I will actually be starting Week in Reviews for school beginning next Monday (or the Monday after that maybe since I think next week is Labor Day), so I thought it was a fitting title for today’s post (even though it’s actually 10 days, not seven).
As those of you who have been keeping up with the travel blog know, I made it to Connecticut. In that time, I’ve moved in, been oriented, introduced myself to a lot of people, tried a yoga class, seen Shakespeare in the Park, been to two bars and more restaurants than I can count, gone to Target three times and the local grocery stores twice, and experienced both an earthquake and a hurricane. I’ve learned a few fun facts that I view as serendipitous “signs” that this is the place for me to be, but really I’m probably stretching it a bit: 1) Winchester rifles used to be produced here in New Haven and the Winchester Mystery House is located in the Bay Area, 2) James Franco is from Palo Alto and went to school here, and my personal favorite 3) Monica Lewinski graduated from Lewis & Clark and Bill and Hillary met at Yale Law.
Unlike my sister, who started grad school before she even had time to realize she’d been accepted, Yale and I have been entangled in a weird courting ritual for the last nine months. It started in late December, when I received the letter saying that I was invited to interview. Then there was the interview in late January. Then I received a phone call letting me know that I had been accepted in early March (btw, how much would you want to be the person who makes those phone calls?). And after the initial excitement of sending in my deposit and official acceptance of their acceptance, I waited. I continued to work, I continued to see my friends, I continued to do all the things I normally did. I even fit in a Yoga Teacher Training. There were many things for me to do before school started, but none of them could really be done until July, or even August. So I waited. And during that time of waiting, I started to lose touch with what I was doing and why I was going.
Even after finally arriving in New Haven, I still didn’t have that feeling in my gut – the one where I actually feel like I have a fire in my belly (in a good way, not in a “someone forgot to say ‘mild’ when they ordered Indian” kind of way), the one I associate with passion and clarity about my path. Then we had orientation. And within the first hour of sitting there, I felt it, combined with that feeling in my heart – the one that is so open and vulnerable that I feel I might cry, even if I’m happy, the one I associate with Connection. When I went to interview, Linda Pellico, one of our more charismatic faculty, spoke of the importance of vulnerability during our time as students and our careers as nurses. I was fresh off of Brene Brown’s TED talk and saw Linda’s talk instantly as a sign. No other school talked about vulnerability. No other school talked about the importance of being me. No other school implied that I was already perfect and accomplished just the way I was, and that all they were doing was teaching me nursing skills. Within the first hour of orientation, all this was reinforced and the haze of the last six months lifted.
In the days following, I would meet more people, listen to more lectures, attend other events, eat at different places, find the Rainbow equivalent and more. It’s all very strange, and new and different. But perhaps the strangest thing is how normal it all feels.