I’m honestly just going to try to blog at least a few more times in April as this clearly hasn’t worked out. Anyway, Janine and Brett (and Bryan and Other Janine) left yesterday after over a week in the UK with me and it was the best/worst/most fun/hardest thing I’ve ever done.
To start, I was absolutely horrible to everyone last Saturday through last Tuesday, tapering off into pleasantness by this past weekend. I had an assignment to complete that was stressing me out at first, but even after I turned it in, I was just acting like a freaking awful person to them all and especially to my sister. I walked ahead of them most of the time, made short or rude comments when they did stuff wrong, and didn’t talk during meals. Now, I just want to go back and shake my past self. Why were you so mean?! I can narrow it down to a combination of a few causes.
One, London has made me fast, irritable, very quiet, and unused to social situations. I know I was pretty lonerish in my earlier years of college too, but I always at least had to hang out with people before chapter meetings or in rooms at Pike or something like that. I didn’t realize that the amount of time I’ve spent by myself in London is so much more than I ever have before and that it has actually undone my ability to hang out in large groups of friends like I used to. I kept walking away from them because I couldn’t fathom them wanting to walk with me, or me wanting to walk with them. I couldn’t really imagine doing anything not-by-myself. As far as the irritable thing goes, well, yep. I’ve spent the last few months angry at least a few times each hour, even in small things like when the person in front of me turns in a way I wasn’t expecting. The difference is that I just grumble in my head when a stranger does it and no one is harmed. I was actually saying it out loud with Janine and I think I offended her a lot and frequently and I couldn’t feel worse about it.
Two, I tried so hard to be a Londoner for the past three months that I forgot that I’m not one. I don’t talk on the Tube because the Unofficial Londoner Rules say you shouldn’t (and because I’m alone on them, see paragraph above), not because I actually don’t want to talk. I’m fast and angry about tourists because the Unofficial Londoner Rules say we walk fast and hate tourists, not because I really need to get places that quickly. I’ve been focused on following the rules well so I fit in, but I deep down don’t want to follow those rules. I want to walk more slowly when it’s sunny outside and continue my conversation – quietly – even when I’m on the Tube and I want to shout and jump when I’m excited. I really do. But I suppressed it for so long that I forgot how much I used to like doing it. Even after everyone left, I noticed that I was actually getting passed by on the sidewalk and that I didn’t care. It’s spring break, I’m American, I should walk however fast I freaking want to.
Three, the weirdest one for me to realize, is that I’ve never actually known more than Janine before. I mean not that I don’t know stupid bits of trivia or details about Doctor Who that she doesn’t but for once, there was this whole country I was reasonably familiar with that she knew very little about. And apparently, I don’t know how to react in that situation. I’ve always been the one doing something she’s already done, even if I do it a little differently. I went to the same school as her, got a similar degree as hers, joined the same sorority as her, and worked/work for the same company as she did. I’m used to learning from her and I responded poorly when I realized that here, I had things to teach her. I’ve never done that before and I failed spectacularly all week long. Every time I informed her of something, it was with this “why didn’t you already know that” tone that was super condescending and I feel so bad about it. Janine, I know you’re about the only person who reads this still, so I’m sorry.
After Janine and Brett left yesterday, I couldn’t let myself accept it. I couldn’t go home. I sat in Starbucks for a few hours, walked around first Oxford Street and second the Tottenham Court Road/Seven Dials area for a few hours, and returned to Starbucks for a few more hours. I didn’t let myself do anything school related. I couldn’t accept that it was over. I feel like I wasted my time with my sister, time that could have been spent laughing and telling stories and walking too slow but not caring because I was back with my freaking sister and I just spent it moody and silent and now they’re gone again and I don’t know what to do. I’ve been denying homesickness for a very long time, but I’ll admit it now: I want to go home.
Mostly, I want to be done with my Mooting class because literally never before have I hated a class, its subject matter, or my partner on a partner project more. So maybe after May 1 I’ll be a little more optimistic, but I just feel like that moot is looming over me whenever I do anything not specifically related to it. Like I should be spending literally every waking minute of these next two weeks working on it. Which is understandably not reasonable, but I feel like that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. I really hope I can push through these next two weeks with a positive attitude because after that, it’s travel time. I want to go to Wales for at least a night and I’m going to go to the Netherlands for at least a week.
I feel like I’m doing a lot less travelling than the other study abroad students, but I don’t think I mind. I’m doing exactly what I want to do, though of course I would like to travel more in the next two weeks than I may be able to but I’ll just have to make it work. I think I’m going to get a lot of “oh my god you didn’t go to paris?!” comments when I get home, but I did go to the Netherlands a Lot. And I went to a few different places around England.
Anyway I should probably save more of my thoughts for other posts if I want to at least a semi-respectable job of BALODA(Blog a Lot of Days April). So. TL;DR: I need to learn how to be a nice person when I’m around people I care about and Janine I miss you and I’m sorry.