I remember this summer (the last lonely month in particular), I was yearning to get away from endless walks around the block, midwestern accents, and the prison that childhood seems to a teenager. I couldn’t wait for the moment I would join the ranks of the “college students”. And finally, after the endless countdown, I had found myself on the other side of the world, sleep-deprived, buzzed on caffeine and alcohol, and terrified. I had huddled in my room, wishing for the air-conditioning of home, the comfort of parental snoring, the smoothness of my own pillow.
The jet-lag passed naturally in a few days, the headache subsided after prescription meds, and the heat soon gave way to far more pleasant weather. Nonetheless, though I was not exactly what I would call homesick, I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with this new life of mine, and I would often wonder how I got there, what series of events had taken me to Cambridge.
And then, somehow, the term was already over. I was back at the airport. Not the least nervous–after all, I’d be greeted by my parents, and I was eager to resume my childish lack of responsibilities.
Yes, it was winter break, and I was immediately bombarded with questions from my friends about my first term at Cambridge. As I talked, my mind was flooded with nostalgia for the place from which I only recently hadn’t been sad to part. And there I was, once more, longing to return.
Now, I am sitting in an airplane, with a cramped neck and tired eyes, distracted from homework, and biting my nails (hence, I figured I’d rather type than destroy my fingers entirely). Here I am, with anxiety throbbing in my forehead once more. Though I am certain tonight (uh, tomorrow night?) will be far more peaceful than those first evenings in October, over the past month, I’ve once more grown used to sleeping with my door open, sure my all-powerful parents would protect me from the monsters projected by streetlights on my bedroom wall.
And Tom Petty “drifting home” in my earphones isn’t helping. When I can’t identify home, a baseline from where to base my travels, against what can I judge everywhere I go?