Hello, dear blog readers. I hope you are well on this fine Tuesday evening. I am currently ensconced in my wonderful new apartment with two of my three lovely flatmates, listening to someone else's music and the sound of my keyboard and the wind, and more than a little miffed that the very strong smell of pot coming through the window from somewhere is putting a damper on my sense of calmness.
The rather omnipresent smell of pot is one thing I did not miss about Ithaca, but there are many things I have missed. Mostly those things are people - I missed sitting around at two in the morning with roommates, hanging out and laughing and talking about important things or the meaning of life or nothing in particular really. I missed my friends that I have not seen since December, before I left for London. It's been great to see things click back into place, to pick up conversations as though I've never even left, to hug people I've only known in text or in pixelated videos for months. It's been great to be surrounded by friends again, in my apartment, in the dining hall, sitting at a table in "the pub," having person after person wave and say hello and ask how my summer was. Classes start tomorrow, and I'm excited to be reading new things, learning new things, attempting new things in my writing. It'll be hard, but it'll be fun.
Of course there are things I did not miss. I did not miss the utterly vile smell of marijuana, I did not miss the worry of piling-up homework, I did not miss the cold (although it is not, of course, cold here yet. It certainly will be, though).
It feels a bit surreal to be here again. I was walking through campus to pick up my textbooks in the mail center, looking around at all the familiar buildings, and for a moment I felt a little bit like I was in one of those dreams where you know you are in a specific place even though your surroundings are not that place at all. I couldn't quite grasp what being back meant. How could I be here again after everything that had happened? How could I be in Ithaca, after being blown off a mountain in Edinburgh, after getting hopelessly lost and then found again in Venice, after walking three hours in snow-clogged London? How can I be back in the same place, to do the same thing, when I am not the same?
I do think this semester will be pretty exciting though. I'm looking forward to my classes; I'm looking forward to directing Broadway Revue and joining the Quidditch team. I'm excited to cook delicious things for my roommates and other assorted friends; I'm excited about the shiny new internship I snagged myself (talk about the benefits of Twitter!!); I'm excited for lots of adventures around this neat little town I live in.
I think one of my favorite things to do is just sit and talk with a small group of close friends until all hours of the morning. We talk about serious things - relationships and breakups and friendships and careers and hopes and dreams and fears, all sorts of things. We talk about other things too, like books and tv and movies. We tell jokes, talk about stupid stuff that doesn't matter, as well as the stuff that does. It feels comforting to be surrounded by people you trust, when you know they trust you too. I'm glad to be back in that environment. I'm looking forward to a lot of late nights and tired mornings, smiles and secrets and so many laughs my jaw aches with it.
And hopefully all this will happen without too many unpleasant smells filtering in from outside.