October has not been my month

It just really hasn’t.

  1. So I’d been trying to buy cheap tickets to my alma mater’s homecoming football game coming up on the 27th, and my college was offering them at decent prices. However, when I finally registered for their event, I was put on a wait list for football tickets. Sigh, OK, that’s what I got for procrastinating. Not wanting to see if I would eventually get off that list or not, I finally bought football tickets last night through the athletics’ site. Not that big of a price difference, so I felt OK. However, today, my college called me to say they had tickets for me! And so I had to turn that down. That’s $25+ I could have saved right there. #facepalm
  2. I accidentally ran a red light last Friday. I’ve semi-run red lights before, where they turned red as I was speeding towards the yellow, but last Friday I legit just went through a solid red light. I swear it was an accident! Granted, I was transporting 4 of my girlfriends, who were already buzzing off alcohol, and blaring Spice Girls in my car, so it’s fair to say I was easily distracted. But all I remember is looking at the driver next to me, who looked like she was grimacing in a pretty funny way. I was about to mention this to my friends when I saw a green come on in the corner of my eye. My friends said something, and I started easing onto the pedal. Then someone said, “Uhh, where are you going?” and I realized I was about to drift through a solid red light! The green that I saw was from the light of the street that was crossing the one we were on! And like the idiot that I was, I decided to hell with it and continued on through. I really hope there were no cameras there. And I seriously half thought I was going to be pulled over at any second. And thank goodness there was no traffic coming through that crossing street!
  3. The office manager at my retail job yelled at me last Saturday. And she didn’t just yell. She barked. At me. In public. In front of customers. Even as I tried in vain to defend myself (she completely accused me of slacking off and not doing my job when I had legitimate reasons for doing what I was doing at the time) she barked mean things at me. Now, I don’t heavily dislike this manager. I know she’s known for being tough—a barker. But she had no right to basically put me down in public and claim that I don’t know what I’m doing and that I need to do my job properly. I almost teared. That’s the worst part. I almost cried! I was so insulted, I was ready to turn in my two weeks’ notice and be like, “Bitches, I have a real job, I don’t need your bullshit!” But then the office manager came back up to me an hour later and apologized. She knew she assumed wrong and she knew that I know how to do my job and I do a good job of it. So I didn’t quit. But damn, if ever I need a reason to get rid of my part-time gig I’m definitely using that!
  4. Work in general has just been stressful. Both my full-time career job and my retail job.
  5. Boys have also been sucking major.
  6. So have a lot of my friends.
  7. And I’m sure there’s like a dozen other stories I can write out here. But I’m going to spare myself the pain.

Hasta luego, Champaign…

Today’s my last day in Champaign. The next time I come here, it’ll be just for a visit and not for another semester. The feeling’s so surreal, and at the same time…not.

Yesterday two tornadoes blew through town. The sirens rang at around 7pm, the television was bleeping, and heavy rains and winds were beating down upon our little apartment. I even stupidly went outside to look at the skies, which sure enough were rotating and looked an eerie green. Scariest 20 minutes of my life. Luckily the tornadoes were somewhere far off campus. Great way to send me off, college.

It’s the fourth time in the past year that I’m packing up all my belongings and heading elsewhere. And this time, I’ll be going back home to the suburbs, where I haven’t “lived” since 2009. I have no friends left, no job. No car either. What I will be doing come June 18 (the day my family and I come back from the Philippines) is beyond me.

This good-bye is a little less epic and exciting than my last few days in Champaign last summer before studying abroad. There seems to be a scant amount of people still on campus this week and last night I merely downed my drinks sorrowfully than the usual socializing with a good crowd. There’s so many things I never got to do, like explore the main stacks at the library or get a salad from Za’s one more time (doesn’t help that it burnt down over spring break!). There’s so many final good-byes I never got to make.

Last night when my roommate and I returned home from the bars, I ended up a crying blubbering mess. I hate that my memories of college will be tainted because of a dumb boy and I hate that this dumb boy is still haunting me even though he doesn’t know it and probably doesn’t care.

And again, I’ll have to explain all this sometime soon…

The art of letting go

Hurrah, hurrah! I’ve finished my monstrous 15-page research paper for EPS 310! Time to start doing other work, yay! /end sarcasm

It’s come to my attention that I am now almost a full month away from college graduation. I know what you’re thinking. How do I feel? Am I ready for the real world? Am I ready to let go? These are just examples of the flurry of questions I’ve been getting lately.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the past year, it’s that whether or not you’re ready to let go, you’re gonna have to let go. Last school year I had to learn to let go of a few people, a few comforts. That was normal, since it was the end of my third year of college. Then summer came, and I had to learn to let go of my “home” life. Instead of returning to the suburbs, working at the movie theater, and hanging out with “home” friends, I did something different and stayed in Champaign. I worked a ‘real’ job, hung out with people I never normally would have hung out with during the school year (aside from my roommate), and created an actual real life for myself pretty much.

Then in August I had to let that go. It was probably one of the hardest things I’d ever done. Even though I knew I had this wonderful adventure abroad waiting for me, the interruption to my blissful summer was — literally — heartbreaking. And it had to happen, because prior to summer I had made the decision to study abroad during the first semester of my senior year. As for that decision? Definitely do not regret it at all and I am so so thankful I was able to go. Costa Rica was truly one of the best times of my life. Honestly, in the four months I spent there, I felt more at home than I’d ever felt in the three previous years at Champaign. I had friends and family there. I had a host mother who mothered me in ways I never experienced before. She was the emotional and loving support I was lacking from my own real mother.

