pretty much occupied my every waking moment; conversations revolve around it; endless free time is given over to filling in forms or researching things.  It's been an interesting process.

1. When something as big as this happens (and obviously in the context of, say, pending civil war in Syria, it's actually pretty insignificant.  But I've always been one to make mountains out of molehills, and to me it's really huge) you begin to see everything through it's prism.  Shopping is no longer a carefree occupation, but an exercise in futility: there's no point buying anything new when it's all going to be packed up and put into storage for a year.  Usually banal and everyday activities - like hanging washing out or baking - are suddenly coloured by the realisation that someone else will be using my kitchen, and where will I do my laundry in the new place?  There's a constant voice inside me, whispering and insidious: "you're leaving...".

2. I have truly awesome friends.  Really, truly brilliant people who are so happy for me and supportive of me, but have let me know that I'll be missed.  It's touching how many friends have already looked up the price of flights to Colorado; how many promises of visits I've had.  I love you guys.

3. But when you're leaving, every simple interaction with friends becomes coloured by the fact of it.  If someone says they can't meet for a drink, or they'll be late for dinner, a whiny little voice inside me is going, "but I'm leaving, why can't you make the effort?".  Ugh, I hate this spoilt brat inner-voice.

4. I'm an inch shorter and a stone lighter than I thought I was.  Overly-detailed visa forms do have their uses after all.

5. It's hard to be subjective about your own house and your own city.  I'm noticing the bad (flaking paint in the kitchen; rude chavs in the city centre) at the same time as really appreciating the good (My endlessly comfy bed!  The fantastic bars in Leicester!  I've just realised that the choice of those two things  speaks volumes about me).

6. I'm entirely healthy in mind, body and spirit.  It must be true, my doctor says so.  The medical forms I'm required to fill in are extensive and the tests have been intrustive (quite literally so, in the case of the rectal examination), but as a sort-of hypochondriac - I'm always half-convinced that I might have diabetes, or cancer, or a heart murmur - it's been really interesting to find out that I'm in excellent health.

7. It's hard to stay anxious all the time.  I'm a worrier and can tie my stomach in knots of anxiety just at the prospect of leaving the house sometimes, so I am really and truly crapping it at the prospect of moving to the States.  But you just can't stay scared all the time, and I'm getting better at pulling myself together when I notice the panic creeping in.  So I'll be driving on the wrong side of the road, in snow and ice, on mountain sides?  Ok, I'll deal.  So I'll be teaching a new curriculum and the kids might hate me?  Ok, I'll manage.  So I'll be far away from my beloved family?  Ok, they can visit.  I hope I can keep this zen state up for the next 3 months!

1 comment:

  1. As a sort-of hypochondriac, when I started a job which required a medical, I was relieved by the results, too!