Overwhelmed with this growing up thing

Sometimes I think I’m so ready to be an adult. Have a job, make money, and not be restrained back by school or homework or assignments. Then there are times, like today, where I want to crawl back to college because I had friends there and ruled the town and didn’t really care much about impressing my superiors or hoping that I really really don’t fuck up at my jobs. (For the most part. I mean, obviously I cared in school, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to get my degree.)

I have worked nearly 47 hours in the past seven days in entirely new jobs. And in-between all that I managed to drive down to Champaign for a night and got crazy with the roommates (er, ex-roommates I should say, I guess). I even finished reading Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, which I started over a year-and-a-half ago. I feel so grown up! I’m reading for fun, I’m being social, I’m working. Like an adult. But along with that I’m starting to fret over my student loans, paying credit card bills, and finding money for a revamped work wardrobe (that’s another thing…in college all I wore was sweats and t-shirts…or slutty club tops). I miss being innocent and naive about things. I miss having my friends within a 2-mile radius of me, instead of all over the world. Oh well.

On a less whiny note, the first day of my internship today went pretty well. It’s just always awkward being new anywhere, I guess. And seriously, it’s the story of my life and one of the reasons why I hate my birthday. My first day of high school was on my birthday (did I mention I went from a small private grade school to a large public high school where I knew about 0.2% of the population?). Hell, I spent my birthday last year in a foreign country where at the time I knew next to no one. And now I’ve started two brand new jobs where I’m the new kid who doesn’t know anything and is worried about making good impressions.

Ack, okay, okay. I’m going to stop whining and acting like my life is so terrible. Because it really isn’t. Actually, I’m quite content. I’m employed, my home life has been relatively calm this whole summer, and I go out to the city every weekend with friends I’ve managed to surround myself with again. You know that song “Good Life” by OneRepublic? It’s currently my song of the moment, because I’m definitely feeling the message: This could really be a good life.

And while I’m talking about music I’m currently listening to, I must talk about this song:

I freaking love Miguel. He just sounds so soulful and quirky at the same time. Plus in this song he talks about speaking Spanish but then “accidentally” sings in Portuguese instead. You can’t get any more awesome than that.

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…

Things I miss

First of all, I miss being able to link directly to my pictures from Facebook. I would use my Flickr account, but apparently I’ve used up my 200 image quota, and I don’t quite have the funds to upgrade. So…le sigh.

Second, and third, and fourth, etc.:


Frolicking on the beach! (As shown here while on spring break!)


Even more especially, a Costa Rican beach 🙁


My host madre

I was going to add more pictures but all this uploading is getting rather tedious. So I suppose I’ll leave it at that. In case you couldn’t tell, I really really freaking miss Costa Rica: the people, my host family, the food, the cities, mountains, animals, everything.

In other news, I’ve been looking for ways to rearrange my schedule to make life less hellish for me, and in doing so I’ve realized that I’m going to miss the Chicago Bulls’ regular season game against the Boston Celtics tomorrow night. WTH was I thinking?!

Graduation is now merely weeks away. My only goals for now are to finish the semester strong, stop my frivolous spending, and organize organize organize. At the moment I have less than $100 in my bank account and probably around $20 in cash in my wallet. I’ve resorted to using my credit card to pay for bills and groceries, but inside it’s killing me because I despise my credit card company and I’ve been trying hard not to use it so that I eventually can pay the debt off faster, close the account for good, and move on somewhere else. Alas, I don’t know how I’m going to manage one month left of school with less than $100 in the bank. I do get paid my measly salary pay on Friday for the newspaper, but it most likely will not help. I still have to do my taxes, so hopefully I’ll get something back from that. But otherwise…I feel rather destitute right now.

I’ve actually embarked on a diet from all fast foods and eateries. I last had McDonald’s while at home for spring break, and I’m proud to say that since then I haven’t spent any money on non-grocery foods. I’m also trying this thing where I go out with no intention of buying alcohol at bars. This isn’t a measure to curb my drinking, but to curb my spending on drinking, which alarmed me when I dropped $33 at a Chicago lounge on my last night of spring break (OK, I know $33 is NOTHING for a city establishment but still, I needn’t have drank so much that night!). Over the last weekend I went out twice, spending money only on covers. It worked (my no-spending-for-alcohol-at-bars mission), and yet somehow I still managed to get incredibly intoxicated. That’s what I get for going out with large groups of friends whose mission it is is to get crunk, I guess.

