Maybe it was the cocoa, I haven't had caffeine in months. Maybe it's my wandering mind. I always seem to come up with something to do that sounds more interesting than closing my eyes and going to bed. There's always something else to do, something else to read, stuff to go through, writing to be done, or little drawings to make. And besides, going to bed is much more enticing when there is going to be someone in that bed with you. For a long time, it has been just me and my laptop curled up in bed. As much as I love the magical electric box, it doesn't quite make me jump into bed in quite the same way that another warm body does. Okay, that's a lie. I've been lying in bed with my laptop for the last two hours. And have enjoyed it thoroughly.
Foremost on my mind is my upcoming whirlwind weekend trip to Seattle. I'm thinking of moving there. I've been thinking of moving there since I was 16. Either Seattle or Portland. I have a romance with the Northwest; I love Seattle, I still need to visit Portland. People tell me I'd love Portland, that I coudl just decide to move there on a whim and show up and feel at home I believe these people, and the friends I have in portland love that city. Anyway, both places have some great acupuncture and Oriental Medicine schools. Once I quit my job and go to school full time instead of part time, I don't really want to stay in Minneapolis. I started the program here, and I like the school, but I often think of transferring elsewhere. Minnesota, I love you, but my heart is on the coast. I yearn for ocean, for mountains, for old growth forests. And the Minnesota winter is killing me. I'm too emotionally unstable as it is, the last thing I need is to throw the phenomena of seasonal affected disorder at my psyche. My body stiffens, my mind slows, my spirit becomes downtrodden and clunky. My entire being stops functioning properly in this kind of weather, kind of like my car when I try to start it in the morning and the actual temperature is -20. Gross. Sometimes when I'm walking outside and it is so cold that my hands and toes are numb even with my warm gloves and boots and thick wool socks, I scream. Sometimes I scream explitives, sometimes I let out animalistic gutteral sounds. Somehow the screaming makes me feel warmer. Sometimes I just get angry at the cold. I get angry and feel helpless and wish more than anything that someone could JUST MAKE IT STOP ALREADY so didn't have to feel like the marshmallow man, all big and puffy, my movements hindered by layers of clothing. Sure, there is a sort of comical, hearty sensibility that forms in the people that dwell in the cold of the Upper Midwest. I'll carry it with me forever. It is the kind of sensibility that forms when it is so cold that your nosehairs freeze, frost forms on your eyeglasses, and your cell phone won't work after it has been out in the cold for a while because it simply froze up.
And then there are days like today, when 35* feels like summer and the snow starts to melt, the icy sidewalks become canals, and the hearty people of Minnesota take off their coats and venture outside in sweatshirts and fleece pullovers and sometimes even just tshirts (it's true, I saw it today). Today I pumped up my bike tires and did errands on two wheels. I walked to the co-op without freezing my ass off and without slipping on the ice behind my house like I generally do, because the icy patch had finally melted. It was awesome. I haven't felt so good in months as I did today. We hadn't gotten above 32 all month, and today, the last day of this month, we finally had our January thaw. It served as a good remidner that it is always possible that what you want will come, even if it sneaks in right at the last possible moment or takes a while to arrive. So, Seattle. I won't be moving for awhile. heck, I might visit the school and decide I don't want to move at all. But at least i know it is possible, and I can make it ahppen if I want it to.
In addition to the general desire to escape the tundra and go the Northwest, I feel that the program might be better at the school I'm looking at in Seattle. It looks hard. Super science based, with organic chemistry and anatomy and physiology and botany and all sorts of those classes in addition to a very indepth survey of courses in acupuncture and oriental medicine. There are four quarters a year, each quarter with, like, over 20 credits. yikes. The school looks incredible - it has a wonderful teaching clinic, the biggest natural health clinic in the Northwest. They have 6 or 7 different programs, from a naturopathic doctor program to nutrition to the oriental medicine program. It has a gourmet vegetarian cafeteria that uses whole foods and has an amazing weekly menu, and the nutrition students work with the chefs. The school's herb and culinary garden can grow all year, and they have lecturers and programs constantly, on everthing from environmental toxicity to ayurveda to whole foods and a variety of healing arts. Michael Pollan was there last year (he wrote "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food", among other books and essays). And it is expensive. Very expensive. Like, ungodly expensive. I'm not allowing myself to worry about that right now.
First I will visit the school. If I like it, then I need to take all those science pre-requisites that I didn't take in college that I will need to get into their program. I was an arts and humanities kid, I didn't take bio or chem or math in college. I took art classes. Anthropolgy. Astronomy. Italian and French. Not algebra. So, to the local community college I will go, and sign up for some basic science courses and algebra. I can't wait to sit in a classroom with 18 year-olds getting their general education credits. I will be almost 10 years older than them. Holy shit. I'm almost 27. And when I'm just a hair past 28, I may be packing up my Midwestern life and heading West.
In about 6 hours, an alumna of the school, my friend April's acupuncturist who lives and works in Seattle, will be calling me to chat about the program. I'm super excited to talk to her. And I know I need to go to bed so that I can actually be alert to talk to her and not just braindead because I was dumb and didn't get enough sleep. I'm good at lots of things. Sleeping, sadly, is not one of them. Daydreaming is. And currently, I daydream of Seattle. Three weeks from this very moment i'll be there, probably asleep on the air mattress in my friend Peter's living room, wedged between the television and couch. I will have visited the school, and will have spent the rest of the day doing something awesome, hopefully eating Seattle sushi at that great little Japanese restaurant and maybe going to that park he wanted to take us to last time and hopefully getting to see the sound. I want to go to PIke's Market on Sunday morning, and before I leave town I have to get a big steaming bowl of pho for $4 at the pho place we went to last time. This time, Peter gets to have my complimentary Vietnamese cream puff, a.k.a. the sugar gluten bomb.
Good night. I've now written myself into a tired place, my eyelids are growing heavy, and I'm starving because I ate hours ago and I should be sleeping. So now, I will finally shut off my bedside lamp, close up this computer that keeps me from committing to more time to sleep, and allow my body the time to get its much needed healing rest.
Goal for tomorrow and always: do not stay up until 3 am on the computer anymore.