I’ve been homeless for months. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started but the minute I reluctantly started trying to decide on this whole college situation (which I handled in entirely the wrong way and–though I know I ultimately have no one to blame except myself–no one I talked to seemed to be able to give me the brutal truth that almost none of it matters except finding a college that doesn’t strike you as disagreeable) I had moved out. When I finally got down to Bloomington I was still floating in the after effects of those pent up months of indecision, still not able to commit to my decision.
Then came Wednesday, October 30th, the first day of IU’s Homecoming weekend. Something about the accuracy of its particular interpretation fall weather… the shifting colors of the leaves that were unsympathetic to the resistance of the October breeze as they lackadaisically maneuvered their way down to the ground… made me feel like I had just woken up from a year-long sleep. As the world around me slowly became clear, I discovered that I had developed a routine, and I was in the middle of it as those leaves tumbled softly down around me.
Not only do I have a personal routine, I have friends to interrupt it. I have a boyfriend to complicate it. And whether my day goes right or wrong, it’s an avenue for me to be whom I want to be. It gives me a better idea of what I want to do with the rest of my life: definitely drink more green tea and do more yoga and eat more chocolate and probably study law.
Somehow, all of this disparate material that is my life came together Wednesday (the same day in which I not only a) received those letters they make parents write to their kids when they have to survive the hour-long simulated separation at orientation but b) found a reference to Thomas Sutpen–hero/anti-hero of Absalom, Absalom!, the very frequently focused on Faulknerian novel that is the current subject of my honors lecture–in the Oxford American, the magazine I randomly selected from the stand in the cardio room at the SRSC).
One year ago, I found out what it meant to belong with someone. I fell in love. Now, a year and four days later I’m discovering an entirely new sense of belonging. I’m finding out just exactly not who I belong with but what belongs to me, to who I am. I have somewhere, something to be. I feel more confident than I have ever felt in my entire life. I’m excited to take a Public Oral Communications class. I’m jealous of people who are going through the interview process. I started this blog. I want people to hear my voice.
After all of those years of listening to my parents, my teachers, my friends tell me “you can do whatever you want if you set your mind to it. It doesn’t seem like it now but one day possibilities will just start materializing before you,” I finally believe it. You can believe it too. It’s real. For me, it’s now. Everything is in reach. My only task is to enjoy the journey. Like those leaves wandering through the air around me, I have absolute confidence that I will soon find myself happily grounded. But not too soon. After all, there’s scenery to be enjoyed.