a big beautiful mess


Ahh! Oh no! I was so busy writing about culturally enriching experiences I forgot to commemorate the arbitrary timeline marker of one year since I received my Fulbright acceptance letter!

Yes, dear readers, it was one year and one day ago today that my life was changed forever, that I learned I would be moving to Russia for ten months. On April 8, 2011, I wrote in my journal, “I got the Fulbright. I feel like I shouldn’t have to tell you that, because I doubt there will ever be a future me who will have forgotten that this happened. But I suppose there might be a future me who will have forgotten the giddy, emotional euphoria of today.”

What a wise young thing I was! Indeed there have been many days since then that I’ve felt something less than euphoria at being here. Minus two weeks home at Christmas, I’ve been living in Russia for six months and six days, the longest I’ve spent abroad my whole life, and the farthest from home. These signposts, these firsts, are usually how I measure my life, how I remember things. Before or after my first kiss? Before or after my parents’ divorce? Before or after I left for college?

But this time, somehow, the time and distance have slipped away like nothing. The impact started on the first day this time, and has decreased, or normalized, or numbed, or matured, or whatever, every subsequent day since. And euphoria has evolved into an even, reasoned contentment at the general direction of my life.

The Northern Dvina on April 7.


  1. 10 April 2012    

    When I got the phone call that my Fulbright had gone through, I closed the door to my office and jumped around for a while.

    • 10 April 2012    

      :) Well, you know that after wandering around campus in a daze, looking for a semi-private spot outdoors, I called you first thing.

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