The end is so close I can taste it, and it tastes like peppermint hot chocolate or pretty much any kind of hot chocolate I can find. I have six more days of break but the countdown I'm more focused on right now is three days til my boyfriend comes to visit me in Milwaukee.
It's been a long time since I've seen him (24 days if we're going to get all creepy and specific) and it's starting to wear on me. At first, you have the initial excitement of having no exams, papers, or work looming over your head and seeing family you've missed. Then there's your gang you haven't seen since the summer. There's more food in your house than you know what to do with, a car you can drive (you missed driving terribly), a nice big TV, your full bed, sleeping in, your dog to cuddle with, and unlimited free time.
Let's not forget the inevitable boredom.
Oh boredom, how I despise thee like nothing else. Many would rather be bored than busy and stressed but I disagree. Give me countless tasks to make the days go by rather than hours of wedding-related television and blogging random shit. I have little to complain about this break since it's been going smoothly and complaining about it's length usually falls on deaf ears (resisting urge to make dirty joke...resisting...RESIST...). I've never enjoyed breaks from school, even as a kid. I would loathe days of doing nothing and would rather be in school because I'm a nerd like that.
I prefer to do nothing when I should be doing something, at least the guilt then is somewhat interesting. My sister and I caught up which was much needed and welcome, that is, until we started to bicker. Growing up we rarely butted heads and were the bestest of friends (not a real word, I know, but work with me here people). As we've grown older we've learned how to talk to each other even if it's not always as seamless. It's part of getting to know each other better as we start our own lives but still difficult at times. I miss her like crazy now though that she's back at school in Minnesota.
Three days, three days til the boy will be here and my curse of boredom shall be broken! I've used his eventual visit as a marker of bringing back of my sanity which I tend to lose in a big empty house when everyone is gone at work or school. After he's here for a couple days, we'll head back to Iowa City Saturday and I'll do some sorority stuff Sunday. Then, it's the beginning of my sixth semester in college, fifth at Iowa.
Maybe that's what I'm afraid of in a way: starting the end of my junior year. I get freaked sometimes thinking about my future in too rational of terms. These thoughts are brought up during family gatherings common of college breaks. The grandparents, uncles and aunts, and family friends typically ask how college is going. When they realize you're a junior the follow-up question is: "So what's the plan after graduation?"
My initial reaction is usually, "AHHHHH Shut the fuck up! Why would you try to stress me out like this, on fucking Christmas Eve!? Just give me some money or holiday cookies and leave me alone in my sugar-induced coma!" However, I have a feeling such an outburst would be inappropriate in the middle of our living room. I turned the topic usually over to my sorority, but then would get bored of justifying my decisions or explaining how special my sisters are to me and are not simply "drinking buddies." Then, what to talk about?
"The boy, use the boy," my brain told me (okay, now I have a strange feeling this is some variation on a quote from Harry Potter, but I'll leave it). And I did with great success. To avoid talking about my ill conceived future, I talked about my boyfriend instead, by which my extended family was fascinated. Thanks to Facebook, they knew of his existence but I was left to fill in the blanks. Where's he from? What's his major? How old is he? How did you meet? When do we get to meet him? How on Earth do you pronounce his last name? etc.
Talking about him made family gatherings--or as my mom affectionately called such times, Forced-Family-Togetherness--less awkward and was easier to talk about than post-college plans. At the same time though, talking about him made things harder because it obviously made me think of him. Healthy or not, we spent much of the semester as a couple and saw each other, one way or another, every day. Going from 100 to 0 was tough, but I was okay.
At night, I take my dog Lucy for a walk around the block and use the time to let my brain wander. Late in the evening was when the emotions would hit me like an anvil. One minute I'd be fine and the next I'd be stuck in nostalgia mode as a big-eyed, pre-teen girl. This is insane, I would think to myself, you'll see him in a couple weeks.
As slow as this break has seemed the end has come quicker than I expected, though this last week has proved to be the hardest. I miss him and I feel pathetic and lame for saying it out loud (or typing it I guess). I think about him rolling into Milwaukee, driving up to my house. I think about how hyper I will be Wednesday in anticipation. I think about seeing him smile, not over Skype or with a smiley emoticon in a text, but for real. I think about holding his hand again and all the other cutesy stuff that usually makes me want to gag. I think about how happy I'll be once he's finally here.
For some reason I love this strange man.
More than anything though, I'm looking forward to going back to the life I know and love in Iowa. Mornings at Java House, wandering around the sorority house, running across campus to make it to a lecture, and struggling to find the right words for a paper...I miss it all. The good and the bad are necessary and going back to it is much needed. I miss my friends, my favorite spots, my sisters, my roommates, and just about everything I left behind.
I'm used to being away from people now since Ireland, but it's been a while since I've needed to bring out those skills. This winter break has reminded me as independent as I think I am, I still need people, certain people, in my life.
So, only a couple more days of boredom ahead until he visits and then we can go back to Iowa where I can begin avoiding schoolwork once again.