So, I have finally come to the realization that I truly hate the school that I am attending. But, I can’t leave because I can’t afford to go anywhere else. I don’t want to preach my drama or anything, but just want to make it known to the world, in venting style, that I hate this school. I cry over it every night, but no one is there to console me. The reason being: the people here have lost touch with humanity. I feel like I am in some kind of warped zone where everything is totally messed up. Nothing is as it seems. I am so depressed, and incredibly disillusioned. My college promotes social activism and change. That is a joke. I am literally caught in the middle of a hateful group of people that have switched all their empathy for people off. Some days, I cannot even take it. I work four jobs to support my self and the ability to attend this school, only to be miserable. What is the point?
So, I realize I have not written in a really long time. I guess I have been busy. Life catches up to you, and especially after my internship (and even during), I couldn’t find the time to get on here. It’s funny how much has changed since I arrived at college. And, especially since I returned after my internship. It’s weird how different I am. It was like after this farm job, I changed into someone else. Not necessarily bad, but it is almost scary how different I feel around others at my school. When I returned to school, I thought everyone seemed so different, and then I realized it wasn’t just them. It was me too. And, I am not sure if it’s that great, because it is almost like all of my friends and I are on different wavelengths. Is it possible to change so much in three months, so much to forget who you were, and then just not get anyone anymore? There is a sense of helplessness, I guess with this. I suppose it is normal, but it saddens me and makes me feel a little alone. Which is funny considering how far removed I was for three months. Maybe I just forgot how to interact with humanity! 🙂
I have made some progress here, though. I have organized a protest with some other students, and it has actually been very successful. Everyone, I am sure, knows what is going on with police shooting incidents. I helped organize something, and it has made me feel really empowered. Not only that, but I now work four jobs, which is really exciting. Who needs a social life anyway? Jobs galore and college all day every day. No problem!
Yesterday was my last day working at the farm. I spent three months working here in California as a part of the requirement to graduate from school. We have to complete four internships all four years of college, one every six months. This was my first, and I went all the way to the other side of the country to take on my first one. It honestly was a bit nerve-wracking, but when I got here, I was so overwhelmed with work, I had little time to be concerned about where I was and the new-ness of it all. And, now, here I am writing about my last day on the job, and how very soon, I will be back at school. My college runs on the quarter system, so I go to school year round. I can hardly believe that three months has passed since being here. It is truly mind-boggling and sad. The real bad thing is, is that I was counting down the days to leave. And, now that it’s done, I feel like I should stay here. I have friends here, and I have met such wonderful, fun-loving and truly hard-working people here. Here, there is no doubt that the people that I have worked with these past few months, have real grit. I mean, the kind of grit where you look at a person in true amazement, not the off-hand excitement where you say, “Wow! That’s great!” just to be polite. I mean, these people here are the kind of people that you look at and you have nothing really to say. How can you have anything to say to someone so utterly strong and obviously gritty?
Since being here, I think I have finally discovered myself. It is not just due to the people that I have met, but what I have done. I have had three months to myself. Three months to think about who I am and who I want to be. I have been completely alone during that time. I have had my co-workers and my bosses to keep me company, but really, it has mostly just been me by myself. I have wandered the farm, and thought about my life, what I want from it, what I struggle in it. I think this inner thinking came about due to a sweat lodge I was a part of about a month after I arrived here. Sweat lodges are magical things, and I really honestly believe that being a part of that process was the turning point. If my life were a story, that would be the climax, the point in which a character can never return to the “before.” In that lodge, my head never felt so clear. I was sleeping before, but now, I am awake. I see my life differently, and in that lodge, I actually for the first time felt the most like myself than I ever have. In other words, I feel like I was really the person that I am at my core once I was in that lodge. Never have I felt that way, but that lodge triggered something. Ever since then, it is like I am more aware and I am almost fearless. Every worry seems petty. The lodge coincided well with my work. Annie, my boss, once told me that a lot of people who pass through the farm are sometimes in search of healing, though they may not know it at first. I can easily say that I have changed. Working here, as a young woman, I have found my strength. Growing up, I was told I couldn’t do this or that. I was not strong enough. I was not good enough. I was not allowed to mow the grass because I would “cut off my leg.” I was not allowed to pick up heavy things, because I simply couldn’t. I am small-framed, and I guess that is where this assumption came from. Even on the farm, Jeff once told me to have someone help me pick up a 30 pound box of carrots. I told him that I could do it myself, but he did not listen, and told one of the other ladies to help me, to make sure I received help. When he left, I waved the woman off, telling her in Spanish, that I could do it just fine by myself. And, I did, no problem. But, see, I learned here, that people will always tell you, you can’t. I can’t get an English degree because I won’t get a job. I can’t learn to drive because I am too much of a nervous person. I can’t go to the college of my dreams because I can’t give them what they want. I can’t make the money, and I can’t b the perfect student. I can’t lift heavy things because