So I’ve been home for about two and a half weeks now. Been meaning to get some thoughts out.
The day after I got home, I went for a long walk in my home town. Down to the pier and up to Peace Arch park, both of which I’ve been to dozens and dozens of times. I sat by the water, then I sat on the Peace Arch. I talked (via the glorious internet) to one of my housemates who was still traveling at the time, got a sweet sunburn, and didn’t want to go home. I noticed that I was still in picture-taking mode whenever I saw something beautiful—I saw a lot of beautiful things that day.
Settling back into life at home has been just about as strange as I thought it would be. I’m in the house I grew up in once more, surrounded by too many things. I took one suitcase of things with me to Oxford, and it was nice to live simply. I need to get rid of all my stuff.
Going back to work wasn’t easy, but it had to be done. I work at a State Park as a Park Aide, which means lots of bathroom cleaning, litter pick-up lawn mowing and generally fighting against the havoc that guests, nature, and time can wreak on the park. We have a good crew this year, and I enjoy working with them.
When I went down to PLU to visit some friends less than a week after I got home, I noticed that so much of what I had to say to them was just one Oxford story after another. I hope they’ll be patient with me. I’ll be patient with them when they get back from studying away.
I miss Oxford very much. At first I don’t really think I missed it, mostly because it sort of felt like I was still there. Or rather, that I should still be there, and I couldn’t really get my head wrapped around the reality of being back home. Now, I just miss it. Not all aspects of it, of course! I’m glad I’m taking a break from school right now, and glad that I don’t have to deal with housemate drama anymore. But I miss the city itself, I miss going for walks, I miss Port Meadow, and I miss the easy routine of happy interactions with my housemates.
That being said, I’m home, I’m here, I’m living in the moment and soaking up the Washington sunshine. I spend as much time outside as I can stand, and am working on cleaning up my room and simplifying my life. I look back with happy memories, and look forward expectantly, knowing that I am better for the six months I spent abroad.