And of course, letting go of all that was hard. Unlike my good-byes to summer, these good-byes were extra difficult because I didn’t (and still don’t) know when I’d see Costa Rica again. I didn’t just say farewell to the wonderful people of Central America, but the American friends I’d made as well. At the beginning of my study abroad experience, I couldn’t imagine staying for more than a semester, and thought the first month was hard enough. But by the end, I did not want to leave Costa Rica at all. I never wanted to leave.

But like before, I just had to let go.

I think that entire year of upheaval and changes has definitely affected the way I’ve approached this semester. I’ve been operating with the mindset that nothing is ever permanent. A year from now, I know I won’t be hanging out with the same people anymore. It’s the story of my life. I’ve never had a friendship last for a significant amount of time. I’ve never been in a relationship and it appears that me and the male species just don’t…well, we mesh very well (if you know what I mean…) but obviously it doesn’t seem I qualify as girlfriend-material. I have nothing tying me down. Even the great city of Chicago, the place I once called my hometown, my anchor…doesn’t quite stir the same feelings within me anymore.

Point is, I have no idea where my life is going to lead me in the coming months. I have some vague plans, but at the moment I have no idea where I’ll be living, who I’ll be surrounding myself with (family- and friends-wise), what I’ll be doing to make a living. And you know what? I am perfectly fine with that. It is much easier to let go than to hang on.

I don’t have anything or anyone to live for but myself right now.

Get, me, outta here!

The story goes like this:

My roommate and I are in line to enter the bar, our third for the night. We’re in the door and my roommate proceeds to hand the guy behind the cash register money. I watch nonchalantly as he hands her change, and then out of nowhere these two blondes cut in front of us, telling the guys working that they’d already paid cover earlier. Immediately the guys demand to see their stamps, because in order to re-enter the bar without paying cover again you had to have had your hand stamped before leaving. Meanwhile, my roommate and I are standing behind these girls, waiting for them to get through so that she can get through and I can pay my cover.

The blondes go in, and my roommate follows after them. Well lo and behold, the guy at the cash register immediately stops her and demands payment. Flabbergasted, my roommate says she literally just paid him, seconds before the girls had rudely interrupted. The guy doesn’t believe her and asks to see a stamp. Again, my roommate insists that she had literally just paid the cover and never moved an inch. This guy, whom I shall dub D.A. (for Dumb. Ass.), says she can’t go in without a stamp, and if she doesn’t have a stamp then she’s gotta pay up.

This is when I explode. I start telling the guy that we’ve been standing there the whole time and that I saw him hand her change just minutes ago. Things get a little hazy, mostly because of the adrenaline and alcohol that rushes through me at this point. I’m arguing with D.A., and he eventually stands up and starts intimidating me and gets into my face. For a moment I think about retaliating, but I restrain myself from doing something physical. The other guy working behind the door, handing out raffle tickets, sides with D.A. and even the boys behind us in line say they don’t remember her paying either. I am livid, furious, beyond pissed off at this point and try really hard not to start busting shit up around the place (I know I’m a “short little Asian girl” but don’t fucking mess with me like that). D.A. proceeds to try and kick us out, shouting, “Get these bitches out of here.”

Finally I go back outside to where the bouncers are. I go to the one who gave me my wristband and ask him, “We just got here, right? We literally just got our wristbands!” I explain, somewhat, the situation and they point me to a guy dressed in a black peacoat, who goes inside to fix the problem. He tells D.A. to let us in; D.A. eventually agrees to let my roommate in but not me. The guy in the coat basically asks me to placate D.A. and just apologize for “yelling” at him. I flat out refuse at first, then give him a halfhearted “Whatever, sorry” before shoving money in his face and storming into the bar.

I hate the male species. I hate this town. I have never been more ready to get the fuck out of college.

It’s already August, WTF?

So I have less than a month here in the United States before I jet off to Costa Rica for a good four months. My feelings? Very mixed. A veritable melting pot of emotions, one swirling after the other and wisps of it emanating from time to time. Alright, enough with the wordiness, but one thing’s for sure.

I’m just not (entirely) ready yet.

Naturally, I’m not too surprised at this conclusion. I’ve never been ready to do anything no matter how excited I may have gotten for it in the past, save for that glorious day when I finally left for college three years ago (three years? How?!). I’m never ready to leave Champaign when the school year ends, I’m never ready to leave Bartlett when the school year (or semester) is about to start up again, I’m never ready for anything.

Sometimes I question my decision to stay in Champaign this summer. I don’t regret it at all, but I do think about how things may have played out if I hadn’t stayed here and just went back to the suburbs. I’ve actually never been more than ready to leave Champaign (I’m in need of the hustle and bustle that is Chicagoland), but the idea that I won’t actually be coming back for the fall semester is a little jarring. I know I’ve always said that I’m meant to study abroad, I need to get out of this country, I need something to jolt my life back into that feeling of excitement and awe of the future…but I never expected to get so comfortable with the people I managed to surround myself with this summer.

But I guess before I can even think about saying good-bye, I should get some work done. And by some work I met a shitload of work.