It’s been two weeks since I graduated with my Masters degree, and it’s been a fierce whirlwind of emotion, excitement, and many miles traversed. After departing from the little college town that had become engrained into my soul for close to a decade, packing up and moving on seemed out of the ordinary. I was content with the change, as it was well-needed, and the fact that I thrive on adventure. Uprooting oneself from such a concrete scenario falls in one of two areas: a clean removal with little to no difficulty, or a full-blown catastrophe. I fall between these areas, and as I continue to navigate myself in this newfound area that is New England, attempting to plant my roots once again…but knowing that they could possibly get ripped right up again as the next adventure reveals itself.
After Mike and I packed up my stuff and loaded the cars, we were off to New Hampshire to meet his family and hang out there for a few days, then the next journey was to Maine. Now, I had originally come here to be a whitewater river guide (my first day of whitewater rafting EVER was this past Sunday). After a day and a half of training, I found myself in hysterics and crying my brains out, repeating that I didn’t want to complete my training. I wasn’t the only trainee that thought this; many of us had left the program relatively early on. Every dark cloud has a silver lining, though. I am currently working in the newly expanded gift shop, getting trained on ResMark for reservations, and will be serving/bartending at the company’s inn starting next week. I am VERY lucky that they have a use for me in many areas. I’m slowly learning the ways of river life (which I am being insanely introverted at the moment and merely observing the scene instead of actively participating. Being an INTP does that to you), and learning names of new people is always super fun. Mike has been my rock. He’s held my hand and listened to my concerns and held me when I was a mess on the guide trainee bus. He’s been amazing this week; he’s also a huge psychology nut and helps me talk out my feelings. He mentioned that I am in intense sensory overload right now, which is true; packing up my life and leaving everyone and everything that I knew to travel 800+ miles and start the next chapter is very scary (and I will wholeheartedly admit this). How I have held it (somewhat) together so far, I have no idea.
Not being in an academic setting is…rather awkward. I do have materials that I sit down and study…but it’s outside of the brick and mortar atmosphere I have been accustomed to for the last 4.5 years. There’s no degree to achieve (except perhaps a Ph.D. in Life), nothing graded, no papers to write…it’s relieving BUT SO WEIRD. I think I’ll get used to this change though. It’s well-deserved after 4.5 years chasing that M.A.
With regard to being in New England…it’s open. It’s woodsy. There are chipmunks everywhere. Saw a cute little red fox cross the road the other day. It’s currently cold as hell. BUT SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL. The clean mountain air is killing my lungs and making my sinuses hurt, but I’ll adjust. Maine is the home of registered guides, it seems. There’s guides for everything: from bird watching to hiking and backpacking and everything in between. The river life/outdoorsy lifestyle is the norm, perfect for those adventuring types. I’ve been encouraged to trying guide training again….maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. Right now I’m pretty terrified of boats and water and anything that has to do with that (especially after swimming in the rapids and taking in a bit of water, along with not being able to pull myself back into the boat…that was rather mortifying.). I tell myself that I at least had the guts to sign up and give it a try, and after realizing that it wasn’t my cup of tea, change roles. That versatility and adaptability has paid off so far (especially with everyone fighting over my time; it feels awesome to be wanted). I do enjoy being behind the scenes making the other guides’ days better. Logistics are a passion of mine, and I’m happy to be serving in such a capacity.
I look forward to the rest of the summer. I’ve been told that it will be the most fun I’ll ever have with the most exciting people I’ll ever meet. We’re all family up here, and I’m glad to be a part of it. Real life outside of the ivory tower that is collegiate life is terrifying and uncomfortable, but it’s all about the journey.