I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. Mostly, these thoughts are fleeting worries, like passing ships in the night. But these thoughts have a theme; transitions.
I’ve gone through several major transitions in life, and I find my thoughts going back to the earliest of transitions for some reason lately. Perhaps it’s sentiment. Nostalgia. I have been listening to a lot of 80’s music. However, I do feel that it was triggered by the writing of my acknowledgements for my thesis. I did a lot of thinking about the people in my life and the people who have left a mark on my life at some point. Perhaps they encouraged me. Or, on a more sinister note, maybe they were a deep rooted and fundamental reason as to why I chose this research topic.
My thoughts find me back to this first transition. I can feel the crunch of leaves underfoot and there is a scent of Aussie Sprunch spray in the air. With these reminders, I’m back wandering the halls, head down. It’s like that nightmare that I have when I’ve forgotten my locker combination or my gym clothes. I’ve been out of school for over 20 years and I still have these dreams. It’s a hard time for me, so alone. Still, I have the music I enjoy and my treasured favourite old books, and the one person who I could talk to. This, in turn, drags emotions long repressed and avoided bubbling to the surface and I feel like I’m drowning. (One would think I’d have moved past this, but I can’t let things go. There was no closure, so. . . )
Deep breaths and I’ve moved on to the next transition. It’s hot and sunny and I’m sitting on the green at Clark University. I tip my head back to look up at the blue sky and I smile broadly. I’ve done it. I’m in college on my own. The absolute joy that I feel at that moment is joined by a twinge of homesickness. I push it off and try to look forward. I haven’t really met anyone yet, so that excitement is still there. I have no idea what’s going to happen: those moments before I meet my roommate and my hallmates, long before J. coined the phrase about how I analyse everything like I live in a fishbowl (see my blog tagline), before I met people who changed my life.
I allow myself a few more moments on Clark’s green before I’m in Glasgow, 6 years ago. It’s sunny and mild and I’m wearing my Ortiz t-shirt (Boston represent!). I have absolutely no idea where I am (grad school has not improved my ability to read a map) and I can’t be bothered to care. It’s a gorgeous day and the leaves are just starting to change colour and the few that have fallen crunch underfoot. I find myself in Kelvingrove Park and everything seems bright and larger than life. I treasure this moment, it’s precious. It’s before. . . .
Now, I’m in the after. Approaching the end of another chapter of my life and I’m not quite sure how to close the book on it. There is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in this transition. And if there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s not knowing what’s going to happen. Right now, I feel like I’m about to jump into the void, feet first, and it’s terrifying.
For now, I’m just trying to breathe.