"I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking." -- William Butler Yeats
|View from the Exeter Fellows Garden|
There is an Oxford shaped hole in me now. It sounds dramatic and it is. It was one of the most intense and exciting experiences of my life, a major perspective changer. Now here's the cliche bit: when traveling the world and learning about everything around you, you ultimately learn a lot about yourself (unless you have no self-awareness). I think I found what I'm yearning for. While many of my friends are getting married and having babies at an alarming rate, I'm yearning for adventure. I don't want to settle down the way they do, I want to be a nomad. I want to have all the crazy stories and the travel scars. I want to lose more of my soul to more places and more people, because I think eventually I'll find the right people and the right place to consume all the space I'll be making within myself.
I really felt like a writer there. I felt like a competent adult as well. I traveled thousands of miles from home by myself and found friends among strangers. Never did I feel overwhelmed or even very homesick.
My novel is in a new draft, revisions have been going really well. I'm still setting store by my writing taking me places, but I'm not so naive that I think I'll have a publishing deal by the time I graduate. Even if I do, I know it can take years for a book to hit the shelves, and maybe longer to gain any attention that actually leads to your book producing money. Maybe hiding out in a grad program until it does is a good idea...
I don't know where these next months will lead me, but I'm praying for the next adventure to come knocking on my door soon. There is a small fear that it will never be as good as Oxford. My first adventure abroad set the bar so high. I understand the expression "going down from Oxford" now. Everything seems like a bit of a downer after Oxford.
|Turl Street, Oxford: Our last night|