Tuesday, September 14, 2004

New Starts

I haven't thought about the smell of John Freidman's Brilliant Brunette shampoo in a long time.

In fact, maybe I've never thought about it.

But today, while lathering on that first sudsy layer of the chestnut colored shampoo, a rush of memories from last school year overswept me. It was like I was at the end of winter quarter and the beginning of spring quarter all over again. My brain reacted to the smell and I began to worry about all the things I was worrying about then. Papers. Relationships. The pervasive smell of BO in the hall.

And while I was in Minnesota, using my mom's conditioner from home, the sickeningly sweet aroma of Pantene Pro-V resurfaced memories from high school. Disgustingly perfect situations. White picket fences and such.

As expected, my room sits in the shadow of Evans Scholars. Despite a slight din, I love what my room has come to be so far and I have loved being at school in every moment since arriving. The freshmen look to be wonderful and this year will be great.

(but I have no expectations.)


Sunday, September 5, 2004

Sentiment Abounds...

Ahh... and another close to another summer.

Although mine hits a little earlier than usual this year, and I suppose it truly IS NOT the end of summer, considering I am going on a vacation, then moving in and not having class until the 22nd... but just to call things even, let's say this is the end of summer.

I really dreaded coming home this summer. I had no idea what to expect from relationships, working, family, and just about every other extension of life that exists. As it turned out, summer ended up being pretty much a blast, if a somewhat quiet and dull blast, but a blast nonetheless. (And we can all use some quiet blasts... I think...)

This summer, as several of my friends and I have agreed upon, was meant to be an exercise in patience, stretching boundaries, and discovering self.

I worked in the same environment, but for the first time, I really genuinely enjoyed it and I got to be closer with my co-workers on the job and even off, which was nice. I finally had a rocking manager who would say things like "Fuck these shirts," while folding them.

I hung out with many of the same people, but the allotted time with all changed.

Some groups of friends, unfortunately, became drastically less, and I'm not sure I'll ever know why that happened.

People changed in the nine months I was gone, in ways that I could not recognize in the periods of time I was home for breaks. Despite the fact that while some of these changes were positive, many were negative, I find that the impact of all of these changes have been positive for me.

I have only become a stronger, more independent, and, therefore, happier person because of the changes my friends have undergone.

Although I didn't read nearly as many novels as I wanted to this summer, I found myself reading more current events than before and felt that I spent my free time well what with doodling, drawing, writing, photography taking, rural-Ohio driving/soul-searching, and finally finding the answers and making decisions about problems that have faced me for years. (No exaggeration.)

I have felt particularly validated in the last few days, spending time with Skraps Eitak (aka: Katie Sparks) and talking with her about many things. Tonight we discussed our shared dislike for the flighty and flirty female and our hope that many girls will stop blaming guys for any set-backs they face, and look to themselves to push themselves forward, and without the help of any boyfriend/fiancée/husband. Perhaps it was scary feminism-talk, but perhaps that's just what we need. I decided I'm happier than I've been with myself in months and a lot of it has to do with the feeling of accomplishment, independence, and strength I've felt recently.

I guess I'm just very quietly happy.

Although I enjoyed this summer, didn't swim enough, breathed the sweet grass of Ohio, adventured in fields and forests, partied with friends, both took classes and taught, got to wear casual to work, bonded with newer closer friends, and developed a new appreciation for the meaning of "home," I think that I might be done with "home" for summers.

I've loved it here, but things will change more and I've got my own life to lead and that comes first before everything. And that's exciting.