My once bare bedroom walls have transformed themselves into a functional museum– framed prints, warm scarves, an earring collection, and my own reflection from an ancient plastic mirror. The brown chair near my only window holds dirty clothes more often than people and both sneakers & cowboy boots have claimed their designated spots within the confines of my closet. I have located the sole location under my bed that breeds dust bunnies and at night I can see the lights from the neighbors’ house across the street.
Next Tuesday, my bedroom and I will quietly celebrate our six-month anniversary. We can’t believe how fast the times gone by. On that day, I will try to think back to that sunny afternoon in mid-August when I first committed to my new home.
I now have a fairly regular work routine. Monday-Friday. 9am-5pm. I have favorite grocery stores and can navigate to said grocery stores without my iPhone GPS. I’ve experienced car problems. I have friends who invite me to drinks on Friday night and Downton Abbey on Sunday. I pay my student loans on time. I attended my first political rally. I’ve spent mornings and nights feeling utter alone. I’ve tried mixed martial arts, sweated through Bikram yoga, and attended a writing workshop. I’m afraid I’m getting fat. I feel proud to know the people in my life. I second-guess myself every day.
How do you know when you’ve “made it”?
On the weekend of March 2nd, I will be participating in a Masquerade Bowl-A-Thon. This great event raises funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, an organization in Amherst that provides one-to-one mentoring relationships to local children in Hampshire County who are in need of positive adult influence and friendship. A special person, such as a “big brother” or “big sister” can often be the one factor that can change the destiny of a child’s life, providing the resources and encouragement to become a productive and healthy adult.*
I think about my path in life that has led me to where I am today. Could I have done it alone? Absolutely not. My mother drove out to Northampton multiple times while I looked for places to live. My father took care of all my car problems, taught me to check the oil and use the heated seats. My godparents, Carol and Stan, came out to see my theatre performance as they’ve done for the past 15 years. High school friends have driven out to MA for a weekend of new food and new bars. College friends call just to check in. I’m constantly surrounded by love and warmth from other caring souls.
Our bowling team, expertly called “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gutter” has already raised $1,147.00 and we still have three weeks to go. In some small way, I am helping to support children who weren’t as lucky as I was growing up. My six month anniversary in Northampton, MA is not a reason for a celebration but for a thank you. Thank you to all the friends and family members who have contributed to our team and to my life.You mean the world to me.
To donate to the cause, visit:
*Excerpt taken from bowling team website. Thanks Carlin.