We discovered on our now weekly Saturday night trek to DC that the new Miley Cyrus song has an uncanny similarity to our recent experiences. By “we” I mean Jaren and Hil, the only two people I feel comfortable sharing the doucheyness of Miley Cyrus with. So, here’s our rendition (please see upcoming blogs for a YouTube link for our soon-to-be-produced video accompaniment):
I hopped off the plane at (BWI)
with a dream and my cardigan (a teacher staple)
welcome to the land of fame excess,
am I gonna fit in?
Jumped in the cab,
Here I am for the first time
Look to the right and I see the (Baltimore) sign (seriously, there’s one on a giant smokestack)
This is all so crazy
Everybody seems so (Unit 1 Ready)
My tummy’s turnin and I'm feelin kinda homesick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous,
That's when the taxi man (Sean) turned on the radio
and a Jay Z song was on
and the Jay Z song was on
and the Jay Z song was on
So I put my hands up
They’re playing my song,
And the butterflies fly away
Noddin’ my head like yea
(Tracking my data) like yea
I got my hands up,
They’re playin my song
I know im gonna be ok
Yea, It's a party in the T-F-A
I also brought up the point that summer institute was the closest thing to study abroad that I’ve experienced. Throw a couple hundred kids into a dorm for 5 weeks, turn their schedules and their life’s purpose upside, and add a crazy bar scene.
Things have definitely calmed down since then, which has actually given me more time to stop and think about what ACTUALLY happened to my life in the last several months. Still, I don’t know. Honestly. I can’t even think of the moment that I actually decided to leave all my family, friends, and the career path and weather patterns I had been bred on for the last decade of my life. I know I discussed TFA with my parents for several days. But there was never that, “Ok. Let’s do it moment.” In fact, I think that moment came a few months before I even got accepted to TFA, and it was completely subconscious. Spring break and visiting Jaren in DC somehow changed EVERYTHING. Arizona no longer fit. Everything about being there felt not right. Jaren and I tried to dissect this the other day as well. The best we could come up with was that it took that last little nudge to get me to realize where I needed to be.
I say last little nudge because I was already walking the cliff for years. Ever since I spent two summers in New York, I had an itch for the east. The thing is, I never REALLY thought I would leave. I walked the cliff, looked down, but didn’t want to jump. I mean, I still can’t believe it. I was the one that stayed when Jaren left. I was the one that was supposed to always stay. To spend every effort making sure we all still got together for a cranium night now and then and to beg/plead/annoy John, Eric and Michael into a continued friendship. When I talked to Celeste and Eric about up and leaving, it was mostly just a really far off dream. But apparently other people saw it more than I did. I remember telling Julie, who I’ve only talked to a few times a year in the last several years, and she was just so “oh. Figures” about the whole thing.
The most I ever thought about leaving was when I used to listen to Augustana’s first CD religiously and Boston would come on. “I think I’ll start a new life. I think I’ll start it over. Where no one knows my name…” I listened to that song again the other day and it all clicked. I did that. I can’t believe I did that. Furthermore, I always thought that when I did leave, it would be because I was mad/running away. It would be the day that Derek finally fully broke my heart, the day it was all just too much, the day the bad stuff in Arizona was worse than the thought of being completely alone in a new place. It’s weird to leave in a non-running manner. There’s less fire in my heart, especially when I think of my friends.
This is getting especially sentimental because I recently had one of the most emo nights of my Baltimore experience thus far. I saw one of my more recent favorite bands, Dear and the Headlights. Besides the fact that the band members themselves are really cool, the whole thing took me back. Back to being editor of SPM, back to driving down Mill Ave in the fall and wondering if Eric would ever speak to me again, back to pear ciders at Casey’s and this odd sense of comfort, back to small bars with tiny stages and a life I don’t know anymore. It’s like when Jaren and I walked into Urban Outfitters the other day and realized we can’t wear any of those clothes any more. I feel old and a little unlike myself (my old self). But also, the most “me” that I’ve felt in years, probably because I’m finally just making decisions based on me. The best analogy of my current state of mind is one Hil made: “I spend all week thinking about other people (our students, our TFA advisors, our JHU advisors, our student’s parent, our school administrations, our students, our students, our students) that when the weekend rolls around, I’m just completely selfish.”
That’s it. Two weeks worth of emo. Oh, and the kids are starting to get more out of control and I need to revisit the Big Goal because they have no idea what’s going on. But we had our first science experiment and our first small group differentiation. Say that again. DIFFERENTIATION. So sexy.