I am a girl. I can’t have a boyfriend because I am too young and I am not strong enough. Actually, no. I say no. I can do things. I can mow, and I did. I didn’t lose a leg. I have a boyfriend who treats me right, and who I have no fear of. I can learn how to drive, and I have been doing great. I can carry carrots. I can carry 30 pounds, and 40 pounds, and 50 pounds. I can have three jobs and go to school full time and have friends and have fun all at the same time. Life has not limited me. The core of who I am tells me that I am strong enough. I am able. And, I have discovered this because these past few months the only person I have had is myself. My mom always said the only person you can ever rely on is yourself, because that is the only person who will be with you until the end. She is right, and I learned that here. I also learned how important people are too, however, I have learned that there are so many different people in this world, and they all offer so much. I have become attached to everyone I have met here. One of Annie’s friends, Laima, gave me a little rabbit figurine after I had my first lodge. She told me that the rabbit is my spirit animal. The rabbit is known for its fear. It runs away from the things it fears; that is how the rabbit survives. It lives its life running. But, it is also smart, and it listens. It listens well to the universe, and takes in all of what it has to say. Recently, I have been running into a lot of rattle snakes. I told Laima about this, how snakes terrify me, but that they are significant considering that rabbits are snakes’ prey. She told me that the snake is my transformative animal. Snakes shed their skin to start afresh. Laima believes that the snake is a symbol for my transformation, that I am shedding my skin, changing. I believe her. I am no longer afraid (of snakes, yes!). I feel refreshed from working here, and I am excited about the new possibilities that await me. I look forward to it. And so, with that, I am moving back to school, into a new dorm with a new roommate. I will start my college career over again, as a new person. I am more thankful now and more aware. I hope that in these next days, weeks, months, and years that I am able to keep the knowledge and understandings of myself with me. Because as I very well know, it is easy to lose sight of who you are and what matters most.
I thought this was one sweet pic! I went to Muir Woods back in May, and I took a lot of great pictures. I thought this one was stunning. Trees are so cool. They are just so mysterious, and they always feel so distinguished to me. I don’t know. I just always feel so solemn and respectful around them, like they are something to cherish. They are beautiful and they hold such secrets. I always wonder what kinds of things trees have seen. Especially Redwoods. They are so beautiful. I love John Muir, and I love trees. I always thought it was so cool, and a bit comical to think that little, dwarfish, ancient John Muir with his signature white beard had such a long involved conversation with Roosevelt. It amazes me to think that he made so much progress for the Redwoods. I am glad these big trees are here today. They are like the grandfathers of all trees with their fuzzy, deep maroon bark. So calm and simple, which is so hard to find in every day life.
My boss found this baby bird in the eaves of the house. On the farm, there are billions of cats, and they all like to prey on poor defenseless animals. My boss gave me the bird to take care of; I am sure you can imagine my excitement! My baby was so sweet. When I held it, it would fall asleep in my hands. It is a starling, and I named it Rue from the Hunger Games. I thought it was fitting, because she sang like a bird, and was so bird-like. I was feeding my baby wet cat food, because apparently that is the best thing for little baby birds. Yesterday, I went to the farmer’s market, and I put my boss in charge of feeding it. (You are supposed to feed baby birds every hour or so, because they are so little and need the nutrients.) Well, when I got back to market, Rue was gone. I was looking all in her cage, and she just wasn’t there. I started to freak, and when I found my boss in the orchard, he just said a cat got it. He had gone up to feed her, and he had found little Rue all munched up. I was so sad. I cried for about an hour. When I went back to my room, I found its little baby feathers all over the floor. They are so tiny. I have kept every one of them. I am having a funeral too, for my baby. Poor, dear Rue!
I live in a barn. Outside my barn window, you can see the roof. A lot of nights, I lay out there staring up at the stars. It is truly amazing, to be able to see stars. In the city, you don’t get that. It is just a lot of noise and a lot of distractions. I love being here; it’s so healing and beautiful. I have once even seen a shooting star. I feel like a character in those books I am always reading. You know, the kind where there is this girl or boy who is wrapped up in the beauty of the world and so he or she climbs out the window and lays on the roof to achieve peace and quiet? Yes, that is me, here in this magical place. Sure, it is a lot of work most of the time, but it is worth the view.
So, I am in California doing this internship thing. My very best friend that goes to school with me (and as of right now, is in Colorado for her internship!) texted me today to let me know she is not going back to college with me after we are done our internships. Not only that, but she and I had planned on hanging out at her place in CA, visiting touristy places and just plain old exploring and having fun before we had to go back to school. She had mentioned to me that she was considering not going back, but I was grateful that I would at least get to see her before I went back to our school. But, today, she told me that she would not be returning and she could no longer do our planned week of California fun and sun. I am so bummed. She was my greatest friend at school. She always had a crazy joke to throw out, and she always was my study-buddy in all of our classes. We even had a hand-shake! We had our own little hand-shake that I suppose we figured out in Stats when we should have been paying attention. But thing is, stats was easy-peasy. We had no difficulties, and we always had fun joking and laughing in the back. In psych, we always worked together. It was just a given that we were going to be best friends.
