I Live Here
On Monday I registered to vote. Tuesday I got a job. Yesterday I procured an Indiana driver’s license. It’s official, I live here – but part of me still refers to our now immaculate ranch house in Wausau as home. In my own opinion I’m doing an excellent job of putting down roots and making a life for myself here; the weird thing about moving at this age is that I am responsible for creating my own network of friends and acquaintances. I’m no longer reliant on my parents to introduce me to people and find things in the community that may interest me; this isn’t because they’ve said “Ok Mary, you’re here now, figure it out.” It’s just one of those things that happens; I’ve moved six times now and regardless of my other insecurities I’m realizing that I actually can rely on myself to navigate almost flawlessly through the unfamiliar (and often awkward). “Almost flawlessly,” for me means that I don’t betray the fact that I often have no idea what I’m doing or what paperwork is required to get it done, and, due to the varying degrees of southern twang, I often don’t quite comprehend what people are talking about in the first place.
It was difficult to drive away from my home in Wisconsin, especially not knowing exactly when SuperMum and Jane will be emigrating, per se, to the Hoosier state.
It was sad to register to vote in a state so red that my single unwaveringly liberal vote will make very little difference (oh wait, given what we’ve seen happening in Wisconsin over the past six months, maybe the political chasm is smaller than I initially thought).
It was actually tear-inducing to leave my Wisconsin driver’s license at the Columbus BMV yesterday. It’s only a piece of plastic, but at the same time it felt like I was leaving behind my most concrete link to the good ol’ Dairy State. Yet, in the moment I found myself looking on the bright side, contemplating whether I should say I was 5’7” on this new license. I didn’t because unlike most American women who say they have blue eyes, weigh about thirty pound less and are about three inches taller on their drivers’ licenses, I was honest. I have brown eyes, I’m 5’6” and I said I weigh more than I actually do. Another thing about the Indiana driver’s license is that they don’t let you smile. My picture can most easily be described as the mug shot of an elf who is trying not to laugh.
Now about the job. I’m working at Subway for the summer. I love the irony of it all – I can’t eat bread and I’m working in a sandwich shop. Yesterday was my first day; the people I work with seem personable enough, and the store is pretty is busy, so it should be a fine way to make some money before heading “up the road” to school (no, we do really not refer to B-town as “up the road”). I also lined up a campus job at IU for the coming year – at a cafe. This has done so much alleviate my oh-no-I’m-not-being-productive-enough-anxiety.
My computer, yes the beautiful MacBook Pro that I bought on April 26th has decided to be difficult – yes it made this decision, Macs can totally think for themselves – it makes a clinking noise whenever I pick it up to move it and it only connects to the internet when it feels like it. If it’s tired, or upset or just feels like driving me to the brink of insanity, it will refuse to connect to any wireless network. I took it to the Apple store in Indianapolis on Sunday. They ran a gazillion tests and apparently it functions better than any machine they’ve seen. The tech-genius (who didn’t actually fix the internet problem) was totally jealous of my uber-powerful computer. So, he rewrote some internet-related files and sent me on my way swearing that it was fixed. Well, thanks a bundle buddy, I get home and it won’t stay connected to the internet. I’ll be driving to Indy next week to visit the Apple hospital yet again. This too has brought about tears, just not so many I would have expected. The Mac Support people are accessible and ready to help, so I can’t really be mad. Also, it has a year of warranty and Mac stands by its “Apple Care” so I guess all I can do is keep working with them.
I’ve been here for two weeks now, but I can’t really provide one description of how I’m handling things. Following suit with the rest of our year, life has thrown me some curve balls and I’ve done my best to react in balanced and thoughtful ways. Each day has its ups and down – breakfast is easy, lunchtime gets tough, by dinner I’m usually back on track. But each day’s difficulties don’t seem to be piling up into a heap of despair or self-doubt; yes, I’d really like a hug from SuperMum right now or to go to Starbucks with Jane and just chat; those things will happen eventually, just not right now. I guess hat I’m doing is practicing patience, something I only possess about a teaspoon of (are virtues measured with the same implements as ingredients?). Patience with myself, patience with the moving process.