Friday, August 31, 2012

Reclaiming August

"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
I'm falling back into life now. My study abroad was magical, beautiful, life changing, and possibly soul eating. Soul eating because I left part of myself (and accidentally part of my favorite scarf...) in Oxford. Not just in Oxford, but I feel like with the people I met there. My soul is clearly just scattered about to the winds right now. Pieces now reside across the United States, various locations in Europe, and in Australia with thirty four of the most beautiful people I ever met.

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.
So I've been regrouping since I got back. Mostly that means I've been plotting how to go abroad again. This is my senior year. Over the next few months I have to either get myself into good job or an academic program that won't cost me any money. On top of that, I'm hoping that one of those things will also get me out of the US again.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment