Tuesday, March 6, 2012


So, I've safely returned to the Midwest.

I made it through the hellish initial travel day, the three hour long interview where I am in competition with at least 30 other people for eight spots, and, despite missing my 8am first flight toward home Sunday, I did make it home, albeit not until 11pm.

And here I am sitting in my cubicle, doing my work or at least pretending to, just as it was before I left. Nothing has changed, really. I don't know. Nothing has changed. But everything feels different. Sitting there on Saturday, surrounded by mountains, getting to know more about this city that I'd only been to once before, becoming excited at the idea of making a life there, it makes everything feel different. It's getting to be that scary period where you've committed to something in your mind, but you don't have to follow through yet because it's still out of your hands, but not much time is left until the baton is passed and you've got to decide to run or just let it hang there loose until it falls and you stay in place.

If I get in, I'm moving to Montana. That's where I am.

It's just, I've been standing still, waiting or paralyzed or unsure for too long now. I'm worried that if I don't take off at a sprint, I'll be stuck in this state of complacency forever. It's sort of an exciting breed or terrifying to place myself in a landscape so starkly different from what I'm accustomed to. At the same time, Missoula isn't tiny or lacking in modern comforts. But it is so, so different. I think I need that. Everyone I met there was just so happy to be there. People want to stay. They want to enjoy the natural resources that surround them, they want to do what they can to preserve them. Such a simple concept. So different from the shithole suburbs and cities I've forced myself into, surrounded by people I can't stand.

You know what I think of when I think about moving to Montana? I think about driving out there alone. Loading up my car and streaking across the flat lands and prairies in a blurred line of speed. I think about feeling the spetrum of emotions that I am capable of from the full impact of making such a radical decision. Of banging on the steering wheel and scream-singing along to every genre my ipod and cds represent. There could be tears as I stride across Iowa. I could blow kisses to everyone I pass in the Dakotas. You never know. I could go off route on purpose just to find my way back. It's definitely a trek I'm planning on taking by myself.

Another thing. Yesterday I flew into Salt Lake City for the third or fourth time. This was the first time I really looked out the window as we made our descent. Now, my whole life, I read things and I'll cry, I'll hear music and attach myself to it's meaning and sound and I'll feel so much. But I've never really been all that emotional when it comes to seeing things. Sure, I love a good landscape, relish in peering at the mountains, but it's not really moving, just more enjoyable, favorable. But flying over the Great Salt Lake, I've never seen anything so magnificent. I'm not kidding. This massive body of water is shrouded by mountains and god, the water is every color imaginable. It was really something. Just. God. Really something. Bigger than I thought it could be. Like something from Never Never land.. If I ever make it that way, the lake alone would make it hard to leave again.

I love the water.

What else? In the interview they asked us what animal we would be right then, if we could be anything. Also, our favorite books and movies. One girl said she'd be a golden eagle, I liked her. She had blonde curly hair that she was constantly in a state of flux with having up or down. I said I'd be a river otter and they said that was the first time anyone had said that and then the guy right after me stared at me in almost confusion and said he was going to say that too. I believed him. I liked him. I liked everyone, though. Everyone seemed smart and eager to do well. One lady said her favorite movie was The Blair Witch Project... kind of weird if you ask me. We were on couches for that question and she was probably in her 50s wearing a too-short skirt and had one leg tucked up underneath her. You could see down her skirt. I felt awkward for her. She was a large woman. Honestly, I wish I had a better idea of what they were looking for. Everyone was smart. I liked my answers and didn't let myself be nervous and was just myself. I laughed my real laugh, so I must have been comfortable.

We drove to Idaho through a mountain pass on Saturday and the drive was terrifying because there was a ton of snow and my friend Counrtey is a wild driver, but we made it unscathed to this trailhead that leads to some natural hot springs. Oh my god, one of the coolest experiences. The sensation of being enveloped in warm water in the middle of a freezing stream in the mountains in the winter with snow all around was almost like being in a scene from a book or a movie. Just surreal. We stayed about an hour and a half, until we were sufficiently pruney, and then hiked the mile or so back to the truck. Just a normal day for people who make their lives there. I'd go all the time.

Flying back to Indiana after missing my morning flight because I overslept which had to do with a sing a long that lasted until at least 4 am.... was depressing. Not just to be leaving there and coming back to my life and my job here. But just looking at the people travelling to Indy. So much less interesting to me than the people travelling west. I didn't speak to anyone on my way back. It was the least I could do as a form of protest.

I got into this book I'm reading on my last flight and this little passage struck me so hard. You know, just knocked the wind right out of me. Isn't it wild how the Universe times things? Isn't it wild how an arrangement of words can take on so much meaning? Stop me I'm getting carried away. Here it is:

"The worst thing, she would tell him, is that she can no longer distinguish stars: When I think I have found one it moves out of view, just metal in orbit or a transportation vehicle. There are no longer fixed points by which to determine my direction, she would tell him. How can I ever make a wish?"

That's some kind of loss. Now I want to meet the writer and climb into her head and see what she saw in order to come up with something so lovely. Yeah, creepy. I know, I know.

So that was my trip. The best kind of heartbreaking. I'm glad to be home and not glad to be home. I think maybe as we get older that only gets worse. Or maybe that's just my outlook right now

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