Sometimes I wonder why I bother, why I even try, when everything I do is taken into so little account that it’s immediately swept out the window. Sometimes I wonder if it would make any difference at all if I stopped. I wonder if it would matter in the least if I disappeared. And I wonder if I will ever have the courage or the heart to stop caring.
“You know, whenever someone says something really funny, and I’m laughing, I always look around to see if you think it’s funny too. Even when you’re not there, I still look around.” – George O’Malley, Grey’s Anatomy
It almost happened last night. I don’t know what brought me so close to the edge.
It might have been when you were uncomfortable that the people at the other table were looking at you, and when I told you to look away you said, “I’ll just look at you.” It might have been when you asked if I could put up with your melodrama and I shot back, without thinking, “If I couldn’t, do you think I’d still be here?” and had to restrain myself from saying a lot more. Or it might have been when you asked what was on my mind.
I thought I had sensed the tide turning when you came back, that ever-so-slight shift in the air that made me think something had changed while you were away. And for one fleeting instant, I was led to believe that I hadn’t imagined it. But maybe it was just the fact that you were away for all that time — even though two weeks seemed like hardly any time at all — and coming back here gave you a new perspective on things, because now it seems as though you’ve retreated into your old perspective, that comfort zone you so loved to hide behind.
There are days when I want to tell you, when I can almost hear myself telling you everything. But then I remember that day, and the silence drowns everything out once again.
I know I don’t really want to do this. I know I only think of it when I’m at a low point in my life and I want to escape from it.
What dictates our decisions and makes us think they’re the right ones? Is it just that feeling that tells us we know it in our bones and it’s the right thing to do? Or is it spurred on by something else, good or bad, that eventually leads to this road we end up taking?
Lately I’ve been toying with the idea of grad school. It’s something that’s swooped in and out of my mind over the last couple of years, but I never did anything about it because I thought that when I knew I was absolutely ready to take that step and be serious about it, I would. Two years ago, I thought of doing criminal law, so I took the LSAT, but now I’m thinking of doing linguistics, so I would have to take the GRE. So maybe deciding what I want to do in grad school would also help.
When I was still in the U.S., I thought that since the LSAT score was valid for five years, I could always revisit the idea anytime within that time frame, and in the end I decided that I wasn’t ready to go back to school, because I’d already spent enough time in it. And now that I’m here, the idea of going has resurfaced, to the point where I’ve considered taking GRE classes and contacting my undergraduate professors for recommendation letters. That also means that only when I know why I think I’m ready to take that step and be serious about it, I’ll do it.
When I made the decision to take the American University Program at INTI College, I knew that I did it because I wanted to get out of this country, go somewhere far away by myself and live my own life. As the time drew nearer for me to leave, I also knew that I wanted to do it because it seemed to be the only way out of the miserable relationship I was in at the time. The driving forces behind my departure back then made my return, four and a half years later, all the more difficult because I saw it as being forced back into a life I had run away from in the first place.
And now here I am again, facing the same decision to pack up my life and leave, and wondering once again why I want to do it. It could be because no matter how comfortable I am here now, deep down I want to be with the people and in the places I loved and left behind. It could be because I feel as though my current station in life is not where I planned it to be, and I want to keep searching until I find something that I can settle down to. Or it could be because it sometimes feels as though I came back here for no reason at all, and there’s nothing left to keep me here anymore.
But then, for the first time in my life, not even when I was preparing to leave for undergraduate school, I have to wonder if I can bear to leave now. To move my entire life all over again, only to have to drag it back here after yet another four years. To struggle for the H1 and be disappointed over and over again. To leave the job that, even though taken because I desperately needed a distraction at the time, has taught me what I needed to know to survive in this society. To leave behind the very few friends who have become my lifeline over the past few months. To leave him behind, when everything with him feels so unfinished, and yet so irreparably damaged that it feels finished all the same.
So maybe grad school can stay in the back burner for now. I’ve never been good at the whole head vs. heart thing anyway.