1904

It is always interesting go back to place you’ve spent a significant amount of time, to see new things in familair places, slip back, however briefly, into a life that could have been yours, and look back on the miles you’ve logged since then. At the beginning of Easter Break I went to the US, and Boston was my first stop. The brown buildings along Newbury Street, the Charles, Tufts, the huge piles of dirty stubborn snow — Boston is apt for reminscing.

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The first night I spend feeling a sort of familiarity, drinking out of red solo cups on the top floor of the house with laugther and tired eyes. They wanted to know, what’s it like in the UK? Biggest regret leaving Tufts? Do you miss anything about it? These are questions I asked myself all the time, it took me a long time to come up with any semblance of an answer. Before I came back I thought I would miss it; I was sure that when I saw the blue skies, the sunrise over snow-covered Somerville, the hill, and ate that Flour Bakery egg sandwich for the first time in a year, I would regret that I ever left. Like what made me super 悔しい in freshman fall: I’d come face to face with everything I had given up and feel that helpless sense of a loss that I’d chosen for myself. A grief I couldn’t mourn.

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There are days in Durham when things are hard. The bus that stops at 7pm and doesn’t run on Sundays. Dragging my shopping bags in the cold and in the wind. The seemingly endless grey days and the weak sunshine. And, sometimes, the disappointing tutorials. Somedays I spend so much time alone in my room with my books and JSTOR readings that I’m convinced my sanity won’t outlast my time here. At times I think, do I really like English Lit enough to justify my coming here? I was always trying to answer to my ego, maybe, throwing tantrums and giving in to the anxiety as a way to dramatize my decision. But along the way I settled down. いよいよ落ち着いたかな?

I met 小泉先生 (and M and C) for dinner towards the end of my trip. By then I had spent a week in Vegas / Utah / Arizona, gone to Chicago and seen what was once my dream school, and caught up with a few friends I haven’t seen in a while. She said she never, in freshman spring, saw me smile as much as I did in that few hours we met.

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At some point I think I stopped trying to find ways to justify and make sense of a past decision. Somewhere alone the way I think I found new reasons in my current life that bring a new sense of purpose going forward in this journey. And at some point I stopped missing home so terribly. Grateful to be able to dedicate three years to studying a discipline I might not have the chance to again, in a place that’s significant to its development. For all the shit I give it, if I had to do it again I think I would make the same choice.

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