Monday, December 8, 2008

Curse of the Transient

Yeah, yeah, so it's been a while.  Shrug.  I've been busy.

Thanksgiving week was pretty enjoyable.  Insane amount of traveling (6 planes, 6 long car rides), but things went really smoothly, with only my last flight of 6 being delayed (not that it was fun to sit on the ground in a plane for 2 hours waiting to leave).  I was low key about computer usage over the vacation, which was probably good for me.  I don't remember the last time I spent 2 days consecutively without checking my email!  Being back in the town I went to school in was a blast.  I got my hands on a sub from my favorite sub shop, ran into a number of old friends, and spend a few hours talking with my old advisor.  It's always so nice to see him.  I forget sometimes just how much alike we are in a lot of ways (or maybe, how much I grew to be like him), although there are some differences.  Got a lot of good feedback on my manuscript.  Inch by inch it's getting closer to being done.

One of the best parts about being back was surprising my sister.  She had nooo idea I was going to be in my home state, let alone at school!  Eugenie invited her over for dinner, and I hid, then snuck up behind her and surprised her most thoroughly.  It was a lot of fun.  Most of my old buddies from swing dance club were still around too, so we got together and busted out the dance moves (I finally got to use my new shoes!).  Good times had by all.  The longer you dance with someone, the easier and more enjoyable it gets - you just learn how to move together.  The current president of the club started taking lessons at school the same time I did, some 4 years ago now, and we've been dancing ever since.  So it felt good to be dancing again with someone that it's easy to synchronize with, if that makes any sense.

Most of the time I was there visiting I felt like I could fall back into my old routines without blinking.  I kept expecting to head home from class to my old house, hang out with my guys, and start cracking on some math homework with my thinking cap, fingerless mittens and fuzzy blue bathrobe for attire (it got cold in the old, leaky house we rented last year).  Or to walk to a different part of town and crash on the futon in the downstairs of the apartment I rented the year before that with my roommate of two years, and close friend.

But I don't live in these places anymore.  New people are there, creating their own stories.  The places are the same, and some of the people are the same, but even just 6 months after I left, I can feel a growing sense of disjointedness.  It's really strange.  Spending too much time walking around seeing memories that no one else close at hand shares makes me very pensive.  I was also getting a little frustrated with Eugenie, for no good reason I could figure out at first.  Later I realized that I was just feeling a bit jealous that my time there at school is over and hers continues, and wishing that I had appreciated those years even more thoroughly while I had them.  There's something rather indescribably different when you cross the boundary between school and working a job.  New cares and concerns, different social experiences and topics of conversation, even new sleep-wake cycles.  I was feeling that disconnect too when chatting with Eugenie and her housemate/former roommate.  I hope it doesn't get any bigger.

All of this sort of spurred me on in my graduate school quest.  Maybe the only way to deal with letting go of an old home is to hurry about the business of finding a new one to distract yourself with.  I just hope someday I can land somewhere for a good long time and maybe never have to make new homes again.  Ah the curse of the Transient.  Probably there's a reason that a lot of people setting off on journeys and choosing to become transients intentionally try to leave everything behind them, and avoid ties to places and people and memories of the past - less to pull at your heart strings in a sense.  Despite the challenges, I think I much prefer to hold on to these things though; they provide a sort of grounding, structure, and meaning that I'd be lost without.

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