this is it!

when dream becomes reality, there's this striking moment where that epiphany hits you like a nice dose of valium+adrenaline; you go numb, but want to shoot out or your skin all at once, in every direction, for millions of lightyears, and then fly back together, imploding; or maybe i'm thinking of a supernova. now to my point: whether the reality exist or not is wholly dependent on whether your brain, consciousness, spirit-mind, or what you will, is aware of the reality. (this is particularly well-illustrated by schizophrenics who see an increasingly [scary] picture of life over time.)

i experienced my awareness' dawn this morning when i received the email from the study abroad program Director (capital D) with the subject "[somethingrather] Scholarship"; naturally, that was the title i saw, and i figured it was just some information about one; as i clicked on the email, it was too late to not realize that it was THE scholarship, the doozy, the big one, the one i thought i had no chance in the world of getting. fortunately for me, the fateful words are always the first in letters of this type, so the shock only increased from there: "It is my great pleasure..." and i crapped my mental pants in joy. it went on to say that i had been selected. "The scholarship amount is $5,000." pure and simple; no extra little tidbits. "This money will be credited to your account..." really, this is free money, though hard-earned, i assure you. there are no flourishes in this letter.

upon reading the rest i began shaking, which i think is my body's way of saying it can't contain my psyche. i felt the tears prodding the backs of my eyeballs and before i knew it, i was listening to my mom's phone ringing on the other end of the [non-existent] line. apparently, the explosion of my brain out of my skull was evaded in the form of sharing the news with my CFO (aka momma dearest), but i didn't realize that i was still cognizant until the words came flowing out of my mouth "guess what.. igotthescholarship forfivethousanddollars!! i'mreallygoingtofrance!"

she squealed. i allowed myself a muffled squeal, somehow remembering i have roommates who like to sleep later than the buttcrack of dawn (good for them, just not really my style). her response? well you could guess it, especially if you know my mom; "i just want to jump through the phone and hug you and jump up and down! wahoooo!!" we are all just teenagers at heart. i told cuong (le boyfriend) and he got super excited with a lot of YAY's.

after a quick shower -- no, i'm not sure it was quick because i was twitching between shampooing and soaping, which could mean i was going super fast or super slow -- i called my dad and left him a stammered message. he called me back, and i shared the news (again). his response was akin to my mom's, but with less jumping and squealing. i basically just got paid for my hard work as a diligent (no, i did not say delinquent) student. that's four months of living expenses. all these realizations fell on me in a pile of happy tidings, drowning me in an insurmountable hope for my future.

dear disney, i'll tell you where dreams come true. it's not at that hyper-consumerist park of yours. those aren't dreams. living, eating, breathing, sleeping france is my dream; and it's coming true. i'll tell you why. it's because i worked my hind end off; i tried again and again through paperwork and frustration; i kept my promises to myself about meeting deadlines and getting answers. now here i am, with that much work in my pocket, under my belt. so all i can say, disney, is you fill people with a hope for a dream that they can pay to achieve; i on the other hand have paid and paid, and now i get reimbursed... and none of this is material. yes, they are dollar bills, but they mean i am now awarded the opportunity for the experience of my lifetime heretofore. and that is all i can ask for. 10 years+ of dreaming has paid off quite literally. and i am one happy clam!

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