One of my favorite and least-favorite things about eastern Europe is the uncertainty in life.
If you hadn’t picked up on it in my previous posts (or in real life), I’m a planner. I like to at least have a rough idea of where I’m going and what I’m doing and when. Romania, in general, is not a place where planning is easy. For the past few weeks, I’ve been showing up at the Faculty of Letters to meet with the Dean on most mornings. We chat for a bit, and he introduces me to colleagues, and then, sometimes, I teach a class. Sometimes the professor is there. Sometimes not. In more than one case, I’ve had to ask the students what class they are attending and what material they are covering. Now that we are a few weeks into the semester, I have a better grasp of the schedules and I’ve met some of the students a few times. They recognize me more than I recognize them. We have good conversations about books we are reading and how life is different in the United States.
Although “by the seat of my pants” is not my favorite way to live life, it has also brought some of my favorite memories this year. I try to say yes to as many opportunities as I can. This is how I ended up in Montenegro, Albania, and Greece last month. It’s how I ended up dancing with my colleagues at a Women’s Day celebration two weeks ago. It’s how I’ve done things like smoothen poetry translations, and attend theatre productions, and introduce myself to former presidents. It’s how I ended up in Romania.
The uncertainty persists. I plan to return home to Ohio for about a month this summer. I’m not sure when. I’m not sure where I will go when I leave. I don’t dare to make plans just yet. But after my time in Romania, the uncertainty bothers me a lot less. This time last year, I was agonizing over what to do after graduation. Today, I know that I’ll figure it out when I figure it out.