Fear The Ear
Last weekend I flew back to Fargo for my ten-year college reunion.
I was in town for less than 36 hours but it was worth it.
A word about my college: I’m crazy for it. I’m one of those freaks who hopes my children will go to the same school and their children will go to the same school and we will take a three generations photo in our matching college sweaters, standing in front of the bell tower. (Or something. I haven’t really thought about it.)
Combine this collegiate love with a new Xanax prescription and a chance to see some of my closest friends and it didn’t take much to get me on a plane.
As I de-boarded in Fargo, the crisp air hit me right in the face and the joy that coursed through my body felt like what I imagine sky diving or doing a lot of cocaine feels like.
My college roommates picked me up at the airport and after hugs so long strangers around us started to become uncomfortable, we headed out to haunt the halls of our old campus.
Being back was full of nostalgia and longing. The smell of the old buildings reminded me of the best part about being in college: the constant feeling that I was on the precipice. That someday I was going to do grand things but for now I could just live with my best friends, eat ice cream for breakfast, and occasionally learn some really cool stuff.
That weekend, the weather was beautiful and I made my roommates pull over on Eighth Street in Fargo so I could frolic in the leaves. I’m sure the homeowner, whose yard I was dancing around in, was standing at her window, watching me with her finger hovered over the last 1 in 911.
But I just couldn’t hold in my joy.
October has always been the most difficult month for me in Los Angeles. The weather is stubbornly hot, the trees are aggressively green, and I’m sweating my makeup off in my cable knit sweater because I cannot wear another tank top, for the love of God, it’s October.
This is also my husband, Jason’s most challenging month because I start moping around the house and leaving him articles with titles like, “Best Places In Minnesota To Enjoy the Changing Leaves” and “Housing Prices Fifty Percent Less In The Midwest.” (Okay, that last one was just a note I scrawled on a post-it and stuck to his computer.)
I moved to LA for a reason: dreams and goals and saying yes to a little piece of my heart. But in the fall, those reasons sound to me more like “blah and blah and saying yes a little piece of my blah.”
Homesickness begins to creep in and I start losing sight of what I’m really doing out here, so far from the people and the place that I love. Doubt takes up space in my head and it becomes hard to remember that confident little college freshman who sat in her dorm room and journaled about dreams in her papasan chair.
That girl who believed in herself so wholly and completely, she never thought to pause in the middle of her Religions Of Asia homework and think that maybe pursuing her dreams in the real world would be harder than she thought.
Being back there this weekend, kicking around leaves and spending time with some of my favorite women, reinstated that positive little voice.
“I’m here,” It said. “I still believe in you. Just remember, no matter how hard it gets it won’t ever be as difficult as French 212.”
The next week, back at work in Los Angeles, I sipped pumpkin spice coffee in a tank top while gazing out my window at the palm trees.
And for one brief moment, it felt good enough.
This piece was originally written for the Fargo Forum. You can find them (and me) here.