eight-dollar grapes and how to deal

Well, I’m on my third day in Boone and it’s a little lonely so far. I went to the grocery store yesterday to get some greek yogurt, and of course I ended up walking out with four million other things. Including grapes that cost $8. I’m still a little taken aback by that one, but the produce here is really exceptional, so I’m not even mad. I just evaluated a town’s produce selection — how old am I?

Roommate doesn’t get here until Thursday. 
My beautiful 43” plasma screen doesn’t get here until the weekend aaand Shark Week is NOW. Moment of silence. I’m not normally so attached to my television, but come on, how good would shark attacks look on that baby?

I hung up my giant Monet prints in the living room and dining room this morning, so now it feels a little more like home. I’m still too creeped out to sleep with my bedroom door open and it gets really dark in my bedroom, so I bought a nightlight yesterday. Deal with it. It took me about 4 hours to figure out how to set up the wireless, but I was finally successful. I finally settled on a name for the place — “Pottery Barn” — which derives from my grandmother walking in the living room the other day and exclaiming, “well, it looks like Pottery Barn threw up in here.” If I’m being honest, that’s always been a goal of mine.

Anyway, all things considered, I just can’t seem to get past the loneliness thing. I do this every time I relocate. When a place is unfamiliar, I get homesick for wherever I was last rooted. Right now it’s a blend of missing my dog so much I could cry (she’s so wonderful) and being a little sad about missing all the oyster roasts and band parties that are about to happen at Wofford. And here I am, in Boone, at long last. I wish I could go on and on about how pretty it is here (it is) and how excited I am to be starting a new chapter (more like terrified), but one thing you know about me is that transitions are really hard for me. They always have been. I remember in the summer after eleventh grade, when my parents were driving me to medical governor’s school (yeah, that happened, and I loved it, thank you very much) I had a small anxiety attack about how everyone else was going to be smarter than me, and what if I didn’t make any friends, that sort of thing. Turns out that I knew more about micro-pipetting at age fifteen than the kids from the Washington DC private schools did and I still talk to most of those crazy kids who are about to start med school at places like Johns Hopkins and Tufts. A transition approaches, and I panic, knowing that panicking never helps anything, but I still do it.

This whole public transportation bus schedule thing is overwhelming to me. I can handle the MARTA in Atlanta, but not the Boone bus system. My parking pass is being mailed to Virginia (awesome), AND it’s the wrong kind, so I have to go up there and then come back here and find the parking office and switch it out, not to mention the fact that the dang thing cost $500 in the first place. I want to take back every time I ever complained about parking at Wofford. I never had to pay $5 to drive up and down a parking garage for half an hour only to come away unsuccessful and late for something.
And driving here is just a struggle in general. And my assistantship is a big mess, to put it mildly, and I have to decide if I have time to be involved in Young Life and/or ropes stuff at Windy Gap again. Yesterday I had to take two separate naps just because all the thinking and overanalyzing I’ve been doing is exhausting. 

Do I wish I was doing better? Yeah, but I’m not alone in that. Pretty much everyone I know is struggling with some kind of transition right now, whether or not they’ll admit it. All you can do is keep trying. Get up, work hard, hope that things will get better. Hope that you’ll settle into your new place and that you’ll meet people who can help you take care of yourself and that you’ll figure out how to get somewhere on a bus, no matter how initially revolting that concept was to you. There are a lot of things about this place that are very much out of my comfort zone; it’s no secret that coming here was never part of “Plan A” for me. Maybe other people feel that way about life lately, too. Something that’s helping me cope through that reality is a piece of advice I found on Pinterest, and that’s “if you can’t get out of it, get into it.” The concept is, more or less, that the dishes aren’t going to do themselves, so you may as well make doing the dishes the best time ever. Put on really loud music and sing into a wooden spoon and dance around the kitchen. I’m not sure how that concept translates to things like feeling like I’m Anne Hathaway in “The Devil Wears Prada” yet, but it’s times like these when I am reminded to take a step back, breathe, and have faith that things will fall into place as they should. Sometimes that’s all you can do, and for that, I am thankful. If it was all up to me, I’d have to take a lot more naps and wouldn’t get nearly as much done. 

And so for now, I’m doing a lot of waiting and hoping and praying. It’s the only way I know to combat caving into feelings like loneliness and defeat, which is traditionally a losing battle for me. I’m hoping that September will be good to me this year; those are usually pretty rough. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to slow down and enjoy the newness of this season and find some things I love about Boone; I know they’re here somewhere. I’m hoping that I’ll find a good spin class and that I’ll take the time to make my bed every day (because it really does make me feel a little better) and that I’ll learn to get along with snow again. Luckily, some of the girls who live above me are from South Carolina, so maybe we can bond once that rolls around. Long story short, I’m hopeful. And that’s two things for me: rare and important. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t go away too soon.