But, now, she is gone. I will be going back to school alone, without even being able to say goodbye. And, I have no idea where I will be living during the week we had planned on, in California. I am a poor, college student. I chose to come to California for this internship over other takers because I expected to stay with my friend and save money. Now, my living arrangements are up in the air, and I may have to spend even more money (that I don’t really have) to transport myself…somewhere. I really, really hate this. I miss my friend, and I have found I hate this adult thing. I all of a sudden yearn to be a child that is someone else’s problem and not my own. I know this is not fair. I need to “man-up.” I am just so sad. I never saw this coming. I am utterly alone. I suppose I will have to step up to the plate like an adult is supposed to do. I suppose I will have to stop crying, throwing this tantrum, pick myself off the floor, and start again. Look up some places. Call some places. Make arrangements with places. Be successful with these places… Know where these places are, and find myself a home for a week. Adult life sucks.
Today, I was a part of my very first farmer’s market. It was very overwhelming. I still don’t have all the prices and varieties of jams and jellies and veggies down. There were so many people, but it was a beautiful chaos. In the midst of all this, I became even more connected to the family that allows me to stay under their barn roof. I have worked alongside my employers in the fields and inside the home. I have eaten meals with them and I have really gotten to know them in this short span of two weeks. I honestly have never met such a happy, contented, and very loving family. Sure, my family was loving and wonderful. I grew up very happy, but at the same time, these people have no cares or worries in the world. They have completely and utterly accepted me with ease, as if I am one of their own. How is that emotionally possible? And, then, I am credited with maturity from my boss and also told that I have una cabeza intelligente from one of my Spanish-speaking coworkers. This family is so motivated. They are happy to work and they are so lovely to one another. Sometimes I fear I do something wrong, but I am forgiven easily. Sometimes at dinner, I thank them for something that has been offered to me, and I hear a “you bet.” Etiquette does not exist; a thank you is not necessary or expected to them. It’s almost like they want to give; they are content with getting almost nothing in return. Granted, I am working for them for three months on an internship for college credit, but they are feeding me and housing me and paying me. I am a stranger to them. I could be a serial killer. I could be thief! I could be an arsonist! I could be a wild maniac!!!! But, I am free to go as I please. I may wander and I may explore, but I am not locked up nor am I considered untrustworthy. Sometimes when I am laughing in that kitchen and adding to the piles of jokes going around the table, I feel like I belong here. I belong among the beautiful irises popping their skinny little heads through their leaves and the vibrant, long snapdragon stalks. I belong beside my boss, sweating hard in that beating sun, while I turn beds over and shovel them into place, ordering them into rows. I feel like I belong when I wake up in the morning to see the bright, neon green branches of the willow tree swinging by my window and the sun rising up above it.
But, then when night comes, I think about my friends I left and who are on their internship now like me. I have a friend in Nicaragua. Several in Ohio. My boyfriend in New Jersey. Another friend in Colorado. Some in California. It’s amazing that there are so many of us out their in the work place right now! But, at the same time, I miss them very much. I miss their companionship and their silly talks. I miss laughing with people my age! And, then there’s my family. My brother is in Canada. And then the others are back in Tennessee. It sucks, especially since it’s Easter. I hate not being home during holidays. I miss them the worst because we have traditions I won’t be a part of. Instead, I am sharing the traditions of another family. Am I burden, I wonder? I guess, that’s my problem. Maybe they can accept me with such kindness…but I can’t accept their kindness!
And, when night comes, I can’t stop thinking about all the people I wish I had beside me. I feel so lonely sometimes. That’s when ten weeks feels like a looooong time.
So, I am finally here. I have started my first internship. I am currently working on a small organic farm in Northern California. I got here three days ago. It has been a very long, but contented three days. I never thought that rural California would seem far more country than good ‘ole TN, which I just left. I was there for spring break because that’s where my family lives. Anyway, the place is beautiful and hot. You have no idea how thankful I am for warm weather, despite the fact that my hands are sweating on these keys as I type this post in the attic of a barn. Yes, I said attic of a barn. That’s where I live actually. I live up here, and every morning I am greeted to brilliant sunshine streaming through my windows right across from my bed. I do not have a shower. I have a tub. I also have quite a few spider roommates. I watch them fight each other on the ceiling every morning when I wake. They sometimes travel to others’ webs and they will stop moving to try and feel the vibrations of their neighbors and testing if maybe they can make a snack of the smaller ones! I have been working some long days, but it is so worth it. I am really loving every second of it. Until later!
So, this is it. My empty dorm room. All my bags are packed and ready to go. I got my Spongebob blanket to sleep on for tonight. In the morning, I am taking a bus to home. Look how sad that part of my room is. The room actually echoes. I can hear every click-clack of my computer keys twice, as it bounces back to me. I am kinda sad. I probably won’t ever live in this room again. But, at least, I will be going on my internship really soon. I am going to be in California! I am super excited. But, that means I won’t see my friends for three months! I hate that!! Anyway, it is Bon Voyage, for now!