The night before my travels I was particularly nervous. I was going to be gone for two weeks. I have never been away from my family or my pups for that long. For me I was essentially going to be going off to a place I had never been to start a very abbreviated new life. Now, you might ask where I went. Well, if you recall, many blogs ago I wrote about getting into my dream school and not being able to go because of a various reasons. This was so hard for me to deal with. Even though I am relatively happy at my current school, I could not accept not getting to go to THE school. Somehow, God gave me what I wanted anyway! I did get to go to my school for the summer animal law program! The program consisted of two classes crammed into a month. The first class was in Portland and the second class is online (which I am currently taking).
Anyway, the night before my flight left, I was ridiculously anxious and I could not sleep. I ended up only getting three hours of sleep. My flight left at sixish so I was up super early. I got to the airport, kissed my mom bye, and I was off. The flights, though filled with anxiety, were relatively enjoyable. I finally landed in Oregon and anxiously got off of the plane, collected my luggage, and I was off. Then reality hit me… Where the hell was I going? How was I going to get there? I did do some research prior to leaving and understood that there was a light rail at the airport going to the school but the exhaustion set in and I was scared and irritated. I was in a new place, a new airport, and it was getting into the late afternoon. I reluctantly found my way to the light rail, purchased a ticket, and got on. I sat down and then realized yet again, I had no idea where to get off. I nervously looked through a transit guide and knew that I had to get off in downtown and take the school’s shuttle up to the campus. When I got off downtown, I found myself standing there in a crowd of people with all my luggage. What was I going to do? I called the school and was told that the shuttle did not run up to the school in the summer. I immediately became upset and regretted ever coming there. The woman that I spoke with at the school was kind to me. She helped me understand which buses I had to get on and off of. Portland has a miserable transportation system that I still cannot understand to this day.
After getting on the first bus and speaking to the bus driver, whom I can only assume thought I was a pain in the ass for asking questions, I sat down and tried to understand where I had to get off to catch the next bus. Keep in mind I had luggage which contained my bedding, towels, a fan, a desk light, school supplies, and two weeks worth of clothing. Finally, I got off in front of a grocery store where there was yet another bus stop. I sat there with other people who were staring at me struggle with my bags. At that point I wanted to cry but I swallowed my tears because: “Hey, I was getting the chance of a lifetime”.
When the next bus arrived, I loaded my luggage on while the bus driver impatiently waited on me. I handed her a twenty and she promptly advised me that she couldn’t make change. I then asked if she could take a card, again NO! So, I unloaded my luggage and was left standing on the side of a highway in Oregon. I was heading into the store to make change for the next bus which would be coming in 30 minutes when I saw a taxi drive away. I got the name of the taxi, called, and arranged a ride up to the school. At that point, I didn’t care how much it cost.
The taxi came and brought me to campus security where I collected my key, had my picture taken for an ID card, and purchased a bus pass. The woman who was so nice to me earlier called a campus security officer to take me up to the dorm where I would be staying. When he arrived, he was crass and cocky. I sat there while he drove me up to the dorm trying not to cry and trying to make small talk to break the awkward silence. After a few minutes we arrived at the building. It was getting dark and I was miserably tired and hungry. Due to the extremely hilly land of Portland, I had to go down a flight of stairs to get to the door of my building. The guard stood there at the bottom and watched me struggle with my bags until I had about threes steps left and then he decided to assist me in my struggle… RUDE! He showed me how to enter the building with my swipe card and then he left me standing there as the sun went down.
The building was AWFUL! It was dark, old, creepy… I could feel the tears coming. I walked in and got my things in and saw a girl in the kitchen whom I tried to talk to a bit but she seemed not to want to be bothered. It seemed that my room was upstairs which meant more fighting with the luggage.The hot tears began to roll down my cheeks. As difficult as it had been for me to move my heavy luggage around, I became so upset that I picked up everything with the strength of the Hulk and carried it all up in one swift hike up the stairs. I found my room, locked the door and the flood gates broke. I wanted to go home, I wanted my mom, I wanted my dogs. I sat on the mattress and called my mom and sobbed to her. The minute I heard her voice I was filled with so much regret for coming there. Thankfully, she was the voice of reason for me. As I informed her that I was going to come home, she reminded me that this is what I had wanted and had worked for. She made me remember that I was there for the animals who so desperately need me. I vowed to myself that I was only going to go to the class and come back and “get it over with”. LOL
Eventually, I got off the phone, made my bed and unpacked a few of my things. There were three of us in staying in the creepy dorm and as luck would have it, I was put in a room where I had to share a bathroom with a girl that I had never met. I decided that that was just not for me and I walked down the hall and used a bathroom that no one was using (which I used for my entire stay). I cried in the shower. When I got out of the shower, I used a food delivery service to order dinner because there was no way I was going out into the cruel world again that day… and it was dark. I cried while I ordered food. When the guy got there I went down to get my food and brought it back to my room and cried while I ate it. They forgot to put utensils, so I had to eat with my fingers. I cried about that. Not easy to eat spaghetti like that… While I was eating I realized that I should start my travel journal for this blog. I then decided that I was going to be a horrible time and I was not going to write about any of it, hence why I am doing this series. LOL I talked to my mom again before bed and I was so miserable that I was alone in this horrible place. The dorm was like a dungeon… cold cinder block walls, old indoor/outdoor carpet that smelled like mildew, dingy yellow lighting… just awful. When we got off the phone, I put on Netflix and watched Friends as I cried myself to sleep. I had no idea of the amazing adventure that awaited me...
Stay tuned for the next installment in this series! :)