This is Nicole Testa here, reporting to you live from beneath three blankets, a pile of dirty laundry and roughly 47 books. The only false thing about that sentence is that I'm not a news reporter. I've just finished up my work for this fall semester and am very slowly (think baby sloth) burrowing my way back to reality, one Sufjan Stevens Christmas album at a time. It's so strange to me that I've managed to neglect this blog for so long, especially since things have been changing a bit up in here, up in here. One might even say these changes made me act a fool up in here, up in here. I'm sorry, I couldn't help it (I'm not sorry, but I couldn't have helped it).
You might have read my post, "The Giver," a few days (weeks, months, YEARS? Okay, definitely not years) ago, or you might have started and been like screw this after a few sentences. That post felt weird didn't it? Ew, that post. Let's just put it behind us. Except for that jumper. Let's put that jumper on me. The problem, I think, is that last week, I had a lot of things I wanted to say, but I wasn't ready to say them. I was jumping the gun on saying things that I really couldn't talk about at the time, and what resulted was this weird, sort of self-righteous, not even completely honest post that made me go "yuck-o, buck-o" (I probably didn't actually say that).
The main change I'm talking vaguely about is that I quit my part-time job last Friday. There were a lot of reasons, most of them personal. This was no easy decision, no-sirree Bob. Or, the Christmas version, "no-sirree, Parson Brown." This semester was difficult. I had too much on my plate to be happy, and the problem was that it was all voluntary. I put that stress-food on my plate myself. And let me tell you, stress-food is gross, like liver or brussels sprouts or Flinstones vitamins. Next semester will be my final semester of college, possibly my final semester in "school," and I want to participate in it. I want to find new opportunities for myself, experience new things. I want to spend all morning dissecting an Emily Dickinson poem while that is still part of my job as a student. I want to at least try to be social (???) and do some silly and not so silly college things while I still can. I want to graduate with as few regrets as possible.
One of the wisest people I know told me repeatedly over the past few months that if you're not happy at your job, if your work doesn't make you feel good, then there's no reason to stay. I know that it's not that easy, but it is very, very important. It is important to feel valuable, and safe, and productive, and excited - especially when you're still young and figuring things out. And I was neglecting my itch to "expand my horizons," to seek a new happiness when the old one had run dry. But now I am determined to scratch the itch (literally and figuratively, btw). I am so excited to have found an amazing internship for this spring at a place called Figment (some of you folks might remember I entered a poetry contest there last year and asked for you to help by voting for me. Thanks for that, again). I'll be doing a lot of work that I care about, and learning a lot of new things, and traveling to the city and probably drinking too much flavored coffee. It just feels like a right decision in so many ways, and that is a swell feeling.
This semester has been one of so many goodbyes, of so many instances of me feeling like time was running out on me while I scrambled to find my balance, to find the right words to say to the right people. I know everyone is, like, stereotypically "bad at goodbyes," because honestly, if you met a person who was excellent at goodbyes you'd probably think they were a real jerk. But, I am especially bad, because I cling, and don't see the point in any relationship (with a few exceptions) being final, which is not a viewpoint everyone shares, as I have found. But as I say goodbye to friends graduating early, co-workers with superb facial hair, old jobs, old classes, old pairs of tights, I take pride in knowing that it is possible to move forward without losing the things you leave behind, that you can take leaps and do new, exciting, scary things, and only have to say "but I'll see you soon, because I love you." Now, let's all raise the hypothetical Caramel Brulee Lattes we all wish we had and toast to progress without forgetfulness, and the good selfishness that can be really hard sometimes, but is necessary if we want to grow and find out how wide our arm spans can really be.
I know that indoor photos are a no-no, unless there's like, daylight, and a white, blank wall or whatever, but outdoor shots were just not happening today (or yesterday, or the day before that), and hey, at least there's a Christmas tree?