So I decided to start a bucket list. Seeing as I’m in London and planning to travel Europe for the semester, starting a bucket list now is kind of cheating. It’s like sitting down to make a to-do list and only writing down things you’ve already done so you can cross them off (something I would obviously never do). But, hey, if writing “stand in two hemispheres at once” motivates me to get my butt over to Greenwich while I’m here, so be it.
However, after being inspired and starting this list last night, I spent the entirety of today in a wretched mood and hating the world. It was just one of those days. I woke up this morning in the middle of a really good dream, which was just irritating, and then, to stick it to the world, I decided to sleep another fifteen minutes instead of getting up and showering. Bad life choices.
I boarded the bus on time, though, and thought maybe I’d be in a better mood after I got going with the day. Wrong. There was some little twit aboard who pushed the “STOP” button about eighty times in the course of a mile, just for kicks and giggles. At one point, as we were stopping yet again, the bus driver yelled from his cubby hole, “STOP PRESSING THE BLEEDING BUTTON! WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DOES IT LOOK LIKE I’M DOING?!” I have to admit, this cheered me a little bit.
I returned to the nightmare life of a researcher on time, despite my best efforts to be late, but was quite pleased to find that my task of the day was copying and pasting a column-oriented spreadsheet to be a row-oriented one. I’m being completely serious when I say this: it was better than google-ing clean energy law consultation firms all day. At least it required 0 thought and I could multitask (with my brain).
One way I spent the time was eavesdropping on a colleague, a man in the sales department who sits right next to me and cannot make a phone call without yelling into his receiver. He rather reminds me of Milton from Office Space if you’ve seen the flick. “And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married…”
This poor, socially awkward man must have made thirty phone calls today. Not once was he actually put through to the person with whom he was trying to speak. At one point, he was talking to a secretary who apologized for cancelling his phone conference with her boss and not telling him, but said she could give him another appointment in two weeks. He fought it for a moment, but quickly retreated and took the details of the new calling appointment. It was difficult to keep from giggling at the image of him looking at squirrels.
When I wasn’t trying to keep from laughing at VBR’s Milton, I got to doing some thinking. It occurred to me this morning that I will be on a plane home three months from tomorrow. In 13 short weeks, I will have my niece and nephew pouncing on me and I will be able to hug my mommy and my big sister. I still can’t decide how I feel about this. Part of me is relieved. Only 13 more weeks. But part of me is distraught. Only 13 more weeks?! Another part of me is furious at all of me for even thinking about it. It’s 13 bloody weeks away!
Quite honestly, though, I think the glamour of it all is wearing off. I have to go to classes; I have to go to work; I have to do my homework; I have to do my budget; I have to write my schedule. After the summer I spent kayaking through the reservoir and hanging out in treetops, I suppose my body would be rejecting the adjustment in lifestyle even if I were at Ursinus. I suppose my body probably thinks it is back at Ursinus.
In fact, that’s how I’ve been feeling these past few days. I don’t feel so much like I’m in London, England, surrounded some of the most amazing people and places the world has to offer. I feel more like I’ve transferred universities, so I have no deeply connected friends nearby and my phone is broken so I can’t call home. My phone is not broken, it’s just turned off, and there are all sorts of deep connections in friends just waiting to be found here. But I can’t seem to wrap my mind around it quite yet.
Anyway, the day was not a total waste. I met a man called Mortimer. Like, that’s actually his name. Mortimer. I also spoke with Andy Steves about coming to work for him this semester. There are a few kinks still to be worked out, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best. The situation should be settled by next week.
To end my day, I got on the Northern Line tube home to find a DOG sitting on a woman’s lap. Well, if you could call it that. One of my favorite mentors back home says anything you can punt does not count as a dog. Anyway, I don’t know if the small creatures are allowed in the tube, but the tiny rat dog’s presence was quite unsettling. To add to the strangeness of the situation, his owner put a Lifesavers mint on her knee and he ate it as we made our way to East Finchley Station. Who feeds her dog a Lifesaver? Weirdo.
Tomorrow, CAPA is taking us all to Stonehenge and Bath for the day. I have to leave home at 6:15am to get there in time, so it will be an early Friday night for me. Maybe the problem with my current social life is that I’m basically 500 years old and I go to bed before 11pm every night. Perhaps next weekend I’ll feel more in the groove of being a real person and I will go adventuring for new friends. I promise I am not a socially awkward human being and that I rather enjoy meeting new people. I should probably just go do that, eh?
To all my family and friends thousands of miles away, I miss you. I love you. Call me, maybe?