These days, I’m just waiting. While everyone around me seems to be getting on with their lives, I’m waiting.
It’s not like I’m waiting for nothing. I applied to a grad school. Results don’t come out until July. If I get in, I’ll get to live in another country for at least a year and study some things I believe a regular job in this country wouldn’t show me. If I don’t, I’ve got a long list of Plan-B things to do.
In the meantime, though, the frustrations pile up. A few weeks ago, Cris and I visited an animal shelter and saw so many dogs in need of a home. We could give one or two a home, but that requires a basic certainty or permanence that our lives don’t really have right now. Dogs, according to our favorite show on Animal Planet, are, at most, a 15-year investment. You can’t take home a dog — previously abandoned, at that — and then give it back after four months because grad school’s come a-callin’ (Cris has applied, too).
My apartment still looks like I just moved in. I put up my shelves and unpacked the books, but I don’t see the point of getting everything set up given the possibility that I might have to leave again. It isn’t like my old apartment, the one with the treetop view that I loved, where I thought I’d live for a few years. I’d planned decor, I was going to get a proper couch, and I was going to replace all the dorm-era bedsheets I was still using. Then, I applied to grad school. And then, I took this job and had to move closer to work.
My dad offered to finance a trip to Europe, particularly so I can go with him and Mon to visit Mikko in Barcelona. The time he set for the trip was the Easter weekend plus two weeks, which is when Mikko is on holiday from school and can tramp around Spain and maybe Paris with us. But because of some changes at work and my fairness thing that other people say I should ignore, I didn’t ask for leave and didn’t apply for a visa.
That fairness thing: Since I went on leave at Christmas while our complement was already understaffed and overworked, I feel someone else should get to go on leave at Easter. This is not actually a rule at work but one of those conscience things. It now looks like nobody is actually going to file for leave, but it’s too late for me to do that now, since visa appointments have to be scheduled months in advance.
Meanwhile, my friends are traveling, or planning to travel, to places nearer than Europe but still some great distance from here. I want to do the same but hold back because I might need the money for school.
I have one more shot to see Barcelona this year, but again, it depends on whether I get into school. My dad says that, if I get in, he’d give me the money that would have gone into my trip to set myself up as a grad student in that other country instead. If I don’t get in, I can go to Spain with my mom, when she visits Mikko in November.
I almost don’t know if I still want to go to school at this point.
If I don’t get in, I get to move to a different place, somewhere with a lower noise level and a pet-friendly landlord. Maybe I can get a new bike, an electric one. Maybe I can look into long-term projects at work. I’ll definitely plan a trip, not just one to Europe, but to all the other places I want to visit.
If I do get in, I get to move to a different place, somewhere with decent public transport and city parks larger than a half-block or a road island. I get to study, feel horribly inferior to my more experienced and more talented classmates, and remind myself that I’m lucky that I even get to be there, learning. Maybe I can get a bike, a second-hand one, handed down by a previous batch of dormers. I’ll bike around the city without fear of getting catcalled or run off the road by jeepney, truck, and cab drivers.
Waiting is the pits. It’s a weird uncertainty where the ifs are a lot sunnier than the but really right nows.
Eh. It’s just a couple more months.