Its been ten months. Talking to some that haven't seem me in that period of time act as if 10 months has been the equivalent of a week in their eyes. If they only knew. This hasn't been the easiest 10 months for many reasons but as I inch closer to the finish line I have come to realize that I wouldn't have given up this experience for the world.
The big city has been a challenge for me, coming from a small area that I was born and raised in, and suddenly getting to the grocery store was a bit more challenging at 5pm. Actually the best thing is to just stay home and don't even try it. As for getting around on the freeways the only way to learn is to get lost a few times, then get yourself back home. This was the way I found a closer Target to my apartment as a matter of fact! Before the creation of GPS systems, I shutter to think what life was like. Even with mine, I have found myself at the wrong side of Gresham suddenly when I was just trying to get home from dropping off a friend at the airport. To this day, I have yet to admit that my navigation skills aren't exactly stellar and coming here has proved that point.
Then with my husband, family, and friends so far away. The saying that you don't know what you miss until it's gone has struck a cord in me many times. When the people we love are an arms-length away we take for granted how much impact they have upon our lives. Since being away, I do see my loving family every few weeks for a few days but I dream of the day that everything will come back together. Unfortunately this will only get worse as I head to Washington next month, since my husband won't be able to be around for a few months and my family will be back in Central Oregon. But as the same time, it is the light at the end of the tunnel that gives me the determination to work as hard as I can to make him proud when we finally do become a family yet again.
One thing that was a surprise since arriving was an illness that I didn't expect. While no illness is expected, it was the last thing that I ever thought I would have to deal with. Just another hurdle in this thing called life and unfortunately something I will have to deal with during the rest of mine.
Then school. The main reason for leaving everything to find something. I was lost before coming to school here. There was something when it came to work that was missing. In no way did I have a "career" but rather a few jobs that weren't satisfying in any way, shape, or form. It was heartbreaking to come home everyday and feel as if I hadn't progressed towards anything, or picturing life in 10 years doing the same thing and simply cringing. A change had to happen, and luckily I had the support to do it. I will admit that I was looked at like this was another "crazy" idea when I finally spoke up about what I wanted to do, and everyone had that right to think that. But the only thought in my mind was that if I don't try this... I will always regret it because I know that it was the right thing. I was nervous to the point of shaking my first day but as soon as I started feeling comfortable (and not burning everything) I realized that I indeed had made the decision that would change everything for the better.
So a little over 6 weeks until the classroom setting is completed and I move on to the real kitchen. I will admit I am nervous. It's as if I must perform on a stage for all to see, as well as prove everything I have learned over the past months. Through all of the things that have happened these past 10 months, the finish is in sight. But without the challenges this experience just would not have been the same. It's the situations that take us out of our cozy little box, and challenge our ways of thinking that make us progress and evolve into the people that will make our loved ones proud.