Monday, May 24, 2010

going under

I leave for Chile three weeks from tomorrow. I wrote out a "Shit To Do" list in my class this afternoon, and I have precisely four days in the next three weeks where I have nothing to do (besides class). All the other days, I'm working, or I have big assignments due, or finals, or I'm in transit.

I don't even know how to express how I'm feeling about all this. I'm relieved to be almost done with this quarter, but terrified to move on to this summer. I've barely kept on top of my schoolwork these past few weeks, waiting until 1 in the morning to start papers that I've known about for weeks; studying the morning of for midterms; not getting my interviews for my one story in Global Health until last week when we've had the assignment for the entire quarter. I know I'm melodramatic, but it honestly feels like a struggle to keep my head above water from day to day.

I'm leaving the country in three weeks--I want to spend time with my family and my friends, but even that doesn't feel possible. I thought I'd be coming home with weekend--I'm moving out of my apartment, so my parents are coming over here to get all my stuff, but they're not taking me home with it. Too much driving, my dad said. And I know it is, but...come on, guys, I'm not going to see you for 10 weeks! I talk to my parents almost every day on the phone. Even if it's just for 30 seconds, I like that connection. In Chile, I'm going to be limited to email and maybe Skype. I'm anticipating a very lonely 2 1/2 months; I don't want to start that three weeks early.

What is wrong with me? Why this melancholy? I'm just quietly upset all the time. I'm sick of myself! I'm sick of having a headache when I wake up in the morning and when I go to sleep at night; I'm sick of feeling guilty for not arranging to spend time with more people; I'm sick of procrastinating and stressing myself out. I know it's all my own fault. I know I do this to myself. But...I dunno, knowing that doesn't help it at all.

On top of school and work, I have to start packing up my apartment and looking for storage over here. Then I have to figure out whose couch I'm crashing on for all of next week, which I'm not looking forward to. It hit me today for the first time...I'm not going to be able to go home, to my bed, to my own space, for more than a week. My apartment is never going to be my space ever again. I know it's only for a week, but I'm not excited about being homeless.

People keep asking me about this summer--"Aren't you excited?" with multiple exclamation points. No! I mean, I am, but that's a very small part of me compared to the part that is absolutely terrified and intimidated and lost. My inadequacies are starting to leak out. What if I fail. What if I get sent on an important assignment and don't get a single usable quote because I can't take notes in Spanish fast enough and I barely understand the dialect. What if Reuters realizes halfway through that they've made a huge mistake and send me home. What am I going to tell everyone who's expecting great things of me?

Sometimes I look at what I've done and think, yeah, you know, I'm pretty awesome--look at all this experience! But I'm kidding myself. I feel like a fraud. I'm not good at this job--I don't have the killer instinct--I don't read the news every day--I don't ask the hard questions when I'm supposed to. Maybe I'm suited for my school newspaper, but Reuters? That's the biggest news organization in the world. What can I possibly do for them!

Mostly I feel like crying a lot of the time now. My head hurts, and whenever I try to talk to someone about all this, they just say, "Oh, stop it! You'll be fine! Just stop it!"

But I can't! Let me talk! I need my parents to validate me, to say, "Wow, Molly, your life is so stressful right now. I don't know how you handle it." That's what I need--recognition from them that the life of a student is no less hectic than the life of a parent with a job. More so, I'd wager. And as a response to that, I want them to say, "We'll look into storage. We'll come drive you home so you don't have to take the nasty Greyhound to your brother's graduation. We'll take care of everything."

I guess this is what growing up looks like?

Love always,

Friday, May 7, 2010

this weather inspires no punctuation

In Just-

spring when the world is mud-

luscious the little

lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come

running from marbles and

piracies and it's


when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer

old balloonman whistles

far and wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and






balloonMan whistles




e.e. cummings