Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Oh Berkeley...you have my heart. And most of my life savings.
I'm sitting here in my dining room (or, living room/ bedroom/ kitchen/ rumpus room,) I'm wearing someone else's shirt, (that happens far too often, and it is a girl's shirt, so calm down Mom,) drinking a glass of writing juice, (coffee. JUST KIDDING. WINE.) and realizing:
Holy crap. I'm almost graduating.
The time is almost here. I almost have that diploma I have been steadily working for the last 5 years of my life. I walk in May, officially graduate the first week of August...
and then I'm done.
This all is done.
And I won't be in Berkeley anymore.
I started this process closing myself up in this tiny apartment when Brett left, feeling completely lost and confused and so, so scared of being on my own. If you have been with me on this whole journey through the blog, you remember that 2 hours after Brett pulled away I was: 1. Bleeding, 2. Drunk, and 3. Had broken 4 things in my apartment. One was a glass door that almost crushed my mother-in-law. Now, that would have been awkward.
And here I am. In someone else's clothes, yes, but still me- and yet...a really different "me" that I am pretty jazzed about.
Looking back on previous posts I can trace my growth, (and, ok, increased partying,) post by post. At times I was laughing over my own words. And then extremely embarrassed that I was laughing at my own stuff. There were times I cringed, times I read between the lines and knew what I had omitted, and times I read and thought I probably should have just gone to bed and not blasted my sloppy ill-formed opinions all over the internets.
And there were so many other times where I realized that Berkeley started out as the enemy...and quickly became a close friend.
I live in a city where I have seen, one more than one occasion, a man defecating on the sidewalk. I've also seen more naked people than I would care to admit, and ALL DURING NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS IN PUBLIC. There is a man that sits at the front of campus and has called me both a "Dirty Native American Whore," and a "Filthy Nazi." I always smile at him and say things like, "Hey now...I'm only 1/3 Native American," and I think I'm growing on him.
Or maybe not, because he tried to throw a soda cup full of pee at me last week.
However, that all being said, Berkeley is a place where I fell back in love with theater, made countless friends, and had countless wine and cheese gatherings. I met people that could sit with me on my tiny balcony and drink scotch until 4am while discussing Emily Dickinson's sex life. I sat in Berkeley's gorgeous libraries and luxuriated in the feel of smooth, worn bookcases holding a world of information under my fingertips. I picnicked in the grass, overlooking sweeping views of the bay. I fell in love with this place.
And I think it fell in love with me, because I acquired a real, live stalker- but that is another story.
I have to admit I am going to miss this place. It is, essentially, the place that I grew up. And not in a "I'm-an-adult-now-and-I-only-eat-food-that-has-color-and-I-watch-PBS-way" but in a "hey-I'm-kind-of-a-good-person-and-I-like-hanging-out-in-my-own-skin-but-not-in-a-creepy-Silence of the Lambs-kind-of-way."
Which is progress.
So, hey Berkeley...you sexy, sometimes shockingly inappropriate lady: Thank you. Thanks for not always being gentle on me, for pulling me out of my shell forcefully with those elegant and tan California fingers...and for showing me that I'm not so bad after all. And that I am capable. And I am going to be alright.
And by the way: I love you.
But you need to be a little cleaner. People poop on you.