A small part of me feels she understood how Rip Van Winkle felt when he awoke covered in dead leaves, wondering how long he’d been asleep. His body was stiff but otherwise seemed to be his own, albeit older and lacking the boundless energy supplied only by youth. He stretched–slowly–and made his way down the mountain from whence he came, back through the trees. He, like the rest of us, was wholly unaware of what the future had in store, trailing only a distant memory and his long white beard.
Instead of leaves, I woke up from my metaphorical stupor surrounded by packed boxes and dirty clothes from a move I could barely remember. Was this my home? How long had I lived here? Nestled near my things were other unfamiliar items that I definitely did not own. A bicycle. A desktop computer. Men’s underwear. In this new apartment, it slowly dawned on me. Someone else did live here too. My boyfriend.
I tried to remember the last time I’d seen my best girlfriends for a glass of wine or went to a yoga class. Where had I been all these Saturday and Sunday nights? I tried to count the days that I had come to think of myself as “missing”. I had fallen asleep, dreaming only of algebra equations and grammatically correct sentences for over three months. I immediately texted my friends and rushed into the bathroom to check my face. No beard. My phone started to buzz. My friends were alive and still remembered me.
For me, the GMAT was a mentally exhausting, all consuming type of test requiring almost all my mental capacity and periodic personal pep talks. I have a newfound appreciation for anyone who decides to go the route of business school, tackling this immense hurdle way before acceptance letters arrive and classes begin. The only positive thing I can say about the GMAT is that is a wonderful excuse if you get asked to dog sit for a week or attend that birthday party so far out in Queens, it might as well be Long Island. The GMAT became my only excuse to abandon every part of my life except for work, food and occasionally sleep.
I missed writing. Day after day, I would rush home from work and open my books to practice yet another rate problem (Rate x Time = Work) or quiz myself on tackling percentages (If Sally bought a shirt for $50 at 35% off after a 60% price increase….). In those months of math, I desperately missed words. I missed putting them down on a page with my funny, half-cursive scrawl. I missed typing on my laptop long past my bedtime reminder had alerted me to brush teeth and turn out lights. I missed blogging even if this attempted travel blog had evolved into a dusty, unkept autobiography.
I want to go to the place of Rip Van Winkle, somewhere high in the Catskill Mountains. I want to scream, I AM BACK, to all the chickadees, woodpeckers, chipmunks and deer. And I want to thank you, dear reader, for making it this far down the page and taking time out of your day to include me and my words. Thank you Boyfriend Billy for single handedly unpacking all our belongings while I struggled at our tiny dining room table, trying to make sense of geometry and square roots. Thank you (thank you) friends for believing in me SO much more than I ever had the gall or belief to dream. And thank you parents for wanting me to do well only because it would make me happy, since that has always been your only wish.
We are capable of so much more than we may even know.