A Sagehen Abroad

So, summer ended suddenly (stop the presses) and the departure of my inaugural-study-abroad flight mysteriously aligned itself with tomorrow’s date.  My multi-month repose quietly dissolved into a thousand dirty shirts strewn across my bedroom floor plus a million unnamed files on my desktop and a thick summer reading assignment with what is perhaps a trillion unread-but-hopefully-soon-to-be-tackled pages.  Since I can now express my imminent Exit Stage East (wouldn’t that be a cute blog title?) in hours instead of days, I excavated my suitcase from beneath my mounds of laundry.

My hometown of Seattle is semi-unequipped for summer heat, which is usually okay because summer only lasts an instant here.  That instant happily nestled itself into today, August 16th.  Needless to say, I’ve spent it scrambling for clothing to throw in my duffle bag while fanning myself with a laminated map of Edinburgh and remembering the glory days of Blaisdell air conditioning.

In case you didn’t pick up on that little map hint, I’m spending my Fall 2012 semester in Edinburgh, Scotland.  My process in choosing this program may be optimistically described as “holistic” because of what I half-jokingly identify as crippling indecision (I’m at Pomona because a Canadian penny landed on tails, after all.  But that worked out well!)  And although I have perhaps never been so excited in my entire life ever ever ever, I’m still very nervous.

This began a few weeks ago when one of my sponsees developed her disposable camera film and tagged me in two Facebook pictures taken at some Pomona festivity last spring.  This is admittedly melodramatic, but my zen-like-summer-stupor was quickly broken with a shaking, uncontainable annual excitement to hightail it back to Pomona to see my friends and go to new classes and to have a Frank smoothie and to read on the seventh floor of the Honnold-Mudd stacks (my not-so-secret-anymore library kingdom.)

So my realization that I won’t be around for Harwood Halloween and Snack and “Epistemology” (the class, not the subject) was definitely a sour moment quickly followed with the conflicting fear that Edinburgh won’t be different enough.  After all, I’ve spent twenty years listening to study abroad stories about a radical (and inevitably life-changing) change of pace where students didn’t have access to a mirror for five months or lived in a rain forest amongst endangered geckos or at least spoke a different language.  This translates to an awkward tornado a la fear and hunger for change accompanied by a large dose of enthusiasm for  (almost) literally anything that will be thrown my way.

That being said, I was hoping to avoid some cornball closure about shooting for the moon, falling amongst the stars, and keeping an open mind.  But since I really can’t conceive of what will come next at all, I will leave you with this note of resigned acceptance of the fate of this post and a lot of excitement both for Edinburgh and the suitcase that just (miraculously) weighed in at 49 pounds.