Friday, September 23, 2005

Rainy daze

According to locals, today was a typical day in Cambridge. First, it was cloudy. Then, it began to clear up -- but suddenly, fierce showers swept in from the north, bringing a bone-chilling subarctic wind along with them. This climate shift, naturally, occurred as Coalescent Boy and I slogged our way down the road on our first run in the city. On the way back, shoes sodden and clothes plastered to our bodies, the storm literally blew out of town and a spate of sunshine took its place. Now, it's cloudy, cold and dark.

My moods have been a lot like the weather: mercurial, shifting and generally unpredictable. I suppose that's the joys of culture shock and homesickness, but it's downright annoying to go from laughing over tea to snuffling in front of a picture album. Last night, I lost it because neither my phone nor my internet connection works worth a damn, so I have no reliable way to communicate with anyone outside my room (I'm in the library right now). For some reason, that was the last straw. I'm still irked.

I miss my friends a lot -- haven't heard from some, wish I could use the phone to talk with others. The insecure part of me worries that distance will grow between us, even though the rest of me knows that won't happen without intentional neglect. Now that I have amazing friends, I don't plan to lose them. Still, it's difficult: I don't think a week has passed in eight years where I haven't talked with my best friend in person or on the phone. That makes the last eight days an unpleasant first. I don't like it at all. I miss her so much, and she's going through her own travel woes as a graduate student in Kansas. All of us are in transition right now; so much of the future remains uncertain, and it feels like the rug's been pulled out from under our feet.

In two days, CB leaves for Oxford and I'll be on my own. I used to love being alone, but now it's not a prospect I relish. I don't like the "getting to know you" process -- it's long, arduous and emotionally trying. Kelli once described it as a lot like dating, and it's so true (although, perhaps only for girls -- do guys take as long to make true, intimate friends? Or does the definition of a good friend generally differ for men and women?)

Still, I'm convinced I'll meet some cool people here who can put up with my cultural foibles, weird schedule and quirky sense of humor. I'm looking forward to visitors from abroad, too; hopefully, more than a few will pass through town in the next three years. Three years...it's long enough to seem impossible, but brief enough for me to know that I'll never get to do and see everything I want to. All I can do is take advantage of the time I have -- and keep running, no matter how busy I become. Whenever homesickness or stupid anxieties kick in, it helps to think I can run them into the ground. Or at least run myself into the ground, thereby making me too tired to worry. :)

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