3 & 15

I’ve always been  a big believer of not counting down to things. Not expecting things to happen when they may or may not do so, and not looking forward to something so much that you have to count down to its event.

For example, while everyone in high school nearly always went the way of expectant hopefulness when it came to snow days, I always figured that it’d be safer for my mental health if I went through the motions of disbelieving it even before it could disappoint. The way I see it, even now, is that if I manage to convince myself that no snow day will possibly ever happen, there are only two outcomes. First of all, we could have a snow day, and the worst that can happen is that I’m very pleasantly surprised. Second, the snow day may never appear, and then I would’ve just expected it. And even if I hadn’t completely managed to make myself believe it, all that happens is that I get to chastise myself for being stupidly hopeful when I should’ve known better.

And when it comes to things that I’m meant to look forward to, I always just imagine that the more I count down to them, the longer it will actually seem. I’ve never actually numbered the days to something, unless it’s by accident. Accidental subtracting is a thing, you know.

But that being said, I have three days until I go back to London and I’m counting down the days like I’ve never before. I’m trying my best not to count down the hours, but it’s difficult.

Is it that miserable? I wouldn’t say miserable, no. I mean, a Eurotrip isn’t something one usually complains about. But I will say that while it’ll never be anything I look back on and regret, a the moment I would give much to just go back to school and sit there in my dorm for a couple of days, in peaceful solitude.

And no, I’m not alone – nearly everyone I’ve met shares the same viewpoint as I do – it’ll never be anything we regret, and it’s a great experience, and we’ve always wanted to do it, but oh my goodness traveling is. An ordeal.

It’ s just the constant moving, the constant uncertainty about where you are, where anything is. You never know what the hostel’s really going to be like, and for the more intense, on-the-go travelers, they don’t really ever know where they’re going to be the day after tomorrow. It’s just play by ear. And while that’s okay for a little while, it gets old really quickly.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m a bit done with being away from home. For as long as I can really remember I’ve always wanted to just go. I wanted to leave.  If I’m allowed to toot my horn a bit, I’ve never had that rebellious stage of adolescence where everything is terrible and everything sucks and rage rage rage, where NO ONE UNDERSTANDS WHAT I GO THROUGH EVERY DAYYY.

Although I did have a “black” stage, where I just wore black all the time. But I still skipped around and giggled, so I’m not entirely sure if that counted.

My rebellious stage was just…I-Want-To-Get-Out-Of-Here-Now, which I’m sure many adolescents also get, if not at least in lieu of the other thing, along with it. I’d always wanted to go to an airport and just look up and decide where I’m  going, and just…go. With no concern about whom or what I’m leaving behind, and no anxiety about whom or what I may see.

No commitments. Behind me or ahead of me. With no one by my side.

Commitment issues, I’m telling you.

But now that I have essentially done that, as I could really just go to the airport or train station or whatever it is I want to go to tomorrow and go wherever the hell I want with no concern to what is happening the following day, I’m surprised myself to say that I’ll be looking forward to just staying in one place for a while.

It’s nice to have people who care where you are if you’re not back at a certain time, and though I haven’t grown up quite enough on this trip to yet understand where my parents’ mass paranoia comes from and why, for the love of god, they can’t just leave me alone, at least I recognize that I still need to grow up to do that. Which is at least in my opinion a step in the right direction.

But parents aside, I’ve realized that in high school I’ve been both blessed and cursed with the best friends anyone could ask for, and friends that had been by my hand properly compartmentalized.

If there were issues with one group of friends, there were always others to go to for comfort and effectively, solidarity. I made sure of that, and I did a good job of it. In college, it was the same. There was always, always, someone who cared enough.

But that’s the magic of distance, you know? It’s just harder to care quite so often when you’re so far apart. And the crazy thing is, it doesn’t even matter if you see them constantly when you’re closer together in distance, it just matters that you know they’re there, and that they’re reachable. I remember some of my best friends the last few years of high school were a couple of guys that I never even saw more than a handful of times in my entire lifetime, but despite that, we managed to cultivate a friendship that lasted probably much longer than any of us had expected it to.

And it’s not that I care any less about them (I won’t speak for them on my blog), it’s just that it’s quite a bit more difficult to do so when distance is such a big issue. Distance, and and the time difference, and knowing that despite everything, even if you did connect again, that the other person is still so devastatingly far away – it’s just not a good combination.

The closer you get, the further everything seems.

I don’t want to go as far away as possible anymore. I don’t obviously want to stay under my parents’ roof either, but I think I’d be happy to stay on the East Coast, where I know that most everyone I care about can be reached, if not quite as easily as in high school.

And as it stands, there are three days left until I find myself a comrade in Allen, and fifteen until I’m back in the safe childhood cocoon of my bed and Cucumber.

Counting down may not be my philosophy in normal circumstances, but I think I’ll give myself a break this time.

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