Today was bleak. Yesterday was kind of bleak, too. Let's get some things out of the way: Ross is fine and our relationship is fine. Our jobs are both fixed firmly in the "okay" category and the finances are surprisingly good. Everything is good, actually, except one tiny huge thing: Zoo Camp began on Monday and I am not there. I realize this may sound childish. After all, we're here in DC, notably away from Zoo Camp and all the other things we love, because of me and my professorial dreams. This is the choice we made, and I get that. I do. And yet.
Here is a sad truth of my life. Up until about three years ago, I was absolutely wretched at making or keeping friends. I'm not entirely sure why this is, although I have a couple of guesses that would be self-indulgent to go into now (look who's worried about being self-indulgent all of a sudden! Don't worry... there are ducks!). The point is simply that I can literally count the number of lasting friends I had amassed before about 2008 on one hand. And then, gradually, everything started to change.
Not all of this had to do with the zoo (meeting Ross, and the wonderful people he knew, like this girl, also made a big difference). But a lot of it did. This probably sounds so corny, but I was really-truly-aw-shucks the happiest I've ever been when I was working at the zoo, especially this last year. Really. And that's because of the zoo itself, sure, and because of the work I did, but mostly it's because of Miss Amanda. And Mr. Chris. And Jessica. And Miss Anna and Miss Lauren and Miss Jo. And Kathayoon and Kendall and Krist. And everybody (and I really mean everybody) else. Because of how much I love these people, and because of the way these people made me feel like I was worth being around. Like I was capable, and important, and lovable, and ooooookay, Miss Haylie. That's enough sharing for now.
But really, Zeta Chi. Really. You were my home for four years and my life is less brightly colored (and certainly less covered in marker) without you.
Behold! The promised pick-me-up ducks. Discovered Memorial Day at the Mall. Nothing says "Get Over It!" like baby ducks. Am I right?