Posts Tagged ‘nostalgia’

From Walking

This post needs some follow-up. The day I wrote it I was undergoing extreme anxiety and my first reaction to hearing I’d been accepted to Warren Wilson was skewed by that.

As of yesterday, I am officially no longer an Emerson College student. I went to fill out a withdrawal form last week and just as I was about to hand in the form I blurted out “I’m just going to hold on to this for a couple of days.” Being there made me unsure. I wanted to be a student again. And Emerson’s got this contagious buzzing energy that makes me feel like I might belong there, an energy that drew me there when I first visited four years ago. But I don’t belong there.

If I had to finish my degree at Emerson, I could surely and fairly do so. Life is grand enough here in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts. But though I met a few gems at that school, the majority of the relationships I’ve built here are largely superficial. This is helpful in phases such as my current one, but it’s disconcerting as well. I do feel quite alone even in this baby Cambridge community. I feel blocked from deep relationships and I’m not sure how much location is a part of that but I am eager to learn.

My memories of Emerson include walking in the cold and learning where the wind lives. Feeling tired in class. Feeling frustrated with other students in my class. Reading furiously for post-colonialism and slowly cracking open my awareness in that class. Feeling ugly. Feeling radical. Eating the same bad food every day and never feeling satisfied. Superficiality and lack of recognition. Time whipping away with the wind that collects at Copley. But Emerson did make me a post-colonial feminist (with the help of Shannon and the Cambridge Women’s Center) and it gave me some skills I wouldn’t have practiced otherwise and it gave me some people I’ll have to love forever.

Thinking about Boston brings tears to my throat [and then slowly my ducts]. It feels like it’s going to make the last two years nothing but a dream. This place that I have such conflicting feelings about. Boston’s like a friend I can’t decide whether or not to trust, to love, even to like. I came here alone. To build my life alone, after long last of needing to escape the life that’d been created for me under my parent’s house. After running away to Africa and being torn down. I came here and started things for myself in a wooden Symphony apartment, the old fashioned radiator and its ticking pipes warming my room overlooking that loud alleyway. Living there and feeling my new way around, starting from nothing. Acclimating and gathering friends like my own skirts, to have them under me to sit on, holding me up and drinking me down. Walking every day.

Then the summer was a loneliness and heat and all kinds of work I didn’t enjoy. And the clothes, wearing all of these mismatched work clothes I never knew how to do with. And Thia, in her messy smelly place. And going running and to the gym. And then it was Andrew the end of that summer.

The fall and winter again and finding classes that held meaning for me at school. Living at 669 in a community of four that cooked breakfasts and ordered Laz pizzas and got naked in bed together for the joy of seeing smile wrinkles form each others’ faces. Questioning my life every day and dampening my spirits far and far until they grazed a dirty silt ground of some sort, alone on an ikea barstool in that enormous space with nothing but the television and leftover icecream cone cupcakes. My old cellphone next to me sitting quiet and nobody picking up to help. Thia coming home to save me with a list of loves, the Wire, and some hookah. Last winter was desperation and desolation that slowly healed as our community broke apart.

Then I decided to go on the road trip. And it was the best decision I’d made in a long time. I rediscovered freedom and wideness and my pure joy and the kindness of karma. I saw a million people I cared about intensely and felt that it must be some sort of party of goodbyes for future events I couldn’t predict. I came back to Boston and recreated 669 into Virginia’s place. No TV, no internet, a writing table, records, and a hookah as the main events. Clean kitchen. Aimee and Bing. Loads of free time and job searching and bike riding ensued. It was an explorative and inspirational summer, an unabridgedly happy time.

So now, I am about to uproot. I still haven’t wholly committed myself to leaving yet. I can give 90% to believing that’s the plan, but that last ten is a hard sell. I am hoping that going to Asheville in two weeks will spur me to give myself over entirely. I am going. At this point, I know I am. And I am excited. I know not what to really expect (do we ever? yes. sometimes). I expect to be busy and structured, which I look forward to. I expect to be involved in an active community of people I enjoy. I expect to drive in my car. I expect to head to a developing country withing the next two years and learn a lot more in topics I thirst for. I expect to be warm and joyous and clean and virtuous and excited and serene. I expect to have fun and hold happiness. I’m excited to embrace an unusual opportunity and I plan the best.

Plus, there’ll be stars. And quiet. O, the timeless kind of quiet I grew up with in and outside my childhood windows. A blanketing quiet. The feeling I got in that big old Burkittsville house, all alone with my computer and Glory the anxiety-dog. A kind of privacy punctuated by feeling observed as held – a tingling sort of watchover that comes from above and all around, rather than one gaze. Unjudged and just as.

It’s just a bittersweet ending when one tale isn’t surely yet concluded. That’s the kind of thing I feel gentle and nostalgic about. And knowing that what was will never be again. Feeling the truth that I won’t be back.

And scared that I’ve never done this before. Diving in to mystery hopefully hanging on to some serenity and letting myself feel all it wants me to on the way.

Blue Ridge Mountains

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