This is me, right now.
I am currently at the Union of the college from which I graduated last May, using the Internet to write and research. Because, you know, my Internet modem installed last week quit working. And then I got a new one in the mail. Guess what? That didn’t work either.
I moved into my apartment three weeks ago, and I’ve probably spent less than 10 percent of my time inside of it. Almost all of that time was spent sleeping. Besides working full-time, I’ve been either in Liberty (a 40-minute drive) or in Topeka (an hour drive) taking advantage of Jewell’s and friends’ Internet connections (for me, the Internet is a necessity, as I freelance write and research). Plus, last weekend I visited my parents and sisters in Springfield, which is a three hour drive.
Monday morning’s commute began at 5 a.m. on a cool summer morning, and it lasted three hours. I left from my parents’ home in Springfield and drove alongside the Amish in their horse-drawn buggies through the Ozarks hills covered with mist so thick that I thought Rip Van Winkle surely had fallen asleep in these mountains instead of the Catskills.
Three hours in alone in a car: Kasia-in-Transit, indeed. I don’t mind these long periods of solitude. I turn on the radio and listen to Morning Edition; there’s something especially comforting about listening to familiar disembodied voices reporting and analyzing the news. That three hours of quiet meant more than I realized, when breaks had become almost non-existent in my life.
I have a list of novels that I meant to read after I graduated, because I assumed that I would have the time. I miss reading for pleasure, regularly.
I’m tired. I didn’t think I’d be this tired after comps and graduation, but I am. I don’t have many possessions save my clothes and books, and almost no furniture, but my apartment is still somehow a tornado of unpacked items. I haven’t had time to finish up, since I spend my time writing and studying for the GRE and working, and my sleeping patterns are far too similar to my sleep schedule during exam season.
The post-grad life is exhausting, particularly when you are trying to balance paying the bills and pursuing your career and life goals (for me, the same thing). But I’m only 22, so working doubly hard for a low salary, skating by to cover rent, being too proud to move back into my parents’ basement, battling with customer service concerning my wireless connection for two hours at a time, owning a pay-as-you-go-phone, surviving on 20 cent Ramen noodle packets, and sleeping on a twin mattress set on the floor is exactly where I’m supposed to be. Right?