Cliff Gardner

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Reality check

Remember your first day of college? You know how you had thought about it, looked forward to it and prepared for it mentally for a long time before hand? Do you remember how real it felt to finally start something that up until that point had just been a good idea? I’ve had a few moments like that in my life where the weight of what I had to do—what I knew I would do—started to dawn on me. My first day of college was one (“wow, I’m in college now”) running the Portland Marathon (“so, I’ve actually got to run for four hours now”) was another. My thesis ("in four months I will have written a really long and hopefully good paper") is another example. I know when I step off the plane in Kyiv, I’ll have a similar moment where the gravity of the situation hits me and I think, “ok, this is real now—I actually need to do this.” I’m excited and scared for that moment. Mostly excited! :-)

I was going to blog a running diary of my going away party last night but the truth is I don’t remember much of it, which I’m assuming means it was awesome! One thing I do remember, though, is that my personal breathalyzer came in very handy, both as a party favor and in convincing me that I should go back to bed instead of trying to drive home. It was surreal to say goodbye to everyone, so I decided to head down to Salem and rip this emotional Band-Aid RIGHT OFF by visiting more friends for the last time. I had lunch with Logan and talked with Brian and tried really hard to get a hold of the allusive Rob but was ultimately unsuccessful, sadly. Tonight, I had dinner with Christine and it was wonderful. Pictures of all of this will follow on facebook sometime tomorrow. I leave for D.C. next Wednesday and for Ukraine on the 1st. Wow.


  • Yeah, thats all fine and dandy Thomas, but when does the going-away party stop in Chicago/St Louis?

    By Blogger Matt, at 6:14 AM  

  • I vote for Chicago...people from St. Louis can come here as Chicago is the GREATEST city ever (at least in mid west :)

    Also, please tell me that, even with all of these good byes, you have had time to write up many funny blog entries in advance and created a way that they will post once a week. Is that too much to ask? Thanks in advance :)

    By Blogger Kourtney, at 8:17 AM  

  • Actually, I am flying through Chicago on my way to training in DC next wednesday...and I do have a two hour lay over....

    By Blogger T-Mac, at 10:28 AM  

  • Yo, good luck in Ukraine!

    By Anonymous shea, at 10:32 AM  

  • Long time no talk or anything, I know, but let me know if you need anything while you are in D.C. Have a safe and wonderful time in the Ukraine!

    By Anonymous Brianne, at 11:53 AM  

  • As someone who has also just embarked on something new and scary, I wish you all the best during your time in the Ukraine! If you find yourself needing any Russia/CIS-related advice, I'm happy to help.

    By Blogger Brizz, at 3:33 PM  

  • Wait - did you have like THREE Mike's Hard Lemonades? If so, I can see how you would need that breathalyzer.

    By Blogger magic, and with love from Sam,, at 6:50 PM  

  • I would love to be there the day you down an entire 6-pack of Mike's. I mean, I would be there taking pictures and handing you a towel. It's what real friends are for, to be there when you puke, or are too drunk to notice you are peeing in public. I hope you come see me before you leave.

    By Anonymous T-Funny, at 10:58 PM  

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