the best is yet to come

Frat houses, America, and my downward-facing dog

It feels almost fitting that I will spend my last few days at Yale living in a frat house. So here I am, living out my final two nights in New Haven, sleeping on the fourth floor of ∑AE, which I have to myself. Sure, there might be rats in the basement and sometimes hobos wander in because they know the house is deserted — attracted to the smell of stale, old beer and cigarettes that never seems to  leave the place. Last night Shane gave me a golf club to sleep with, to stave off the rats and the hobos. I don’t think he was kidding about having to stave off either of them. It wasn’t that bad of course, my room was quite nice, in a bachelor pad kind of way.

Subtlety is not their strong suit
Subtlety is not their strong suit

I felt like my last months in the States, above all, I was living in the moment. It’s honestly dumb to think that I am doing these inane things for the last time. I’ve had to tell myself at many times throughout, calm down crazy, this is not the last time you’ll have froyo, I am sure they’ll have it in China too (and yet Pinkberry is too good not to have that one last time!). This is not my last time in the US, or even in New Haven — this whole change business is too will pass. I spent my last day as if it were a normal day. I woke up (slightly groggy but with no rats in sight!), went to work, went to yoga, had dinner, and drank myself silly to tolerate the ride back to the airport.

During yoga, I think I finally got it. Somewhere between downward facing dog and chataranga dondasana, something clicked. I was sweaty (like always), slightly uncomfortable (like always), and moderately in pain (yep, like always). I had been trying to push myself out of my comfort zone the entire practice, doing the push-ups each set of vinyasas, in a attempt for my final practice at the Breathing Room to mean something, to count, to be my one big end to one and a half years of being tortured by Tobie. And then, I realized, while inverted with my feet close to the wall and above my head that if I approached yoga like that, I really haven’t learned anything from my practice over the past year and a half. Now, above all, I need to trust my body. I can do yoga in Shanghai. I can do yoga in the airport, I can even do it on the plane a la Hilaria Baldwin.  This isn’t the end of my life, it’s the beginning. I tried to let my insecurities go and enjoyed the rest of the practice (as much as I could enjoy having my feet above my head, naturally). Inversions are supposed to be cooling — an inversion is whenever your heart is above your head. I feel like there’s more to this yogi significance than I am getting, but maybe after a year and a half, I’ll be on my way. I think one of my goals for China will be to continue working on my practice and be ready to go through the teacher certification back in the States. I think I would make a really chill yoga instructor.

My last dinner in New Haven was incredibly bittersweet. I had avoided Chinese food quite thoroughly for the last month, so that I would not get quite so sick of Chinese food when I make my trek to China again. I feel like going out to a Taiwanese restaurant that night was oddly fitting. As usual, nothing went right. I was locked out of my house for half an hour and did not have time to change out of the sweaty yoga clothes I’ve worn to practice all week (after all, everything else I had was packed). I had also been avoiding showering at the frat house, so I smelled.. bad. It was muggy, a little overcast, and I was exhausted. There was no time to shower and I spritzed myself with water and put vaseline around my eyes in an effort to look like I’ve actually slept the last few nights. On the way back from the restaurant, I did get the shower I wanted, walking back to my house soaked in the pouring rain, much like when I first came to campus during Bulldog Days in 2009. I honestly don’t remember anything I ate, but it was nice to catch up with someone who had made such a positive impact on my life the last six months and someone who I wish I was not leaving behind. I held that last hug in the rain a little longer than I should have, but then again, there are no regrets I should stil have before leaving, right?

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