The chorus of one of my favorite Beatles songs says, "She is leaving home." In truth it's a pretty melancholy song, but it has always struck a chord with me. As the day approaches that I, too, will be leaving home, I'm finding it a fitting song for this transition. In some ways it is grossly inaccurate; I couldn't be going on this adventure without the complete support of my parents, and I'm not by any means looking at it as an escape. (In fact, as the remaining days become fewer I am more fully appreciating the comfort and safety of home.) But taking things less literally, the essence of the song is very appropriate for my imminent departure.
I've spent the past two days packing (with surprisingly little difficulty!) for my flight to Tucson, Arizona this coming Sunday. My to-do list seems to be growing faster than I can cross things off, but nevertheless I am starting to feel more prepared for my semester at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). I'm finding more difficulty and stress, however, in planning my second semester in which I plan to WWOOF in Italy and Spain. Figuring out flights, visas, registrations and travel logistics... I've somehow managed to leave all of this for my last 3 days at home. I'm holding onto a (perhaps misguided) belief that in time things will just work themselves out.
Yesterday I visited my best friend at St Olaf College and found myself almost wishing that I were starting college this fall. I've always taken for granted the security of knowing exactly where I will be--and that that place includes a bed and food and shelter--every day for the next nine months. College, though not "easy," seems temptingly comfortable at the moment. It is an understatement to say that it is a little terrifying not knowing exactly what is in store for me this year. But I think it is important to do things that terrify you. (I thought that this was a great original philosophy of mine, but apparently I've been plagiarizing Eleanor Roosevelt all along.) I am certain that this year will be enriching and rewarding in ways I can't yet know. And more than anything I am excited beyond belief for the experiences that await me.
The final chorus of the song says instead, "She is having fun." I suppose I thought this, too, was fitting... or at least a hope of what is to come.