September 1st. Best way to start a much needed *fresh* month – go to a new place, alone.
Although my reason for travel is academic in nature and I’m here for a very brief time, to take my entry exam into ITEA, this experience is already way too satisfying to ignore.
I’m writing this while sitting outside on the back porch of the basement suite of the house I’m staying at in Louisville, Colorado. Holy snapdragons. The air is perfectly warm, hundreds of crickets and heat lightning off in the distance. This house is on a hill with an expansive view of bike trails, open land and fabulous (fabulous.) houses. I recognize this feeling, falling in love with a new location, but this time – this time! It’s different.
I can tell I’m in the early stages because I’m awed by the littlest things. Things that I’m sure one day I’ll completely ignore, take for granted or perhaps even be repulsed by. Example: The Smiling Moose Deli (www.smilingmoosedeli.com) that I came across for a quick dinner tonight? I thought it was the most darling chain ever. And the sweet young man who helped me and gave me free food? Just as darling. They even had stickers (sticker collector fo’ life!).
Rewinding even further… my whole day started out a bit messy, although organized. I missed my flight here…not worth explaining how and why, but it happened. Regardless I made it to the airport and into my rental car off to the school around dinner time. This cut my Day 1 test taking time down about – 5 hours. At this point in time as I write I’m about 1/15th done with my test and still have to study more tonight for sure. Gah!
But I need to document this!
My rental car is a cute, white chevy malibu… I’d like to never forget the moment I pulled onto the highway to drive from Denver to Louisville and saw my first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains. In perfect timing, movie moment style, as I merged onto the highway and turned the radio up in my car – Phil Collins, “In the Air Tonight” started up. You better believe I cranked it. Somehow it was just perfect. Wide open spaces and a mountain range… I’m not sure if people call living by the mountains “coastal mountain living”, but – I’m going to. If I’m going to be landlocked – I know I’m going to look toward mountains as I do the ocean or sea. And play on them – for sure!
“I’ve been waiting for this moment- all of my life, oh lord!” – Phil Collins.
Next stop: The Institute of Taoist Education & Acupuncture! Let me just say- the school and clinic is located in one of those lots that are just intended for medical buildings. Legit.
The school and clinic are in a medical office type setting. I instantly loved it and my nose was greeted by the scent of moxa. Although I went straight to starting my test, I’ll get the full tour tomorrow. The people so far ? Darling. Also, I grabbed a sticker. I’m psyched! “Mantra”: will pass.will pass. will pass. and I know I have a solid number of family and friends praying for me, which I really appreciate.
As for my accommodations,where I’m residing now in my, princess suite? It’s only 1.5 miles from the school. The house is brag worthy, it’s basically a gigantic (bachelor) pad, with an amazing view. I have the whole furnished basement with 3 rooms and a patio to myself. It was my second attempt at housing, referred by someone from ITEA, and its a complete success which totally beats a hotel in all ways possible. I’m sure I’ll post pictures of it or at least the view it has in the months to come. I’ll be residing here a total of 2 months in the next year. The landlord is super nice (kinda an interesting one) and showed me around the place. I have met 1 of the other 3 inhabitants.
Earlier this evening I went to an “open space” area (places people CANNOT build on! thumbs up.), called my mama dukes to update her while I caught the sun setting over the peaks. People were running and biking on the dirt trails leading too and fro the mountains. I’m assuming they connect to the ones in my back-back yard which connect to the gate in my backyard. Yes, “my”. It’s mine right now. I’m smitten with it all.
Smiles inside and out.
I gotta study…and PASS!!! So this can be more real.
A few days later:
Not with flying colors and I didn’t impress the Director too much. But she thinks I’ll totally be on-par to join the year two students, next week! I actually need to re-submit some of the test that I didn’t get right, which makes sense. Something that really pleased me was getting feedback. I got paragraphs of feedback, especially on essay questions, which explained how I was not completely accurate. FEEDBACK! what a concept!! That’s something I’ve not been privileged to receive and it’s a really great, helpful, useful thing. With that being said, I learned a lot just by taking the test there. The physical portion of the test, for point location, was also insightful. The President of the school corrected and showed me some useful ways to locating them which I hadn’t exactly learned before. I’m so pleased and absolutely made the best choice for my present and future by transferring. The process isn’t officially official yet but will be soon.
I met some 4th & 5th year students. Yes, 5th! What I gathered from them is that on average it takes people 4 years to go through the program and clinicals. That makes sense. It’s not just a Masters program but a medical field. It’s not hurried and that’s exactly what I need to feel and exactly what I didn’t feel at WHTS. That’s the truth and all I’ll say about that.
Overall it’s more than note-worthy to mention that everyone was so genuinely nice. That’s really important to me and I really appreciated it.
All in all – I’m so happy. As for the new location? Definitely looking forward to it. The fact that I still have almost a year until I need to re-locate my life there is so perfect. The extended transition period is very appropriate and I wont have to shock my system by leaving Seattle home too abruptly. I’m not taking this next move very lightly either. This will be a big shift moving out of city life. I take comfort in being surrounded by peers and people. It’s going to be a somewhat profound transition for me knowing that I will close out the rest of my 20’s in Colorado, out of the city. It’s a little bit of a scary though, what If I don’t meet or become close with people since they will be further and wider? I need good friends! Then again, maybe that will make my connections there even more meaningful, or something. I think that’s what I’m after at this point now- only making meaningful connections. My city days were always numbered. Living a more rural/rustic life is going to be very grounding for me. Ever since I moved into Hartford for college 8 years ago I’ve for the most part been living in cities (however small or big) ever since. Holy Moly.
My first intensive is September 12th. I’ll be back in Louisville for 2 weeks and joining a class of 11, me being the 12th.
Fun fact, Louisville was rated #1 best place to live in money magazine in 2011 and made the top 10 in previous years too. Whatever that means, I’ll take it!
I feel blessed and have to credit my parents for helping me to make all this possible. They have been so supportive by all means throughout this grad school process over the last couple years and it means the world to me.