These days I find myself thinking a lot about the impending changes that are about to take place in my life.
All of the excitement and fear and more excitement of becoming part of a new community in Baltimore and at JHUSON is accompanied by strong feelings of sadness and loss as I think about leaving the community and friends I have come to know and love in Washington, DC.
I’m just beginning to process all of these feelings and recognizing that they are there and somewhat unavoidable has kept me doing a lot of wondering since the start of the New Year. Between wondering if I’m ready, If I’m capable, and if I have what it takes to make it through what I can only imagine to be a very fulfilling, very stimulating, and very challenging 17 months, and wondering how I will keep in touch with people, or when I should get a stethoscope, or if I am too old to want one of my parents with me on Accepted Students Day, and then wondering if it’s too soon for me to be thinking about all of these things, my “headspace” feels at full capacity.
These days, when I wake up in the morning and before I go to sleep at night, I find myself thinking about my cute Eastern Market neighborhood, the coffee shop where I spent long days working on my MPH Capstone, doing a full assessment of my apartment (determining what I will keep and what I will leave behind), and surveying the walls wondering if I will be able to decorate my next house or apartment in a way that makes me feel secure and at-home. It all sounds pretty silly, I know… but I can’t help it…I’m a hopeless romantic and a true sentimentalist at heart.
Beyond the aesthetics, there are the people. How will I tell Quione, (the 9 year-old I have been tutoring for the past 3 years every Monday night) that I won’t be able to come to tutoring next year? He’s so young, so vulnerable, still so innocent yet so strong…I wish I could just preserve each moment I have with him and each adorable thing that he says, and keep him and me safely wrapped up in those memories.
I feel that way about a lot of people and it makes the sadness of leaving them that much more real, and the gratefulness and good fortune I feel to know them that much stronger. The conversations, and the adventures, and the crazy times I have shared with them have impacted me beyond belief. I see how they have helped to change me and shape the way I operate in the world and it makes me simultaneously eager and afraid for all of the changes that lie ahead.
In order to help cope with the mere thought of change, I have been listening to a lot of music. I love all different types of music and find great pleasure in discovering new artists and rediscovering old ones. Right now, I’m hooked on newly released Bob Dylan covers and a band called “Fitz and the Tantrums”, recommended to me by my dear friend, Lizzy, who recently left DC and moved back to her hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas. Lizzy has embraced change whole-heartedly and has inspired me to do the same, even though she knows from experience how difficult it is to leave and let go. Right before she left, Lizzy sent me a song called Winds of Change and I think I am going to claim the chorus as my new mantra. Even though the song isn’t about the kind of change that I am talking about, it makes sense to me in this context.
“Any day now, Any day now
Winds of change they blow in my direction
We both see that it’s time…”