But of course, being me, I manage to get overly anxious and to set myself impossible tasks before I've even started. I have butterflies in my stomach and my breathe comes too fast. I had forgotten what this kind of panic feels like. It's been so long since I've woken up gasping for air, certain I've forgotten to do something or certain that I won't be able to finish everything I need to accomplish. I will be able to accomplish it, of course I will, but the anxiety creeps in all the same.
I'm holding on to a feeling I had last week. The day after orientation the second year students organized a scavenger hunt for the first year students. We looked for things across campus, down M Street and in Dupont Circle, and took pictures of them. We had to find things like the chapel on campus, someone in a Georgetown shirt or hoodie, at the canal, at the place that sells Chicken Madness. We had to take a picture of us using public transportation, eating a cupcake, in Kramerbooks, and one of all of us jumping once we'd completed the scavenger hunt. It was a really wonderful day. It might have earned the distinction of my best day in D.C. I walked across Key Bridge back into Virginia as the sun was setting. The sky filled with pink and blue and yellow, and in the river below people kayaked and paddle-surfed, and the breeze blew cool across the bridge. I had this feeling that everything was as it should be. I experienced a kind of certainty about where I am and what I'm doing, and this overwhelming joy that I'm here. And it's the certainty and joy that make it all-- even the anxiety-- worthwhile.
(English grad student scavenger hunt!)