For the past 24 hours, I’ve been in a haze.
This morning, I finished packing my bags and left the prestigious summer program I’ve attended for the past month. Now, at 11:04 PM, I’m sitting in my seat at home, still unable to comprehend my urge to cry and my inability to actually do so.
The last 28 days have been the best of my life. Never before have I been surrounded by such smart and accepting people; never before have I felt more free to find myself and to be myself. I know that there are others returning to their respective homes away from the university, but the thing is, I feel like I’ve left home now. Just like another student shared in her poem yesterday, it’s tough when you come from a messed-up household, and it’s even worse when you’re forced to return to it.
I feel like it’s so easy to give into my feelings. How will I survive where I am now, when I know I could be in a much better place? What if I am forgotten by all of the friends I’ve made, now that they’re back in their busy lives? What if, after all that’s happened, this opportunity passes by me, like a dream I can watch but never fully live?
But, no. I can’t entrench myself in pitying emotions. Not after this. Not after everything I’ve learned.
This past month has laid the foundation of my future. The classes I chose to attend have taught me many things about peace and conflict, as well as law and philosophy. The freedom I’ve experienced is the first taste of what I will have in a little more than a year. The friends I made, well, I will keep in touch with them. They are the best part of this great and gigantic jigsaw puzzle of self-discovery I embarked on just four weeks ago.
My friends that I’ve made here, in this short amount of time, have made me feel comfortable with myself. Secure enough to share something I’ve kept hidden from society with the world, and strong enough not to take it back. They removed me from the restraints of my hometown, and took me to a place where I could purge my insecurities. I don’t think I’ve told them this, most likely because they already know it, but also because it also would come across as slightly cliche. Cliche, as in, an overstated truth. My truth.
Most people probably assume that this Katy Perry song is about an ended relationship and its repercussions. Looking at the lyrics, they would be right. However, when I listen to this song, I like to think that it’s about forcing yourself free from chains that bind you and keep you down – forcing yourself to realize that there are better things out there, if you would only wake up and look for them.
Hope has always been an abstraction for me, a concept to keep me content. But for the past month, I lived hope. I held hope in my hands, and basked in its unabashed beauty. Now, I only have to hold out for one more year, to return to that glorious place.
I’m wide awake.
Thoughts? How have you guys dealt with moving away from friends or/and family? It’s nearing midnight, so I must depart now… until next post!