You’d think that by now I’d be used to this whole “living in two places at once”, moving back-and-forth between home and college. It’s been nearly a year and a half since I’ve been doing this and—albeit—moving away from home has been good for me. Yeah yeah, it’s helped me grow more “independent”, (or has it made me even more solitary than before?) but, at the same time, returning home and going back to this “happy place” I find in college is always the most excruciatingly heart-aching, tear-ridden puffy-eyed choked-up-voice “fine I’ll deal with it” “I have no choice” of a journey.
I may sound like a little kid with my feet kicking up into the air in angered motions, rolling around all over the floor, but, yes—I’ll admit it—I am a kid. I’m only 19 years old. And who knows at what age one ever really “grows up”? I find that more than half of the time, we all bite our lip, choke back our throats and accept things the way they are. And that’s an entirely honorable thing—nothing is ever entirely under our control. If we all lived in a way where everything worked in our control, we’d all be burdened with unhappiness and utter loneliness. But, as humans, we’re all forced to grow up, whether we like it or not. We’re forced to get along, easily or disturbingly. Remember that whole idea of Holden Caulfield trying to keep kids from growing up in The Catcher in the Rye? We find that it just doesn’t happen. That’s how life works. We may not always like it. As naturally emotional and frail creatures, feelings of the heart, of a home, of belonging and a happiness rule everything in our lives. Without it, we’d be depleted of a motivation for living. Those very things are the things that keep us living and, without it, we cheat ourselves from living.
But, enough of my preaching. Even though this whole experience has been both a blessing and a curse at the same time, it has really helped me evaluate the things in life that I really value. I may be sitting here the day after my arrival, still stuck in my bed with crying eyes and moping for 4 hours but, the only thing that really gets me through is the idea that this won’t be relevant forever. The fact that I have something to look forward to after this—maybe it be that I will get to see my family at the end of the quarter, or the idea that I know after the year is done, I’ll be looking forward to 3 months back home, or even the grander scheme of things that I know so much growth will take place—it all makes it a little easier to accept and handle. Even if just a little bit. There’s nothing I can really do to change my situation. A slight change in lifestyle is always tough (especially when you get sentimental junkies like me…), and it’s totally okay and normal to not like it and even have a little fit sometimes. When the going gets tough, it’s important to realize that nothing ever really lasts forever, including feelings or situations or relationships, maybe even states of minds (don’t feel robbed!)… When you give yourself a little something to look forward to and hope for, maybe a little tiny light at the end of the tunnel, it gives you a reason to keep “treading on, soldier”.
I’ve always been a homebody and seeker of home & leisure. I like both emotional and physical comfort, extending my relaxation time and time in the company of the ones I love. I’m a dreamer and always see things through an artistic lens, thus seeking beauty in life, in people, in home, and good company. Seeing that beauty makes me even more sentimental and attached. When you mess with that, of course it’ll throw things off.
But, as the Pisces I have grown into—I’m a fish—and we’re entirely and extremely adaptable creatures, able to mold and bend and “fit” into any person or environment or surrounding with an ease unlike any else which has, surprisingly, made me able to deal with extended stays away from the place I love. As a person who has always been loved all her life, taken care of and watched after and given baby steps along the way into molding her into the person she is now, it’s hard to leave the things and people you found yourself identifying with—the things that make you who you are and make you feel the real love inside of you. When you’re thrown into an environment where everything really depends on you, and nobody else—including the little things that have made up the fiber of your being—you mope. You want to feel that love, that welcome acceptance, that comfort, that sense of belonging and freedom to live as you naturally do… It gets tough to feel what’s really around you when you’re not in the company of the things that make you feel alive.
So, the point of this is, I guess, even if you do belong someplace and have such a great home somewhere, I cannot reinforce my belief that home is really with the people you love even more. What ever reason did I have to leave that home? Perhaps it was to force myself to grow up, to become less attached and dependent on something. Perhaps it was the idea that I am a big dreamer and need that extra push to really pursue those bigger things I want in my life. Perhaps it was simply the idea that I know this won’t stay relevant forever, and with whatever relationships or lessons or circumstances I find myself in during these 4 years I’m forced to be away from home, maybe there is a good in this all. College is really a time to just focus on yourself, even if you’re a lazy bum who likes to live a life of leisure at home with familiar company, living on their deeds and values. I am a people-pleaser, and, maybe at the back of my mind, I knew that I have to change that and really have time to focus on myself, and please myself, even if it is stripping away everything that was once familiar to me. At the end of it all, it’s just one stepping stone towards something more to look forward to. Our lives consist of looking forward to things, so don’t be afraid to pick more up on the way. In the toughness of life, hope—in love or self-gratification—makes it easier.