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Getting Back in the Game

It’s been a hectic few weeks here. I’ve been working toward the Tour de Fleece, poking at a few knitting projects, and trying to write.

Trying?

Okay, I’ve actually been writing more lately than I have in a while. But most of it is behind-the-scenes writing, developing characters and tweaking plots and all the things that comeĀ before.

Then I woke up today and knew I was going to work on some of theĀ after.

Yep, I’m editing!

The Write Robyn

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Got something new in the works…

Endings and Beginnings

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About two and a half days ago, I graduated college, earning myself two diplomas (BFA in Writing, BA in English), summa cum laude (that’s with highest honors, for all you non-Latinate folks). The last four years went by in the blink of an eye, and I know it’s cliche, but I feel like they were the most valuable years of my life thus far. The future is so uncertain.

It almost doesn’t feel real.

To make matters worse (or better), I leave in a little over a day to the UK, and I can’t sleep tonight, for all the worry over whether I’ll forget something, or get horribly lost in airports, or get trapped in customs forever, with no hope of ever making my flight.

It really doesn’t help that I haven’t flown since before 9/11, when I was ten years old, and that this will be my first solo-flight.

I feel like I have a million things to do before I go, and nowhere near enough time in which to do it. I know it’ll pass once I actually take my restlessness and turn it into action.

Never was it more truly stated that “I should not be awake right now.” I’m going to try sleeping again. The worst thing I can do for myself is stay up late.

Although I’ve been joking that I will take no pictures, no video, and certainly tell no stories, I do plan to return with full memory cards and notebooks, and months of blog posts to tell.

Before 11:30 this morning, I explored four places I’ve never been, in a total of (so Google Maps tells me) 4 miles.

I biked around Poultney and discovered some new residential areas (which weren’t, technically new, just new to me), took a detour down the way toward Lake St. Catherine (alas, I do not have the endurance, nor the time, to bike all the way to the lake), and flipped back down the Rail Trail, south. I didn’t go far down the trail (not after yesterday’s 4.5 mile round trip up the Rail Trail, north), I just stopped at the bridge.

I’d walked out there before, and biked out even further into Granville, but I wanted to dip my feet into the water. I know I can do that down at the Poultney behind the college, but there would be others there, and this felt, in an odd way, private. I’d stood there before, in that same spot, and soaked my feet on a hot spring day, and I wanted to relive the memory.

Only I couldn’t. I don’t know whether the rocky platform beneath the bridge was washed away in Irene’s rains, or if it was dislodged manually, but there was simply no way to get down there without being swept away by the river. I climbed back up, disturbing a small snake in the process, and swung around the other side. There was a path woven through signs that read NO TRESPASSING. I followed the sandy path until I reached a similar outcropping of stones, and finally, after kicking my flip-flops aside, stepped into the water.

Climbing out was just as easy, but felt less daring, and lacked the adventurous spirit it took to follow the path in.

Instead of retracing my steps out, I took what I believe is a snowmobile trail out. It was another path that, while it didn’t have NO TRESPASSING posted everywhere, gave me that sense of daring again. I could see the houses through the bare trees, and wondered if anyone would tell me I shouldn’t be there. In fact, it is the path shown in the header to this blog.

But then I emerged on the road, and pedaled back to campus, passing familiar roads and houses on the way. I was never more than a mile (or so) away. Sometimes there are new worlds right in your old world.

You don’t have to go far to discover new places.

Me & My Shadow

It’s days like today that make me understand better what the Transcendentalists like Emerson and Thoreau were talking about. I spent hours outside today, just because I could. I wore no sleeves, and lay in the sun.

I read for a half hour back by the library. The chickens ran past me, crying out as they pecked the ground for food. The sun slid behind the trees, and cast the shade over my body, and I knew it was time to move.

