I hate the fact that I haven't been posting regularly. So many things have been happening, and I feel like I have a million excuses to keep me from a blog. One is school. I spent most of last week in the library and most of the next couple of weeks will also be in the library. I have an essay due in less than 2 weeks, and I need to get all of my research done for my dissertation in 3 weeks.
Because I only have 3 weeks left in London.
This makes me want to cry.
I'm just now beginning to realize what an amazing place this is, what a fantastic opportunity it has been for me to be here, the things I have learned that are even now changing who I am and how I see the world, lessons I'll take with me to my PhD program, that I'll take with me throughout my life, I hope.
But there is more to life than the big city, its museums and parks and theaters and cinemas, its Costas and Prets and M&S's and Tescos, its pubs and libraries and protesting students. I'm really torn between two worlds. On one hand I've never felt more at ease than I have in London. For the first couple of months I loved nothing more than sitting on the Tube, flying in the dark below its teeming narrow streets. I don't know why but I felt a tremendous sense of calmness there, so unlike the constant feeling of anxiety and nervousness I'd grown accustomed to last year. Perhaps it was because I was moving so quickly, caught up in the action of the city I always wanted to be part of. I was literally inside the city. I couldn't get closer to it. It had swallowed me up and I was part of it. Sometimes I was tempted to miss my stop and just huddle down deeper into the warm, rocking carriage as it flew through the city. I remember telling my mom about this early on, how I had felt so happy, so fulfilled and content on the Tube. Who knows what she thought of that.
I don't take the tube as often now. It's allegedly summertime, although you wouldnt know it for all of the rain and the winter clothes I'm forced to wear. I walk and I take the bus when I need to get anywhere, and I've had a similar, but not quite, content feeling flying through the city on the top deck of a bus, listening to Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures, and seeing all of the people and the streaming lights and the rhythms of a living, breathing city.
On the other hand, I'm craving something else, and I'm starting to grow a little restless again. Sometimes I think it's wanderlust, that I need to travel and see the world and I start getting a little antsy, but I don't know if that's it. I do love travelling, and i just spent the weekend in lovely Manchester with some lovely friends. I even met Judy Chicago, which was awesome, and I learned more about the career I hope to have, and the awesomeness of my experience in the UK really dawned on me as I spoke to my close academic friend who was familiar with all of my professors and extremely impressed with a few of them. But it's not travelling I'm craving, it's a lifestyle that I've been working out in my head for the last 10 years and I'm starting to get a bit anxious about living it.
I grew up in the country, on the most beautiful piece of land. I know I've talked about this before. I need to go back to something like that, and I need to do it right. Just like I felt the need to live in the middle of a big city and I moved to New York and then I moved to London, now I need some land, some space, some fresh air and time to start living the life I really want to live. That life involves fresh food from a garden, home made bread, home spun yarn, home made jam, home made pasta (lots of home made stuff. I basically need a food processor), some small and cuddly pets, some regular exercise, and a community. This last year I needed time on my own in a big city. I've been thinking about it and I'm kind of glad that I did so much on my own, that I spent so much time with myself to think and consider things, that I have so many special memories that are only part of my reality, that aren't shared. How selfish that sounds I know, but I'm glad that it happened and that I have stories of the things that I did on my own. Those memories are already dear to me.
The next step in life is 4 years in Kentucky, and to be honest, I'm kind of looking forward to it. I hope it will be a quiet life, and 4 years is the right amount of time to settle into a place and buy some furniture. And once I've bought a book shelf and a food processor then I'll know I've made it. I will have become an adult. I hope I can find a cute flat to rent on my own, and I have visions of reading groups and study groups and movie nights, or nights on my own cuddling with my small furry pet.
Still, 3 weeks left in London is not very long. I thought of trying to stay an extra couple of weeks but I realized I will have no money left. I'm right on schedule to run out. I guess it's time I bought my plane ticket home.
I know I've posted this before, but I'm going to again because it's my favorite song to listen to on the bus in London. Maybe I'll make my own video to it...