On delaying the inevitable (or 18 days to Step One)

The new moon is Wednesday and I planned to sit for Step One on Tuesday. Instead, a rough practice exam last weekend shook my confidence and forced re-evaluation. Step is coming, but am I ready?

My April 25th test date is quite early: most of my fellow students are planning for a mid-May D-Day. I would probably pass if I still went with Tuesday, but why? Just to get it out of the way and worry about the test result for the remainder of my summer? So, my partner and I decided to postpone until after our move to Pennsylvania and towards the middle of May.

In many ways, I am glad to postpone. I can breathe a bit easier. Now, I am able to enjoy my final days here in Florida. Rather than cramming and stressing about an exam, I can take a long walk without feeling the crushing guilt of losing points on test day. Of course, I need to continue the grind and maintain focus as I pack up my apartment and drive a rental truck up to Pennsylvania in one week.

The move is so soon. In seven days, we will have my partner’s parents sitting in shotgun with our lives packed up and Tampa in the rear-view mirror. Over the past few days, we’ve begun to build boxes and move our things into them. The rooms are at once full and empty: the blank spaces on the wall draw the eye like the mirror after a new haircut and the boxes fill the floor like a big lazy dog that doesn’t want to move when you approach.

I spent a few months working as a professional mover while attending night classes at Harvard Extension School in 2012. I enjoyed the labor and picked up a few skills. I learned that when opening a box, taping the folds, and filling it full of things, life becomes very simple. All of these odds and ends fit into these plain, sturdy boxes, which then stack into an empty truck. Life may seem complicated when it has spilled out and unfurled into a space, but not when it has been packed up and organized into discrete units. For this reason, I love packing and I love the process.

Step Prep began on the vernal equinox, the start of spring. I planned to take Step One on Tuesday in Tampa, the first day of a new moon. Now, I will sit for Step on May 11th in Allentown, the day after a full moon.

Instead of the lunar cycle counting down to D-Day, she will bloom and grow while we settle into our new home. I will prepare for a long day of multiple-choice questions as she fills up. And the remainder of that moon will be unbridled spring, counting down to the beginning of Third Year.

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