I got the best letter in the post the other day. Accompanying the letter were a dollar bill, a badge saying, ‘Get a life!’ and a passport photo. I think it just about made my week. And because it was a reply to a letter I’d sent, the author included my original stamp. ‘Here’s your stamp back’. Genuinely the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. I didn’t stop smiling for about a half an hour. Wonderful stuff.
So my return ticket is almost booked. I’ll be home on the 23rd of August, with my repeat exam the following morning. Then I will be free for a week or so to see all my lovely friends, people whom I miss beyond words. College life will resume on the 5th of September, I’ll turn twenty on the 9th (wow!) and the adventures will continue from there. I’m going to have to do some extreme budgeting this year if I’m to survive: €3 wine and all of my food from Aldi. I’m okay with this. I’ll be going home less this semester so I’ll save a few bob on bus money. I will also hopefully procure a job, which I will need to fund all the adventures I have in mind (not to mention the clothes and the art).
I’ve got some resolutions but really they are just dreams in the pipeline: exercise more, purchase a bicycle, cut back on the cider (drink wine instead!), be good and positive and maybe even happy. Get more involved in college, especially with volunteering. I’ve developed a serious liking for helping people, trying to improve things. Sometimes it seems like a futile effort: life is so short and I am only one person and what difference does it make really? But what’s the alternative? Sit back and complain? Be wholeheartedly uninvolved? Well, that’s certainly not productive. And if the only productive thing that comes from volunteering is my own peace of mind, well, that’s something. Although I would prefer if it benefitted someone or something else as well. That would be nice. Obviously.
I’ve got a thousand projects planned for the new college year. These include making ghosts out of tampons for Hallowe’en, taking hipster bath photos, going on more adventures with Luke, socialising lots and printing out these bad boys which I reckon I will get great use out of (I think Emer will too):
As well as all that, we’ll be baptising Grace in the bathtub and celebrating every calendar holiday with alcohol and tacky decorations. I can’t wait.
In other news, I’ve been working flat out. This is a totally new experience for me. I’m not used to this constant demand on my body and my mind. My muscles ache and my brain is scattered. I’ve ridden a bicycle twice in the last two days, something I haven’t done since I was about twelve. My bottom really hurts but it was awesome (yeah, I say ‘awesome’ now) and I genuinely had visions of myself becoming the next Seán Kelly. (But then I realised that cyclists tend to shave their legs and mine are very sasquatch-like at the moment.) It’s a rewarding thing, being part of the working world. Mentally, you know. Rather than financially. (Pretty much all the money I’ve made this summer has been sent home to pay one bill or another.) I feel grown up and responsible. And exhausted.
I’m very appreciative of the compliments I get from the customers. Surprisingly, there are very few nasty ones. Customers, I mean. Rather than compliments. ‘Nasty compliments’ is a bit of a paradox, alright. Some of Target’s guests aren’t really in the mood to talk, which is fine, and others are really enthusiastic about telling me things and hearing what I have to say. They love that I’m Irish and they love my name (an Emma is not nearly as common a thing in Yankland seemingly) and one woman said she loved my glasses. Oh, and someone else liked a bracelet I was wearing. And another woman admired my blue fingernails. Nasty shoppers in Target are a rarity and I love that. It makes the back pain and profuse sweating(!) a lot easier to deal with. I would actually really like to keep working here but, alas, third-level education and a mountain of incomprehensible English literature beckons. (Speaking of incomprehensible English literature, my sister-in-law gave me a super-fun Shakespeare t-shirt which I shall unveil in the not-too-distant future, by which I mean some other time when I don’t look like a goat.)
That is all for now. Au revoir. x