On Friday night of this past week, while most of my colleagues headed to what turned out to be our varsity football team’s first big win in the district, I boarded a plane to Baltimore and headed home for the first time since June. The occasion was Homecoming at my college and a chance to see friends who I last saw at graduation in May.
I knew that it was going to be hard to be home for less than 48 hours and then come back to the alternate world that it feels like I’m living in every day. I could not have imagined how impossible it would be to get on that plane last night and come back. As I felt panic start to grip my chest while I waited in the airport for my plane back to Jacksonville to board, I realized just how much of a toll this job is taking on me. For the past 4 months, I have known nothing but exhaustion and stress and emotions that make me feel like I’m PMSing all month long. But it was my life, and since I had nothing to compare it to, I just did it. I didn’t have time to think about what I was doing. The only people I had time to talk to were dealing with the same things I was on a daily basis. And then I went home.
I’ve written about this before, but it’s hard to relate to people when you’re doing this kind of work. I can try to explain, but there’s no substitute for living it. Many of my friends, who I love dearly, asked me “How is TFA going?” and probably took my silence to mean that it isn’t going well. In fact, it’s already been a rewarding experience, but how does one answer that question?
I spent a lot of time this weekend joking about the crazy things that have already happened this school year. Most of them aren’t particularly funny, but if I couldn’t laugh about it I would have already been gone months ago.
I have yet to meet a TFA corps member who has not said at some point that they feel like they are a horrible friend. Even if I were doing this job right down the street from all the people I love, I doubt that I would see them any more than I do now. Yet as emotional as this weekend was, it reminded me how lucky I am to know such amazing people.
I’m too tired from my brief regression to the college lifestyle to write anymore now, but if any of the beautiful people I got to see this weekend are reading, I miss you more than you know and love you more than words can say. <3