Life is simpler here. Not painless or trouble-free, never that, but simpler. I have one job, one boss, one responsibility, one office. My home is so small it is practically maintenance free. I have so few possessions it is hard to loose track of or make a mess with them. Cleaning is scheduled a week in advance. I never have to worry about grocery shopping (except for my special coffee) or cooking or driving (if I don’t want to). When I go to a lecture or a movie or a party, I can walk home. I never have to worry about parking the car. I never have to worry about when I’ll have time to see my friends, because they are right there at every meal. I never lament the lack of Dharma teachings, because it is everywhere I look.
In less than a month, this will all go away. I will have four bosses again, four professors all making demands, and maybe a real boss at a paying job who will also want a piece of me. I will have a home to care for and keep clean, groceries to buy, food to cook, homework to do, schedules to manage, friends and family to visit. I will have to keep an eye on my car every day.
It would be so much easier to stay. I would enjoy my life here. I know this. Yet, I would never be able to help in the ways I know I can.
There are trade off’s, of course. I am getting addicted to the little adrenalin high I get on my nightly walk home, despite the fact that they have so far been bear and mountain lion free. When the wind blows, I don’t get a sound sleep. Waking up at four in the morning with the urge to use the toilet is never fun. Carrying my laundry half a mile every week isn’t so bad. Sometimes hardly eating anything for lunch because the kitchen decided to make curried tofu gets frustrating when it occurs more than one day in a row.
I like my little third floor condo in the heart of the city, with the view of the state capitol on its lush green lawn. I like to sit in the window in the morning and sip coffee from my own pot and watch the squirrels chase each other around the mighty oak trees. I love going to see movies in theaters with friends. I miss going to the bookstore on Friday nights with Mom & Dad, and teasing Spook, my mother’s old black cat. I miss my little noisy cat, Isis. I enjoy my classes and am looking forward to a studio project I can really sink my teeth into. I am anxious to continue my work with Emerging Green Builders. I actually miss being able to make my own ramen noodles.
Mostly though, I know my path. I know graduate school, an internship, an architect’s license, planner’s certification, and all the knowledge and experience and wisdom which comes with them will enable me to help people in ways I never could if I remained here.
Besides, I never could do anything the easy way.