There were two envelopes on the kitchen table when I came home from school, as well as a boyfriend that paced around it as if he was a cat and the envelopes were a prickly aquarium fish. I still haven’t opened my envelope, and neither has Mark.
This is it, isn’t it? Inside is the beginning of something else. If it is an invitation to an interview, then a process will start that could end with life turning totally upside down for both of us. Now that I have the envelope on the desk I can’t bring myself to open it, because if I do, the ball starts rolling. Or I find that there is no ball, and that path I was on has irrevocably stopped.
I don’t know what to do. Suddenly I’m full of doubt. I don’t want things to change. I like my life. I like things as they are. I like me and Mark here in this house, puttering about with just school.
But in the envelope… there’s a start or a stop. Which one?
I wrote the bit above two hours ago. I have opened the envelope, and it’s an invitation. In the middle of December I am going to Cambridge and I am going to be interviewed by someone at a college there; I won’t say which at this time.
Inside are instructions I have to follow to be granted the interview, and now I’m so nervous I feel like I have a tummy ache. What if I make such a mess of things? What if I am tongue-tied and forget everything, and they are going to think I’m so stupid, and they’ll laugh at me, or be angry for wasting their time?
Mark was invited too, but he’s taking things much better than me. He’s accepted. Somewhere inside that beautiful head of his sits a man totally assured of his own superiority. I think that if he’d been declined, he’d think that Cambridge got it wrong. Now that they haven’t declined, he probably thinks that ‘oh of course they were going to invite me’.
Why don’t I have that certainty about myself, ever? Why am I sitting here thinking about ways that I’m going to make a fool of myself, instead of seeing it as the opportunity that it is? I’m not dumb. I’m not shitty. Why do I think I am? There’s no empirical evidence for it. I have good grades; my teachers seem to think I’m good. My friends like me. Mark loves me. So why don’t I ever give myself a fucking break?
This will be good. Change is not always bad. Cambridge wouldn’t invite me if they thought I was shit. If I was shit, I’d be rejected. Things will go fine. Really. They must.