Class starts today and I’m posting this from the library on campus. I walked around the campus a bit and was shocked how completely foreign it feels after just one semester away. There are so many freshmen who I don’t know, the buildings have changed, the offices have moved around, etc. But even the things that are the same as when I left still feel really foreign. It all feels so much smaller and less important now. In London I spent every moment focusing on enjoying my time to the fullest and now I don’t know how to apply that philosophy to this life. I know that my view of England is idealized but it doesn’t change the fact that somehow I have to reconcile those four months with my life now. I think that honestly I miss the study abroad experience more than London.
On a happier note, Michael and I finished our wall decoration. We took about 150 photographs that we took on our trip and arranged them to look like the London tube sign. It’s this huge monstrous thing on our wall now and it’s pretty awesome if I say so myself. I love looking at the photos during commercials or something and remembering how great it was to have been there or how cold it was or how I felt about it at the time. I’m not sure if it’s making it harder for me to move on or if it helps me keep in touch with the life-altering experience it was. Either way it’s there and it’s fabulous.
You know when you’ve been gone for a while and you come home and you ask, “Was that there before?” and they say, “of course”? That’s how I feel. I keep looking at things and feeling sure that they’re different but in reality it’s just that I am looking at them differently.
I know in a few weeks once school really gets going and I get busy and involved I won’t feel so much like a fish out of water. I’ll still miss England but I’ll be focused on getting an issue of the paper out and on finishing that essay or reading that book. I’m looking forward to that but I know that when I come home and see those photos I’ll feel pretty sad that my work has become my life and it’s focused on production rather than experience.