Let’s have a conversation about transitions. Transitions are something that I am terrible at. Like a groundhog afraid of his shadow, I bunker down in my hole of a room 2-3 weeks before the end of a semester, before I see a lost love, before swim season starts, before coming (home?) to America after half a year away…before anything big. No matter how small, how steep, how brightly colored, or how seemingly aimless the tiny plastic sparkle bridges in the hamster cage that is my life appear to be, each bridge is an important step towards something. Or, so the electric shocks of pure philosophical genius whisper to me in moments of clarity, which are more rare than you might think.
I have tried every means possible to bolster my mood during these times of self-doubt. Last year when I moved into a double on the all-female floor of Val, broke up with my boyfriend, and mourned the death of my pet snake, who perished all alone on an airplane at 30,000 ft, I went to a few sessions at the counseling center and felt right as rain (an expression whose current usage not only makes no sense, but which actually indicates the opposite emotional response, which is what I am hinting at—that is, I was still sad). I was especially distraught because I had named my snake after Dinah, Alice’s pet kitten in Carrol’s Through the Looking Glass, and Dinah’s symbolic death was definitely an omen for the pessimism that was to come. In Russia, after I had a mental breakdown in November (so, in the violent throes of winter) during a production of Gogol’s play, Marriage, which was in Russian and which therefore I could not understand, and which I didn’t want to pretend to understand anymore as I hoped/assumed everyone else did, I left during intermission, rode the empty bus home alone, crying the whole way, and proceeded to watch one Christmas movie per day for the duration of my life in Russia. White Christmas is my favorite, if you were wondering, followed by Miracle on 34th Street and the Jim Carey version of The Grinch.
People have different means of coping with changes, but I have yet to find my own personal blend of cheer, emotional eating, and emotional distancing. I try to find solace in the reassurance that uncertainty is good—that the firmness of tomorrow has never made anyone truly happy, and that the freedom to make good decisions, but more frequently bad decisions, is the only freedom worth enjoying. For a lack of anything more constructive to say, I will highlight what has gotten me through the past few weeks of my transition sickness. I would like to take this moment to thank all those friends of mine who have listened to me whisperbitch on A level in the past week about the 20-page paper I have been putting off thinking about all year due to insecurities about the state of my higher brain functions. I would like to thank Val for once, for providing me with mushy things covered in cheese (even if you run out of cups during lunch rush and serve strawberry jell-o instead of cookies and other soft chocolate/sugar things that I need to get me through the day). I would like to thank all of my professors for treating the final days of class as special—luckily the student entertainment fund provided them with the means to provide me with the cookies and champagne (which I spiked with VODKA) that were absent at Val. I would like to thank the Powers That Be (aka The Earth Mother) for solidifying my job prospects for this summer (even if you did so less than two weeks before my scheduled arrival time). I would like to thank the Middlebury Summer Language Program in advance for returning my non-refundable deposit (PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE). I would like to thank Tatyana Babyonsheva for bringing cookies to class every Thursday AND Friday. And lastly, I would like to thank you, gentle readers, for making Amherst College pretty awesome, even when it tries so hard to fuck with our days in small, but hugely annoying, ways.
So goodbye spring! Goodbye friends! I will not be posting about Amherst until the fall! I leave you with a sweet vid by up-and-coming artist Danielle Ate the Sandwich, who summarizes pretty well what it’s like to leave a place just when it’s starting to bloom.