One time I was accepted to a phd program. It was a pretty big deal for a girl who'd never ever ever seen graduate school in her future. My academic habits were not necessarily awesome. I didn't see myself as a doctoral candidate. At all.
But thanks to professors who believed in me (despite my academic disatrousness), I got accepted to a program in the south. The program wasn't top ten, but it wasn't terrible. It was somewhere in the middle, and after the 4 years—I'd have a phd after my name. I thought that's all that mattered.
Of course I would go! I was going to get a phd! Woohoo! But then, my older cousin told me I had to visit the campus. Since I had a friend who lived about an hour away—I thought, fine. I'll go.
I thought I was born for the South. I like cowboy boots. I like small towns. I love being in the middle of nowhere.
But, then—I went and I just couldn't do it.There were too many trees.
They were tall and skinny and I couldn't see the sky.
I felt like I was choking.
When another student, with a lot of enthusiasm, showed me the on-campus housing, I thought: You will die here.
It's not that I'm high maintenance. I can handle anything. Mostly. But, I can't handle not seeing the sky. And I can't handle being in a dark, green-colored room where I can't see the sky. And I can't handle not seeing wide, open spaces some where close to where I wake up.
I said, no.
I did something else.
Where I could live in place with a view of the sky.Sometimes I think of moving back east. Living in Boston, or South Carolina. Or something. But, I wonder how I'll live without the gulping gaping distance of the west.
I want to fold it all up (the tumble weeds, the miles and miles and miles of dirt, the joshua trees, the cholla, the ocotillo, the great salt lake, the gigantic mountains, the hills, the valleys, the farm fields, the irrigation canals, the deserted waterpark off of I-15, all the deserted houses, the entire coastal region of southern California, everything west of the Mississippi) and stick it to the back side of my ribs. Paste it there with glue so I can see it every time I breathe.