Wide Awake

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.

Katy Perry glaring in the music video for “Wide Awake”. I need to start writing posts about pop again soon, there are so many interesting songs and MV concepts coming out!

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!

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12 Comments

Filed under Personal

12 responses to “Wide Awake

  1. Chatter Master

    When I was in my early twenties I was married, with a child. On occasion I would drive to the ‘city’ to visit family. As I returned home I would have sworn the further I drove the darker it became. I seldom went to the city because returning was so difficult. I knew I had to make a change. Going home should never be associated with despair and resignation. Eventually I dealt with this, I live differently, I live happily. I live doing what I have to do to qualify as living, for me. I suspect you will be doing the same.

    • Thank you for giving me the hope that I will one day do the same as you. I know that depression is often associated with moving or living in an area in which you are discontent – I am glad that you were able to ameliorate this issue in your life.

  2. I can’t say I know how you feel but I’m confident that you’ll make it through this phase. Yeah, I know it’s difficult to think that anyone could have it worse that those people in Colorado, it truly breaks my heart. All the best to you my friend 🙂

    • After writing this post and talking to my best friends from home, I can already feel my heart healing from the pain of separation. I will keep in touch with the close friends I made, so it will not be unbearable. Thank you for reading and commenting, Devina!

  3. I’m glad you had such a great time, and that you managed to get so much out of your stay. 🙂 It sounds like a really fantastic place.

    Wishing you all the best for the future!

  4. Thomas, here is one person who will never forget the way you make people laugh just by snapping, the pile of cookies every meal you brought to the table, the sometimes failed attempts you made to copy Rachrach’s abbrevs, , the expansive vocabulary you have involving sexual acts, the multiple times you were insulted by my insults, the up-and-down motion of your hair while you walk, the revealing lessons on how to bend and snap, the intense conversations about the attractiveness of certain people, the never-ending and often scandalous games of Catan and Mau.
    Here is one person who will never forget you.

    Just dance.

    • I’m not going to even try and censor the rather revealing information you provided in this comment, as it made me smile way too hard and I would much prefer to keep it the way it is. All I can say, is, thank you.

      Poker face.

  5. I know how you feel – I have moved to a different country twice, with friends and family scattered around the world. I manage to keep in contact with the most important people, with the closest friends. With distance, many relationships end and fall apart, but this just goes to show who your true friends are and who will go the distance no matter the challenges. Make sure you keep in touch with your new friends in a personal way, such as by email, as this ensures continued contact.

    • I guess your moving around illustrates the concept that distance makes the heart go fonder, and that those who were meant to remain friends find a way to make it work – I will definitely take your advice and keep in touch with my friends via email, Facebook, etc.! Thank you. (:

  6. In my 14 years of schooling i’ve jumped schools 10 times. In fact,my fifth grade was split between 4 different schools. And you know what..i felt out of place in every single one of them. Even now in my second year of medical college, i don’t know how it feels to belong. So Thomas,be thankful that you’ve found a place where you can truly be yourself. They say home is where the heart is…..so celebrate the fact that you’ve found yours. People like me are still looking.

    • I’m still trying to find it too, but I know where I’m heading – I’m sorry that you’ve had to move around so much as a child and that you’re still searching so strenuously. I wish you the best of luck.

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