It’s official! One week from today, I’ll be in Houston, about to begin Induction. Over the past few weeks at home I’ve been trying to pin down exactly how I feel about Induction/Institute/TFA/life-after-college. But feelings are fleeting and hard to understand. I seem to seesaw between two extremes. Sometimes, I am terrified of Institute. I dread it. I don’t want to go. I want to be doing something else. But other times, I’m incredibly excited – a little bit optimistic, even – and eager to begin the adventure. Maybe it’s okay that I don’t know how I feel. Maybe it’s okay to go into it all without a nice, summative way of describing how I feel.
In general, I’ve noticed myself feeling gloomier than usual. Maybe it’s just a bit of melancholy over leaving home; no matter how many times I’ve done it, each time feels just as sad. And there’s a bit of melancholy over all the little realizations, every day, reminding me that I graduated from college. I know that sounds odd. But sometimes I forget that I’m done, sometimes I forget that the people and places and conversations are now part of a chapter of my life that “happened” instead of “is happening.” I know I will create new memories and enjoy such a variety of new experiences I can’t even imagine right now. But it’s always hard for me to let things go.
I caught a pretty nasty cold so I’ve been battling that for the past few days (better now than at Institute, right?) and a tropical storm system is sitting right over my coastal hometown, meaning it’s been raining for the past week & will likely rain for another week. I legitimately haven’t seen the sun in days and days. That’s playing into my gloom too.
It’s late and I’m certainly not at my most eloquent. I’m trying my hardest to get into the right mindset for Institute but I don’t really know what that means. I drove seven hours round-trip two days ago to visit my best friend, the one who’s about to finish her first year of TFA (not in Houston). We ate dinner on her bedroom floor and talked about life (as we always do) and she said she actually really liked Institute. So that’s comforting. But I’ve also heard so much non-comforting feedback about Institute and that’s the feedback that seems to seep into my brain the most.
For me, the worrying is the worst part. The fear of the unknown, the anticipation, with its decrepit gray fingers reaching around corners and seeping into the happy, worry-free parts of my life. I try to take a deep breath and just power through/plunge forward/lean in, but my brain doesn’t always realize the futility of worrying.