Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Little girls get bigger everyday

Two years ago I went to France with my fellow recently graduated friends and my teacher and/or best adult friend Linn King. We were there not long, but the experience changed me.

I came back, feeling bogged down by everything in Ohio. I was just where I was before I had left--a graduate of LHS, a girl with a boyfriend, an geographical-emotional nomad without a home base, a soon-to-be Wildcat (and what did that mean at the time? Nothing.), just a somebody who felt stuck.

France had opened up my eyes in a short amount of time. I realized how capable I was on my own--without my mom, my dad, my boyfriend, even my friends. Suddenly I was back where I had been before, and everybody expected me to rely on them again...and I couldn't.

For that reason, partially, Northwestern was an amazing escape and new discovery.

I was immediately swooned into the green campus, the gorgeous lakefill, Evanston in its north shore glory, my friends and their amazing talents, my professors who blew me away, and of course, Chicago. Here I was, this individual. Totally on my own. Nobody to rely on, even if I wanted to rely on somebody.

Coming back to Ohio was hell.

I say this with some hesitation, as I have some great friends here...and some particularly wonderful ones who have been nothing short of perfect in the last year or two. ...I think they know who they are.

But, let's set the rest of the bullshit aside. There are some people here in Lebanon who fucking suck. I'm pretty sure Lebanon must be a epicenter for lame-ass, back-stabbing, fair-weather, and generally mediocre and relatively uninteresting individuals. ...I think they know who they are too.

If that's just how it is here, there's nothing I want more than to just get back to this life I have started for myself. Where things were new, just starting, with all sorts of hopes for an amazing future for both me and one shared with my incredible friends. There was, and it goes without saying that there still is, so so SO much to look forward to.

Thus, when I got back to school for my sophomore year and was given one final reason to forget about home, I was more excited than ever to immerse myself in everything Northwestern, Evanston and Chicago. I'm pretty sure judging by this journal, and even moreso the personal changes I see within myself over the last year, I did just that.

I spent more time in the city, more time with new people, more time trying new things, and more time just discovering anything and everything in this past year than I ever have before. Not at any particular moment this year, but somewhere along the way, the realization seeped into me that... I am, in fact, done with home.

And no longer is this idea one that is just 'Home isn't home anymore,' or 'I feel out of place at home;' but rather, it is a full sentence; a complete idea: I am done with home.

It seems appropriate, then, that I should come full circle, leaving for France only days after returning 'home.'

To me, this trip is not just another study abroad, or chance to drink wine at age 20, or opportunity to see another half of the globe. This trip is, in part, an exercise of my newly-found individuality. I'm getting to stretch my limbs and say, 'Here I am,' to nobody but myself and whatever part of France is listening...and understands English.

I'm growing up, and that's kind of weird. But it's these steps along the way, and taking them slowly, that makes the growing all worthwhile.

PS. I'm going to miss you guys. A lot. (And most of you I already do miss a lot and am just itching for September already.)

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