our newest roommate

by ann

I really shouldn’t be awake. But here I am curled in my blanket as Chibi patrols the perimeters because, yes, a mouse has decided to move in. I haven’t seen this mouse yet but Chibi had been nosing under the radiator for the past week, her too long nails pitter pattering on the hardwood in the wee hours of the night. Then at three in the morning the other day I heard the squeak.

Chibi and I have a strong suspicion our newest roommate is now residing in the small crevice between the sink and fridge. I also came to the realization yesterday that the mouse has a penchant for dog food, which has been disappearing at an alarming rate.

In theory, I like mice. I loved The Rescuers and that song by those mousy siblings in An American Tail pulls on my heartstrings but this is a real mouse. One that has been wriggling about in pipes and carries God know what on its furry little body. And what if it’s a rat? I just can’t deal. That rat from The Nutcracker gives me the creeps and remember The Secret of NIMH? (Yes, all of my interactions with rodents has been through animation.)

But, since I’m awake, I want to say hello and that I’ve baked challah bread today (yesterday?), made and spray painted paper gems, changed my sofa legs with ones I scavenged from my ever fruitful lobby, and began painting a chair pistachio green. Which is to say I have exams next week.

I have..avoidance issues with studying for exams. Exams scare the bejeezus out of me. Especially the first ones. They seem to set the tone for the rest of the year. Do horribly; it’s over. And you know how you talk to a classmate about how you haven’t started studying at all and he/she agrees with you? Then you mention this reading you haven’t done and he/she says how it’s not that bad. Which means they’ve done it. They’ve read it. They’ve started studying. But you really haven’t been studying. And then it’s just a whirlwind of paranoia about how behind you are and doomed to failure.

So I’m working on this thing called positivity. Radiating bliss and happy thoughts and being an overall effervescent soul. The thing is.. I find affirmations cheesy. But I love them. One of my favorite places to scan at the library-after cookbooks and young adult novels-is the self-help section.

I want to add to that.

And so I’ll say this: I’m a wreck about school but I know I can do it. I came here, thousands of miles away from home, with the purpose of getting my DMD and I damn well will. It isn’t luck that I’m here. And, even if it is, I should grab this opportunity I was given, this opportunity two, three years in the making. I made it through first year and it wasn’t easy but I didn’t stress and I made it out fine. I just need to have faith in myself.

Ooh, these words. I want to hide them away. I wish I could give you a bubbly post with recipes and a gorgeous picture or two but I’m just not there yet and can’t pretend I am. I’m still working through this mess of balancing life.

I’ve never felt so confused and yet so here. As much as I’m still trying to figure out who I am, I know it’s happening right now. And I want to catch all of it. Messes included.