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The New Digs

  I have seen a lot of shoes lately.  A lot of bodies, a lot of backpacks.  Students numbering so many that we stop traffic between classes.  A part of one giant horde of people, in one very spread out university.

  The picture above is from a photo project I had to do for class last month.  We got to play around with a digital Panasonic and this is one of my favorite images that my partner captured.  Photo credit goes out to my girl, Maame, she did a great job.

  I want to say that I'm really sorry I don't have any new recipes for you, but I promise that I have lots of things to write about.  I didn't know it was possible to really get homesick for a blog space, but it is.  And I've been homesick for all of you, because pretty much nothing these days is familiar.

  I came home from class today and as it is the end of the week, more or less, I spent about 3 hours doing absolutely nothing.  There were m&m's involved and really good intentions to start on homework, but I shut down.  Also, I've been spending too much time on facebook, trying to keep up with people that are no longer in very close touch with me.  We're all busy these days.  But in doing that, I have noticed something.  Indigo Scones is still really active.  Every other day I get notifications about someone liking my page, or just viewing it.  Seriously, where are you all coming from?  I've been the worst at posting.

  Then I checked out my blog email, pushing my backpack and notebooks further and further away.  But this wonderful girl from Bolivia sent me an email.  She said I inspired her, and without further ado I popped open blogger to update this danged space because Psychology readings can just wait.

  If you're out there, Andrea, thank you.  Your little email meant the absolute world to me.

  I found something else of note in my email, as well.  A long time ago I did a little phone interview with this lovely lady from a publishing company in London.  They were collaborating with Valentino's new youth branch-off (Red Valentino) to produce some sort of online e-magazine.  I had totally forgotten about this, but apparently the post and my sputtery answers went live in June.  Please check it out here if you haven't already, it's a beautiful space to explore.

  So what's new?  I feel like the world's most out-of-place soul about 80% of the time.  I have spent the past two months balancing a new relationship, my first apartment, new school, and a new (second) job to boot.  I've been a little busy, a little (lot) frustrated, and eating out almost daily.  Moving out in itself was a huge adjustment, and while I love my neighborhood, I'm still figuring out the kinks of commuting to campus daily and somehow also becoming involved.  Being a gap-year sophomore-level transfer student with an undecided major and two physically demanding jobs at a very impersonal campus is not without its difficulties.  But I am also very grateful for what I have learned so far.  I hope the next couple of months bring further adjustment, and oh what I wouldn't give for some good friends on campus.  All in due time.

  This city is beautiful though.  I have become frustrated with people and buses and bicyclists and traffic time and time again, but sometimes I stop and I just get overwhelmed.  Considering that last year I would drive nearly 45 minutes and pay hourly parking just so I could be here, I'm generally pretty happy to be able to call this place my current home.  I've come a very long way to get here, even though I still don't know what exactly that means.

  There have also been good moments.  I've been a barista for quite a chunk of time now, and the highlight of my weekend is the motley crew of elderly neighborhood gentlemen that I get to serve coffee to every week.  I ran into one of them, a Brit named Bruce, walking home from class the other day.  While most of the day was challenging and disheartening, the few minutes I spent walking him to a coffeehouse was golden.  We spoke light Italian, talked about life, and then I went on my way.  I'll see him again when he comes in for his cup of black coffee, which he prefers to consume a half cup at a time because he likes it very hot.  Customer service can produce some very unpleasant experiences, but a lot of times you get those regular gems that never fail to make your day.

  As I've been swimming through this sea of majors, certificates, classes, advising, and whatnot, I've also made an attempt to go back to my roots.  The leading ladies in my life, Molly of Orangette and Joy of Joy the Baker, both just published some pretty great blogposts that I actually remembered to read.  It wasn't so much that the content was especially different, but it was just a reminder of who I was and still am.  The world of blogging is such an inspiration, those ladies that did the four years of college but still managed to make their own path in the world never cease to amaze.  

  I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not always about choosing the right thing, or taking the right path.  It's about being open-minded, and learning whenever and however you can.  You take the day's challenges, and then the next day's.  And instead of thinking of some distant, lofty goal or reward, maybe consider the little rewards that we tend to dismiss.  I got to have wings with a really great guy last night, and we both visited my new workplace and they gave me a giant cookie on the house.  I was greeted with warmth despite the fact that I've only been there a couple of weeks.

  My sister sent me a beautiful text this week that just about put me to tears.  It was a gentle reminder that despite her fiercely independent spirit, she does look up to me.  I am an example to her.

  I made an effort and studied with a classmate yesterday, despite getting lost trying to find her residence hall and having to bypass several memory-tainted locations to get there.  We had a nice time and on my walk back, I gave a slight nod to acknowledge those ghosts drifting around me before I hiked my heavy pack up my shoulders and walked on.

  It's a funny thing, life.  You spend it thinking, "Oh, I'll get there someday."  Then you realize that you made some of your best memories, lived your best adventures, during that "getting there."  And because we get so distracted by the end goal, we don't even think to embrace them.
  So I think it's true, in a sense, that every day is honestly a gift.

  Things may not be ideal right now, but they are still quite good at times.  And between my fair bits of panicking, I have almost always come out with this overwhelming sense of this is where I need to be.  So I will stay, and continue this uphill journey through undergrad life.  Thanks for your patience, and letting me philosophize both for you and to remind myself of a few things.  And I will bake something for you all when I can.