Dilemmas

My appetite seems to have increased tenfold since my return to campus. I don’t know what it is, but I just keep eating and eating. I’ve eaten practically everything there is on Green Street (it’s rather hard to avoid when you have to walk down a street full of shops and restaurants just to get to class!) and going to County Market whenever I run out of grocery items. Even today, I went out for dinner and had a nice juicy burger and fries…and yet some part of me wants to whip up a quick snack right now because I’m not really satisfied with the day’s meals. But I am excited to start incorporating some foods into my meals that I never really had before, i.e. green beans, spinach, sour cream. I blame my host mom for her insanely awesome cooking. Gosh do I miss it!

My boy(s?) situation appears to have gotten way more complicated in the past two weeks than I could ever imagine. There is F, the boy I’ve recently met. We’ve been talking and hanging out quite a bit. In short, everything is great. Super. There are a ridiculous amount of things we have in common, things I can relate to him about. And he’s sweet! Usually I get turned off easily by guys who get emotionally affectionate like that too quickly, but with him I don’t mind! In fact, like I told my roommate today, I’m growing quite fond of F. To the point where I don’t want to get rid of him just yet. Last night he took me out to dinner for Valentine’s Day, the first time in my life where I have ever done such a Valentine-y thing. It was a good date. Very good.

But then…there’s O (these letters were chosen according to a system I just quickly devised, heh). After months of nothing, weeks of silence, days of rescheduling and texting, we finally saw each other today for the first time since August. We met up for dinner and had some alone time before being joined by his roommate (and, unknowingly, his girlfriend, which made everything into an unexpected double date). And, well, nothing was too awkward, I guess you could say (of course, O knows nothing of my pains, blargh). We chatted, caught up on life, the usual. It was just like every other time whenever we’d reunite after some period of not-really-being-friends. (O still looks so damn good, I’ll tell you that. I was having flashbacks and memories and all that…sigh. But anywho.) I was trying very hard not to imply anything, not to make it seem as if right off the bat I would jump back into his arms. Even though…I really wanted to. I’d forgotten how much I loved the smell of him, the warmth of his hug, that silly look on his face whenever he’d smile at me. I’d forgotten that effect he has on me.

And therein now lies the dilemma. Is O going to keep up his end of the bargain in maintaining this friendship? Do I go with F, who has the ability to understand me so much more completely and is more available and actually seems to want me more? Or do I go with O, who I fear I may still be in love with even though he hardly talks to me anymore and it’s hard just to see him even though we are now back in the same friggin’ country? Do I go with someone who, on paper, is my soulmate, or do I go with the person whom my roommate has dubbed the love of my life?

Or do I just take the easy route, say “Fuck ’em all” and instead concentrate on the massive amount of schoolwork I have to do for the next week?

I’m home

Ugh.

Well, not completely ugh. It’s nice to be able to sleep in my comfy bed again, watch TV whenever I want, and have my entire wardrobe available to me again.

But needless to say, I’m already missing Costa Rica dearly.

It’s the weirdest feeling. I don’t want to hate being home, but at the same time I’m hating being away from Costa Rica. I went to several places today, including the DMV, Meijer, the mall, and Wal-Mart; each time, it was like I almost forgot how to communicate in English. I kept having to remind myself not to say things like “Buenas” (Greetings/Hello) or “Con permiso” (Excuse me) or “Gracias” (Thank you [in case you didn’t know that :P]). Every time I’d hear people speak in Spanish around me, I’d get slightly excited and would strain my ears to listen. I’ve been listening to my “puravida” playlist nonstop and looking longingly at the supplies of Cacique, Flor de Caña and Imperial I have laying on my bed. Memories of the past 4 months keep flooding back to me.

Is this what they mean by reverse culture shock?

In other news, like I’d previously mentioned, I went to the DMV today to finally renew my driver’s license. The guy gave me a hard time at first, because my license had expired long time ago while I was in Costa Rica. But I finally got my horizontal, 21+ ID. And then after I went and bought alcohol at Meijer. It was only a 6-pack of Woodchucks, but buying alcohol legally for the first time in the U.S. was definitely quite exhilarating.