The worst part of this isn't the travel. Or the expense. Or the constant wearing of suits. Or, really, the fact that I've rotated through 4-5 outfits without variation over the past month and a half. The worst part is how lonely this is. I miss my friends and my family. Every once in a while I get to see someone I know, and it is just wonderful.
The other part of this is that it makes you want to bond with anyone familiar - like the other applicants. I now have a handful of new best friends who I know because we're on the same interview circuit. We've exchanged emails and friended each other on Facebook. One woman and I spent 6 hours straight talking nonstop on the train from Boston to Philly. We're friends because we have similar interests and passions and things to talk about. But, really, we're friends because we're lonely. We're so starved for friendship. And we're finding it in each other. And some of them? Some of them will become my best friends for the next four years - I just don't know who yet.
Also. Also, I've learned to eat dinner by myself. Because of the ice storm in Portland, I'm staying in a hotel downtown instead of with my future in-laws up a steep hill. And also because of the ice storm, the resident dinner was canceled tonight. So I found a nice restaurant and treated myself to one of the nicest dinners I've had in quite a while: a salad of endive, apple, cranberries and pine nuts, and some hazelnut crusted trout over farro. And a glass of Rioja. Because this is my comfort. And because otherwise, I'd be ordering room service in the hotel and feeling even more lonely.
Only two more days until I get a break. Until then, I have my comforts.