I can hear the strains of Europe’s gentle serenade “The Final Countdown” in the background–with the visual image of Gob from Arrested Development dancing on stage with scarves waving, knife in mouth, and absolutely no illusions being performed–as I begin to actually countdown the days I have left in Florida. Actually, I’ve been keeping a mental countdown going since walking across the stage during graduation (actually, since talking to Kelly J during graduation before walking across the stage, making snarky comments to each other about the lameness of the metaphor the keynote speaker–who was from the Weather Channel!–and the “Join the Alumni Association! Join the Alumni Association! We desperately need members and y’all are 800 prime targets, so join the Alumni Association. Give us your money, join the Alumni Association!”), which, all told, was an incredibly moving ceremony. One I’ll carry with me always.

But now begins the time when I can actually remember to count down the days until I leave for Philadelphia and the real world. It starts today at 7. Yes, seven days, one week, until I board that plane at the ungodly hour of before 7AM for the first of two flights to get me to Philadelphia. I’m not sure why I’m so keen to look forward to this event. From everything I’ve heard it will be long, boring, and it will actually physically break down my self-confidence, self-esteem, and destroy any shred of competence I thought I possessed. Well, that’s institute, that’s not orientation. Maybe the first week really won’t be so bad. But I doubt it.

Simply having to move all of my valued possessions in two suitcases and two carry-ons isn’t going to be hard as much as it will be annoying. I mean, I can willingly say goodbye to my 20+ shelves of books that line my room, but why? I’m gonna be an English teacher, right? I should have those at my fingertips at all times. I should have my classroom literally just be full of shelves for my students to be intimidated and inspired by all the knowledge that lies before them. And at the very least, all those books makes me look really smart, because it seems like I’ve read them all (which I have definitely not done).

Facing the stark reality, I’m cutting down my worldly possessions to two giant suitcases (I am already imagining the enjoyable trip getting from the airport to wherevertheheckigottagettohopefullyTFAwilltellme) and two carry-ons. I’m focusing on clothes first, unopened bottle of Crown Royal second, flask third. OK, I’m really not that much of an alcoholic (though the flask and Crown will be packed in the first go around), so it will probably look more like this: clothes, laptop, blah, blah, blah. See what a more boring list that was. Just goes to show how uninteresting the truth really is. Or at least just my boring truth. Maybe I should aspire to one day be so interesting this blog would become about the most interesting this ever.

I’ll be holding my breath, and scanning the skies for pigs, until that happens. But to focus back on the important stuff–the adventure is afoot!

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