Packing my bags, I got to thinking about how my choice of school has impacted my life.
I dreamed about attending my university since I was eleven because I was the dorky tween who fantasized about musty books and composition notebooks. Still am. When I received what I assumed was my 'Dear John' letter and turned out to be my place offer, I cried. My response was in the post as soon as I could stop hyperventilating long enough to find a pen and a stamp.
Of course, putting an ocean between you and everyone you love has its drawbacks, and distance isn't just a matter of space.
Last November, my aunt and uncle had their first child.
She's adorable to the point of insanity. She's also my goddaughter.
The only problem with this is that her birth and baptism occurred while I was away at school. I didn't meet her until I went home for my Christmas break. Way to fail, Liz, way to fail.
Since I won't be around for most of her early years, I started a time-capsule of sorts. I made her a little bag and am constantly filling it with presents and letters to her so she knows that I'm always thinking of her, no matter where I am. Because I'm a mush.
The newest addition won't fit in the bag, but whatever. It's pictures of places where the other presents are from and a promise that we will go there together someday.
Doing this makes me genuinely happy.
I can't, however, do this for all of my lovelies. There are friends who, because of scheduling and life in general, I haven't seen in over a year. Even my best and closest friends, I've only seen three times during my time at home, and I have little to no idea what's happening in their lives. It sucks and I feel totally responsible for it, though I know that it's part of growing up and whatnot. I accept that, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.
All that said, I'm lucky to have so many amazing and supportive people counted among my friends and family.
In fact, I was recently reunited with an old friend.
This is Jorge.
This is Jorge with a moustache.
Jorge, being a good friend and a very studious jellyfish, helped me to study.
He even picked out his new favourite poem.
He would like to share it with you.
When out of work and fierce with self-pity
I'd walk until the fierceness left my feet
and I broke down. Then I'd start home,
where once I walked up to find my wife
pitching a stick across the parking lot
while an ugly dog sat and looked at her.
She'd found him near the office where she typed,
and fed him half her sandwich. He'd hung around
until she'd given in and brought him home.
But he loved me so much that when I went
to play with him, he'd roll onto his back
and piss until it splattered on his chest.
I'd sit outside all afternoon and talk
to him, to the hard knowledge in his face
that she'd leave me when I was well enough
to be left. I talked too much. She'd tell her friends,
He's out of work. He thinks he is that dog.
And she was right, I did. But we were poor,
living on frozen chicken pies and tea--
I knew I'd have to take him to the pound.
As I signed him away with my right hand
and wiped my left--which he would not stop licking--
against the unwashed leg of my blue jeans
I felt I was signing myself away.
An illusion, sure, but one that lasted months.
I thought of this today when I crossed the bridge
and the river smelled like a wet, unwanted dog.
Good choice, Jorge.
Unrelated, but Flickr > Photobucket.
Why did I not know this until now?