I have a confession to make, although it´s not one that I´m particularly embarrassed of: I love Dr. Seuss. He is a literary genius. I actually wrote my term literary analysis paper on his work for my junior year literature class in high school. Anyway, one of my favorite books by Dr. Seuss is “Oh the Places You’ll Go.” Now, this book is popular with a lot of people because of it´s message about hope for the future and wisdom about not knowing what is to come, but it is just full of tidbits of wisdom to which I think many people fail to pay sufficient attention. One of these lovely tidbits is “The waiting place….
“For people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come,
or a plane to go or the mail to come,
or the rain to go or the phone to ring,
Everyone is just waiting.
No! That´s not for you!
Somehow you´ll escape all that waiting and staying.
You´ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing!”
Dr. Seuss tells us that we will all come upon this place at some points in our lives, but he reminds us that it is a temporary state—at least for those of us who choose it to be so. But, for now, I am stuck in the waiting place. I plan to escape it as soon as possible, but sometimes it´s just an avoidable stop between here and there.
Why am I stuck in the waiting place you ask? Well, I am at the airport, waiting to go back to Chile for my second semester abroad. And it has already been a heck of a trip.
I was originally supposed to fly out on Friday. I had been visiting Tufts for the week, to put some things in order for my thesis and to visit my friends who were still on campus. My flight was supposed to leave out of New York Friday afternoon, but after I was halfway to New York on a train from Boston, I found out that my flight was cancelled. (See other blog posts for details on the snowstorm named Nemo.) So I turned right back around on another train to go back to Boston. After I got over the fact that was I supposed to be on the beach with my Chilean boyfriend, Gabriel, instead of stuck in wintry Boston, I was able to enjoy the snowstorm a little: sledding on the President´s lawn, feeling cozily trapped in my friends´ apartment with a mug of hot chocolate. But I eventually had to admit that I had decidedly reached the Waiting Place.
After spending the holidays at home, I was kind of just waiting to get back to Chile for the next stanza of my life to start. Waiting for the snowstorm to pass. Waiting to have my own room again. Waiting to see my friends in Chile. Waiting to dive into my thesis research. Of course, being at Tufts was fun, but since I was only there for a week, it really just represented an intermediate step in between Here and There.
Before you think I´m feeling sorry for myself, however, let me point out that the Waiting Place isn´t all bad. Oftentimes, it´s the only place you can really fully reflect on the place from which you came and the place to which you are going. This was especially true for me, since the places on either side of me were so different from each other—in language, in culture, in people, in purpose.
So, here are a few fruits of the reflections I was able to achieve while in my Waiting Place. (You will soon discover that I am very fond of lists)
I could go on and on and on, but I am of the opinion that there are some things you just have to experience for yourself if you´re going to learn the most that you can learn. Plus, everyone´s experience is different, so even if I told you everything I know, you could easily come back and teach me a lot more.
In the meantime, I can tell you that with two bus rides and three train rides behind me, and two plane rides ahead of me, sitting in JFK international airport wearing my Tufts quidditch shirt, there is nothing I want more in the world than to arrive in Santiago, where the sun is shining, to a perfect 80 degree summer day.
Chao for now!