I left with only my keys, and followed my shadow down the street. The sun pressed me on. I thought about our desire to follow roads, and take the paths that are familiar to us. I turned to walk up the road to the cemetery on the hill, then turned back, and took the road through the woods for the second time in my life. When I came to a fork in the path, I took the straighter path, hoping for an adventure.

Both paths led to the same place, and I promised to take the second path out.

I wandered through the grave markers, wondering if, back when I first ventured out to the cemetery, I knew how much time I would be spending tracing the names of the unfamiliar dead, memorizing names and dates that meant, ultimately, nothing to me, but held in their resting places the memories of an entire lifetime.

The path out was more ragged, and winding, but I was happy I took it. As I emerged from the woods, I realized that often in life, we believe there are two paths: the easy path and the hard path. But sometimes, it turns out, there are hidden choices beyond the easy and the hard. And just as I could have taken that winding road, I too could have taken the easy and familiar road up. But I’m a happier person for having taken the path through the woods.

And as I returned, the quiet that the wooded path had given my mind became unsettled, and I was back in a world of traffic, fast food, and gasoline. And I sometimes wonder if we are taking the more expedient road, and passing up the adventure of the hidden path.

I kept walking, and invited the promise of adventure, but it was growing late, and my stomach growing hungry.

As the sun was lowering, I raced my shadow back home.

Wanderlust 2012

Every few years, I get the completely appropriate urge to DO SOMETHING. In 2010, for instance, it was dye my hair bright pink and go to Warped Tour.

This year, it’s a trip across the Atlantic to the UK.

My friend Alice was saying how excited she was for her trip to Wales in May, once she graduates. I expressed my jealousy, and she joked about me joining her. I brushed her off, thinking of my bank account, when she told me she wasn’t paying all that much to go.

I froze. “I have that money,” I said.

Then I groaned. “No, don’t do this to me.” I couldn’t afford to take a trip out to another country. I had a lot to think about, a lot about an uncertain future (as all futures are).

For a couple weeks we joked back and forth, and of course, I could not stop there; NOR COULD I MAKE A DECISION. Do I do it? Really? I mean, really?

Yeah, it went on like that for about a week.

And then, next thing I knew, I was researching plane tickets. And filling out a passport application.

Then Alice and I got lost in Rutland, looking for the post office where I could then submit my passport application. (We did eventually find it. It was the big building that was also a courthouse.) After getting a truly awful picture taken (I’d show you, but not only is my passport at home, I just don’t want to show you), we left, my pocket significantly lighter.

I waited for my passport to arrive back home a few weeks later before purchasing my plane tickets, paranoid about being rejected. In retrospect, this was dumb. I ended up paying around $70 more than I would have, and I no longer can fly with Alice. BUT I’M STILL GOING SO IT’S ALL RIGHT.

Then, my pockets even lighter still, came the fun part: itinerary. I came up with a very lengthy list of places I want to go while I’m over there. I’ll be there for three weeks, which sounds both like a lot of time, and the blink of an eye.

I still can’t believe I’m doing this, and I guarantee you I won’t believe it until I’m on a plane. And even then, I’m not sure.

Last Chance

Welp, back to school.

I just had my first class of my last semester this morning, and from that alone, it’s looking to be a good one.

It’s hard, sometimes, to slowly ease back into things. Especially when GMC expects us to be able to SNAP back into everything in a day or so.

The car ride back was a little more eventful than I would like, including incidents like me forgetting my keys, and not remembering before we got about five minutes from the house, as well as a detour through part of southern Vermont (not that far south, but out of our way). Nevertheless, we got here in good time, and unloading the car was very short work.

Acclimating to having a social life is a little harder. Which sounds ridiculous; I am a social person. Sometimes. But at home, it’s always pretty chill, one-on-one interaction. Here, I have about ten people vying for my attentions (some of this, of course, is heavily encouraged), but it can be extremely overwhelming.

Needless to say, this being my final semester, I have high expectations. I have a lot of college experiences to have in a short time!

Anyone up for a drink?

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