So eight months later, I’m still alive, much like the undergraduates I’ve been working with. And I’m about to graduate myself. It’s been a tough, rough, year. Or few years, maybe. It’s May now — sounds spring-like, but it’s definitely still snowing here. School is out, and I’m working 3/4 time at the state hospital, which I love so far. Technically I graduate this week, and also technically not, because I have a couple more months of internship left. In September you can call me Dr., though. Which is totally freaking weird. And awesome.
Things: I should be excited about graduating, but instead I am more worried about fitting into a dress that I bought for graduation (and eternity) six months ago. The truth is that I have gained about 35 lbs getting this degree. I would like to think it’s like having a kid. But it’s not. And the weight shames me. I’m going to be a doctor! And yet my weight makes me fret like I’m Barbie trying to maintain something I never attained. Fuck this. I am too feminist and pro- health-at-any-size for this. And yet it gets to me, that number on the scale / dress size. Bleh, fuck, bleh.
I love Montana, its glacier-carved landscape… It’s like Colorado, only once you pass through one mountain range and valley, there’s another… and another… and another. And it’s so green. I miss the desert, sometimes, but on the whole this is amazing. Everyone: move here. Only not into the sprawly suburbs of Bozeman…
But the sprawly suburbs of Bozeman do kind of look like this (from the Target parking lot):
And this (not really a suburb at all, but part of Yellowstone National Park, not far away):
& come visit.
Still no Internet, and now they’re saying two additional weeks… !!!!???
Luckily, my life in Bozeman is looking like this:
So things aren’t so bad at all. Loving the internship so far, and happy to be seeing clients again. Missing my own family and friends a lot, but I can’t imagine a better place to feel a little lonely. This place is magical. Some things:
* I’m starting to like country music again. I think it’s behavioral conditioning — that’s what’s on the radio as I’m driving around seeing all of this incredible stuff, so I associate it with pure aesthetic loveliness. Also I feel like the post-9/11 country phase of “put-a-boot-in-your-ass” American pride/xenophobia has faded, which certainly helps.
* I have seen at least two vehicles with camouflage paint jobs. In both cases a lady was driving.
* I am on a waiting list for a skeet shooting class for women (keep your fingers crossed for me!)
* I have and use a video rental card. There is a Hastings here — anyone remember those?
* I can wear jeans to work. But now that I’ve lived in DC I don’t know that I can actually do it.
* it’s super easy to eat gluten-free here. Almost every place has an option or even a full gf menu, including beer. On the whole it’s an easier place to be healthy, and I love that.
I had grand plans to write often once I got settled in Montana, and I still do! Part of getting settled in is getting wifi, though, and apparently here that takes about a month. I saw this somewhere today, and it feels totally apt:
I’m normally a NOAA girl when it comes to weather coverage, but when things get extreme, I turn to weather.com so that I know just HOW BAD it really is. Today:
That’s right, folks. We are being stifled!! I’m sure if I were not inside my air-conditioned home, I would be positively uncomfortable right now. But since I’m inside packing and procrastinating, I offer you this summer scene:
And I’m going to suggest you view it while listening to “In the Summer” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
Stay cool, everyone.
… go like this. I do not understand how people (the SAME people, always!!) forget to silence their phones in class.
Also: who calls them? I imagine it’s always the pharmacy, every. single. time.
The New York Times Magazine said recently that denoting. emphasis. like. this. was “meh.” I’m ok with most types of expressive punctuation, so I’ll keep doing it. It’s basically the same as J. D. Salinger’s excessive italicizing, right?
Six more classes. Forever, maybe (until post-doctoral training, but that’s different)….
On a napkin somewhere I have a bucket list for DC… It’s probably in a landfill somewhere, as so many of my wonderful ideas are (or so I’d like to think)…
i have a little over a month left here. I have two weeks of almost complete freedom — I could rent a car and go anywhere. I want to see:
- all the art. Again, for those pieces I’ve already seen
- old things that we don’t have in the west
- that one island memorial (Teddy Roosevelt?)
- maybe the zoo. It feels like something one should see
- more of Baltimore
- some caverns nearby
- even more of Baltimore
- the Textile Museum
- the Anacostia Museum (Anacostia is like 1/4 of DC, separated by the Anacostia River, mostly Black, mostly not entered by anyone who lives in the rest of DC because people think it’s scary. I don’t know if it is or not, and I think I should explore a bit.
- I finish up with patients here: 4
- I take my last class (forever!) AND turn a year older: 19
- I pack up my home and ship my material life across the US again*: 36
- I can move into my new home in Montana: 55
- I start my internship: 61
- Graduation: 336
In the years leading up to high school graduation I would do this obsessively — count down, and then count back and think about what had happened X days ago, to give it some perspective, I guess. Time seems so much bigger, slower, drawn out when you’re looking forward than when you’re looking back.
I imagine time to be some kind of Calder-esque mobile, past and future events of different weights on each end of a thin steel bar, anchored at today. So: today I am about eight weeks away from my arrival in Montana and beginning my internship. I am also about eight weeks away from my breakup and the loss of my supervisor, mentor, and teacher in April. The former seems far away and light; the latter feels fresh, confusing, barely healing, and heavy. But today is right in the middle.
It is pretty much exactly like this:
Alexander Calder, Boomerangs, 1941
*Decided not to drive, but to spend that driving time and gas money to visit friends in late July / early August… A solo cross-country trip would be fun, but maybe not in a U-Haul.