Saturday, August 20, 2011

the walk of life

Ok, enough of this not blogging.  It's been two months and if I let it go any longer I'll never blog again.  As most summers go, I allowed my brain to shut down almost completely in June.  I stopped reading, writing, speaking coherently, and thinking academically.   Maybe not entirely, but for the first weeks back from London I was certainly in a haze, and I'm pretty sure I spent most of my time staring blankly at a wall.

Yes, I am back from London.  And not only am I returned, I've also moved to Kentucky.  Isn't that weird? It feels weird.  I spent exactly one month in Utah, from July 15 to August 15, and I didn't particularly want to leave it again.  How can I go from London to my home, and then move on to Louisville, Kentucky?  A place I've never seen, where every one is a stranger, and now I suddenly have to live there for four years?  It's very weird.

So I've been here since Monday, and honestly I'm not really loving it.  That's probably not fair.  I suppose I should just say it's been a difficult week and not take it out on Louisville.  I'm sure it'll be a lovely city once I get to know it.

As I've mentioned before, I'm in Louisville because they gave me loads of money to be here. I'm excited about the program and I feel confident that I'll do well. The PhD is not an issue. What freaks me out are the practical things, the moving to a strange place where everyone is a stranger, where I have to be dependent on strangers.  It's been slightly hellish. Finding an apartment was hell and I don't have my car with me because I couldnt afford to fix it and then drive it 1500 miles so I've been walking around so much that I injured my foot the same day I found an apartment.  I suppose that was lucky.

I think there's been an equal measure of good and bad since I flew in.  It has been very difficult trying to situate myself in a new city without transportation or a place to live and try to get ready to start school on Monday. (I don't remember it being this hard when I moved to New York or London.)  But on the other hand I have been welcomed warmly by my coursemates.  K picked me up from the airport and brought me to B's house where I've been sleeping for the last week.  B is an extremely gracious host and his roommates have also been so kind and lovely.   They've fed me, taken me to a karaoke bar and given me rides when I hurt my foot.  Other people in my department have also been extremely kind and helpful.  I hate feeling so dependent on people I hardly know, but they really have done everything they can to help me out.

I was hoping today would go smoothly and not be stressful and dramatic, but that was a silly thing to expect.  I almost didn't get into my apartment.  The paperwork had taken too long and since it was the weekend none of the managers were in the office, so they told me they couldn't put me in the system and give me my key.  I'd have to come back tomorrow.  I could hardly hold back the tears and I stormed out of the office.  I'd just walked a mile to the complex on my hurt foot in 100 degree weather, 100% humidity, and I was in a very fragile mood.  I walked back to my friend's house, crying.  Two hours later they called back and said they had spent the afternoon on the phone with the manager trying to get me into the system and I could move in.  Then I found out that my mom had called them after I'd talked to her and gave them hell, arguing that the lease was signed and notarized and that they couldn't keep me from moving in.  So they worked it out.  I guess that's what moms are for.

So I'm in.  My roommates are very young but also really nice.  The apartment is extremely nice.  My room is huge, I have a walk in closet and a giant private bathroom, and I bought a book case and a great lamp for it.  I should also mention that it was a very sweet deal.  I found someone on craigslist who was looking for someone to take over his lease and he agreed to pay for almost 3 months rent for me to take it.  (It wasn't that much at first, but I drive a hard bargain.)  I didn't have to pay a deposit or an application fee either, and it's furnished, so even though I'm in a "luxury" apartment it ended up being the most inexpensive place I could find.  I'm lucky, and I think I'll be happy here.

Here's a song that's helped me get through all of this.  It came on my ipod when I was flying over, and it reminded me so much of the happiest times of my childhood that I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming happiness.  It made me feel like everything was going to be ok.  On Thursday night I sang it at a karaoke bar. It was silly, but fun, and it made me happy.  My favorite lyrics are at the end: "And after all the violence and double talk, There's a song in all the trouble and the strife, You do the walk, do the walk of life"  That's what I'm doing, the walk of life.

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