Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another month gone by.

It's now been three months since I arrived, and I'm officially over the half-way point of my time here in Germany. The past weeks have been fairly uneventful but nevertheless enjoyable. I've been settling into school again, though admittedly the beautiful weather has distracted me from my work on more than one occasion. This week especially is pretty heavy-duty, but we are off next week, so there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

I can't believe it's almost June. It has been ten months since I last saw Charleston, more than eight months since I arrived in England, four since I left, and only two more to go until I'm back at College of Charleston for my final year as an undergraduate. This past year has been a whirlwind for so many reasons, both good and bad, and now that I'm approaching the tail end of my time abroad, I'm able to see just how different everything is now. Until recently I really thought I hadn't changed a bit, and though I don't think I'm a completely different person, I'm definitely not exactly the same as I was a year ago. I can honestly say that the in the past twelve months, I've gone through the worst times of my life, but also some of the best. It has been incredibly contradictory, confusing, brilliant, heartbreaking, beautiful, and so many other things. Maybe I thought I hadn't changed because, despite all the things I've gone through, I haven't found resolution. But now as I look forward to going back to my old life, I've realized that the pieces are in place, and while I don't know what will become of them, they are not going to go away. These memories and experiences will be a part of me for the rest of my life, and all I have to do is figure out how to fit them all together.

I've talked before about the anxiety I have about going back, and after all this time, I am better able to understand just where that comes from. It's actually pretty simple. For almost a year, I've gone on and lived my life without Charleston, and Charleston has gone on without me. I love and miss my friends, but I know none of us are exactly the same as we were back on 27th of July, 2008 when I left. We've changed independently of one another, and now we're going to have to navigate those changes and find out through trial and error how to relate to each other again. I find that daunting. It won't be a natural progression either, but rather a reconciliation of who we were and who were are now. It may be hard to understand for those who haven't really moved around a great deal -- I don't know. But I think, at least for a little while, it's going to be weird. Because on top of being super excited to be back in Charleston with my wonderful friends, I'm going to feel out of place among them. And I'm going to miss everyone I've become friends with this year. And I'm going to be far away from my family, and without them, Charleston just doesn't feel quite as much like home.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Digs.

I never actually took pictures of my awesome room, so today I did just that:

The side you can't see is just windows and the door to my BALCONY. And it's even a in color scheme that I can get on board with, unlike the horrid peach and navy blue of Broadgate Park. Have I mentioned I love Germany? So basically, if any of you want to visit, I have plenty of space.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

I have some time to kill before I have to catch my bus for class, so what better way to pass the time than announcing my 21st birthday to the world? Anyone who's ever met me knows I'm a fan of my birthday, so this shouldn't come as a surprise.

Over the past few days I've been reflecting on birthdays past, and I've had something of an age-crisis as a result. Nothing major, but with more than two decades of birthdays under my belt, it's starting to seem excessive. This year especially has gone by so quickly, and so much has happened that I feel like I need to take a moment to breath this week just so it all has a chance to sink in.

I've thought about my twelfth birthday more than any of the others lately, perhaps unsurprisingly, given that I spent that birthday not too far from Tuebingen. That week that I spent in Berchtesgaden was one of the best times of my life, and it's where I made a lot of decisions about the direction I wanted my life to take. Ever since coming to Tuebingen, I've felt a sort of communion with my twelve-year-old self, and it's wonderful to know that at least in this one way -- coming back and learning German -- I've lived up to my younger expectations of my older self.