Thursday, January 6, 2011

On First Impressions (Maine, Merryspring, and My New Place/Roommate)

Every time I come out to the New England I find something new to love.

I loved Rhode Island and New Hampshire for different reasons.

I have a feeling I am going to LOVE Maine.

Well, yes it's cold. Yes mostly everything is frozen and dormant. Yes, I live near a busy road.

I could try to look at all the bad things. But what would that accomplish?

I can leap out my window and touch ocean! (Not really).

I live in a large house that, though a little old and creaky, has a kind of charm to it.

I live with a woman who loves Sadie and who Sadie has already started acclimating to.

I work at a nature center which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the enrichment and education of the community. They are relaxed and easy going. No bureaucracy, no red tape, just a goal and people who are passionate about reaching it.

Can I pause for a moment? I just need to say how much I love Hans Zimmer and his instrumentation in The Lion King soundtrack. Really. How emotionally fulfilling is that movie?

Back on task.

I was feeling pretty lonely at first. It was just me, Sadie, and a woman neither of us knew very well. It was me and my unfamiliar room full of familiar things. It was uncertainty and doubt.

Then I went to Orientation and found reasons not to feel lonely. (The food there was amazing, by the way). I made connections with other MCC environmental educators. Some of them live pretty close to me. I may not be living in the woods with 30 other people, but I am not alone. And I haven't even started making church connections yet.

The past week has taught me that in order to make it through the feelings of being alone in Maine, I have to make an effort to connect. To befriend. To interact.

I can't be the little wallflower who wont speak unless spoken to. I know that if I fall back into my introverted pattern 100% of the time my experience here will be pretty miserable.

Merryspring is covered in snow, but that snow will melt. In the meantime, I get to contact speakers for Tuesday Talks and organize winter activities. I will become very familiar with writing press releases. I will pretty much work at my own pace and do what I can to maintain traditional practices and introduce new ideas at this beautiful little nature center. It feels so official to be THE Environmental Educator at Merryspring. I am so excited.

Though Bonnie still hasn't worked out getting wireless internet, the Rockland public Library is really close (now that I finally found it). It's in this lovely old building well maintained. There is a common room with a fireplace!

I met one of Bonnie's friends last night. He was a really nice guy! A character. He likes to drive across the country taking pictures and writing in journals. I wish that I weren't just starting the professional part of my life. I would LOVE to do that. And Bonnie herself is such a free spirit. She lived in South America for a time and has been a designer her whole life. She loves NPR and reading news magazines. She loves making dinner and entertaining people. She is a nice lady and a free spirit.

I still feel lonely at times. But I've been here less than a week. What can I expect? But even more so than New Hampshire, I imagine finding myself in Maine. Either that, or I will retreat into myself and never leave my room except to work.

But all first impressions tell me the following: This is going to be a challenge. I am not an extrovert but I find that the more I try, the more outgoing I can be. There is a lot to be done at Merryspring but they aren't going to let me crash and burn without any help. I'm going to be poor but I am already finding ways to work past that. I can look past the cold grayness of winter that covers everything and see how I will fall in love with this place once spring comes around (not that I'm not starting to fall in love with it now. It's just had with it being so cold and harsh).

I know it's winter and I have a while, but I can't wait for all of you to come and visit! I will have so much to share with you.


Peeser said...

Hans Zimmer rocks. I love that you mentioned twice in the same paragraph that Bonnie is a free spirit. She sounds awesome- I think she and I would really find we have a lot in common! I'm glad Sadie seems to be adjusting.

Try to get some pictures soon! :)

Jeanne, the mom and grandmom said...

I also can't wait to come up to Maine. Autumn is too far away!

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