The imagery of this amused me.
"That's you Allison, you've always got all of your ducks in a row."
My mother said this to me on the phone the other night. She was referring to my seemingly well thought out plans on leaving school and moving back to IL.
Little did she know that what she saw as ducks in a row in a pond was actually a few rubber ducks in a bathtub held together in a line with a fuse that led to a box of dynamite.
I am supposed to be the child who knows what she is doing, who doesn't mess up. In reality the only thing I am is highly capable of concocting good cover stories. My aunt refers to her son doing well in high school and going to a good college as "taking the Allison track." I always wonder if these people actually realize that I am a college drop-out. Because when you take away the "going to vet school" I am not transferring, I am dropping out.
But I guess that's the point, making it seem like you know what you're doing. Even if I'm flying from the seat of my pants most of the time, all the rest of the world sees is the fact that I'm wearing the pants. Great.
At the time I was so relieved not to have any options. There was only one thing I could do when the letters came. One said no, and one said yes, so I had to go.
If they had both said yes, I would have stayed here. There were various reasons for that. Among them are my father, my friends, and how much I love the physical presence of this place. Being able to run along the Mississippi in the mornings is an experience that actually ranks up with running on the grounds of the Sydney University in Australia. And it would have been easier, I wouldnít have had to change e-mail addresses, wouldnít have had to move, would still be able to see my grandmother.
But the letters came. At the time I was glad not to have any options. I wasnít in a place to be making decisions about anything, much less whether I should move two states away and start over yet again. I told myself that perhaps this was fate. Maybe three years ago I made the wrong decision to come here. Iíd had my grace period of mistake, and now I had to go back to reality.
As I stare now at that fateful letter I realize finally why I donít want to leave. I never completely gave up hope that I would be happy here. And to make matters worse, I have finally begun to realize that happiness. I donít want to leave behind the chances, the people I was just beginning to know. I suppose I will find new chances, new people at another school. But once again I feel as though the minute I started to have something real, my past decisions destroyed it.
No regrets, right? Only fear, and knowledge of myself that I still may have paid too much for. The instincts forced upon me during my three years are ones I regret. I didnít want to become this cynical, this tired. I want to go back to a time when I believed people would do and be what they said they were.
So one last time I will stare out the window at the Mississippi and wonder if I should have fought fate harder. And to wonder why fate took me during a time when I was unable to make my own decisions.