I found an apartment! – and a few words to explain why this is such a big event:
One of the hardest things about the planning stages of this trek has been constantly adjusting to new and changing information about where we are going, how we are getting there, how long that will take and when we will be getting back. Not such a big deal for me usually – but as it turned out, this time around, it became a BIG deal. I’ve been in a state of limbo now for almost a year. My mother likes to call me her “little nomad”. I’m sure two or ten or 20 years from now this period of my life will seem incredibly adventuresome and romantic.. Hopping on planes, traveling to different countries, seeing, doing, living. It is the kind of life that, in all truth, I love to lead.
But it can be a real pain in the ass sometimes.
In September I will start my MFA in Interaction Design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Ten months ago when I was laid off from my design job in NYC, I had two things on my 2010 schedule: 1) Start school in September and 2) Go to K2. It seemed easy enough. Our trekking schedule at the time gave me weeks – even months – to trek, come back to the states, readjust to running water and electricity, unpack, look for an apartment, sign a lease, move in, put my feet up and have a few margaritas on the roof before kicking life back into high gear for school in the fall. It was a great plan.
Then our dates changed. Then we needed to extend the number of trekking days and add a few more rest days. Then our dates changed again. With each change, the amount of time I had for “re-entry” became less and less. I was no longer looking at weeks of time to re-adjust. Realistically, now, I am looking at a few days at best. And to put things in perspective, it is not so much that I am returning to a place of hustle, bustle and cab horns from one of extreme quiet and natural grandeur. (Although – that transition will be shocking enough) It is more that upon returning from K2, I will be returning to a place that I have not been in for almost a year. I have no fixed place to return to. All my earthly belongings (the ones that aren’t sitting on shelves in my parents’ basement) are sitting in a storage unit in Queens. I am not returning to a job, well-worn schedule or routine, I will have no place to unpack my dust covered boots and no familiar place to lay down and close my jet-lagged eyes. Quite the contrary – when I return, I will have to find all of this and throw together some semblance of a NYC existence all in a matter of days before starting graduate school. To say that the thought has been overwhelming, is the understatement of my life. I have kept myself awake at night trying to figure out how to anticipate and prepare for the levels of stress this kind of turn-around will have. I wonder if it will really be as stressful as I think. I have done as much advance planning as I know how to do.
On more than one occasion I have emailed Ahsan and told him that I cannot go. Each time he has gently talked me back into it and my decision to keep going down this path (figuratively and literally) has been so embroiled by so many other issues, it will take at least 4 more blog posts to explain them all.
For now, I am happy to say that at least one part of my advance planning has paid off. The end of my nomadic existence is in sight. I have an apartment. I have a place. A space to settle. I have not moved yet – nor will I likely be able to before we leave for Pakistan, but the apartment is there. It is waiting.