Tonight I will fall asleep spooning a stack of research books, as I do most nights these days. They don't exactly hug the curves. I am exhausted but I feel the need to share a bit before drooling onto those dogeared, highlighted pages. The day I read about the IR program at Regent's I began crying. I couldn't help it and I couldn't stop. For that brief moment, time seemed to rip open just wide enough for me to see my future-self walking around the streets of London; absorbing the culture, the sights, the sounds, the (often unfortunate) smells. I watched myself splash through puddles in my Wellies, cuddle up in a coffee shop, and beam in awe and gratitude at every person I met because surely they were part of the mysterious fabric of life that ultimately allowed me to live out my dream and move to this fabulous city. I knew with no hesitation or doubt that I was looking at my future and yet I couldn't fathom the thought of being so incredibly lucky. And lo the tears did come. I cried many times between then and the move as well out of frustation, fear, anxiety, excitement, anticipation, loneliness, nostalgia, and love. Yet every moment of panic and dismay was worth it. I still find myself hoping that this is not all a complete mind trip. That I am not, in fact, moments away from a 5am wake-up call reminding me that I am three snooze buttons and ten minutes away from a long, snowy walk to Trax, which I will take to a job where I quite literally plug myself in to the corporate machine to make money for the rich and apologize to the poor for their bad luck.
Because of the wonder that is the universe, I met amazing people who linked me with incredible opportunities (you deny this but you know who you are). As I sat in class today I found myself unable to express just how much I love what I am doing. Not to say that I know how to do it most of the time. I feel overwhelmed by how much I need to catch up on to get where I feel I should be at this point in my life. But ultimately I know that I have found what it is that makes me tick, makes me think, makes me happy. Looking back I don't know how I didn't figure out sooner that I was born with a bent toward sociology and anthropology. Perhaps it is because I am good at math and I do have a math mind (I like real, solid, true, knowable answers) that I found myself drawn to numbers all those years. I should have taken a hint when I came across my elementary school report cards a few years ago. Every single teacher, and I mean EVERY one in EVERY term said what I good student, sweet kid, insert complimentary comment here, I was but that I was "too social," "too talkative," "overly chatty," and the like. Couple that with the fact that EVERY job I have ever worked at or applied for has been in customer service and you would think I would get the picture before now. But no. This morning was the first time that I really acknowledged the fact that I am made to be social and study the social aspects of life. It is simply who I am.
With the short duration of this course I know I will inevitably lack the time to fully delve into every class with the rigor and depth I wish for. However, in just ten weeks I have learned so much about areas of research that tackle questions I have had all my life. I am suddenly in this incredible community of professors, researchers, and fellow students where I feel I truly belong. I am no longer listening to rich, young things discussing the ways in which we can rebrand a company to appeal to a new demographic or calculate the future value of a company to determine whether an investment is profitable. I can now discuss the the importance of water rights in terms of power and politics, and theories of identity development in post-colonial nations and it's impact on ethnic conflicts. And that makes all the difference.