I've written a lot, in the summer, over the past few months, in a journal that I keep as a word document.
I left for school in August. A plethora of my time has been spent in class, at work, cleaning my small little apartment and doing things that people in college are supposed to do, I suppose (minus the partying; I never have been that into studying, either).
I try to wake up early in the morning on the weekends; Saturdays (and sometimes Wednesdays) are laundry days, when I make the fifteen minute drive to Memaw and Pawpaw’s house and occupy myself for a good two hours before heading back home with clean clothes. It’s nice to spend my mornings there: it’s a nice place to write, too. I wash the dishes in my apartment at least once a day; it’s not a habit so much as it’s a chore that’s left to me (I don’t mind it too much, though).
My three roommates run on different schedules than I do. Often, I’ll find them awake and cooking dinner at twelve a.m., and I’ll find myself cleaning up their mess the next day.
I've been reading, too; over the break, during school. Two books so far, which is better than I've done in years for my leisure. I've also crocheted an entire afghan over the course of about two months, in which I have invested my heart and with which I am overwhelmingly proud of.
I've done a lot of things since I've been here last. In June, I went on a cruise with my best friend to Cozumel, Honduras and Belize, in which I brought along three disposable cameras and ended up using two of them; I got them developed later, and at least half of the film was either over-exposed or water damaged. I'll have to live with the memories in my mind, but going out of the country was one of the best things that I've ever done.
Being in college, I don't feel so different, I suppose; I guess I could say that I've found out more of who I am, because the majority of my free time (I don't have much) is spent alone. I've decorated my small apartment, the cabinets lined with my own dishes, hangings on the walls, pillows on the couch and three houseplants that Grandmother gave to me, and one of my own, that I water every Sunday (I haven't forgotten yet). There are a lot of things that I've missed, and a lot to remember.
Being in love changes, too; separation makes you realize how much you really want someone; I've learned about love in that way. It's worse at first; every time I leave, and the same every time he leaves; all of the starting over. It's a process of almost pausing and resuming and trying to forget what happens in between, but sometimes the in between can change things. Love gets better, too, if it's the good kind; so much sweeter when you're together, so that the sweetness lingers when you're apart (still, though, it doesn't make being apart, the feeling of missing someone, the leaving, any easier).
Being home is comfort; it's everything that I've thought and everything I've expected in returning but in a different sort of way; people have gone on with things and when you come back, the time that you once occupied seems to be used up; going places, adapting, getting used to things: this is what my life has been, but it's been good for me.
I’ve told myself that I would never leave this space; that I wouldn’t have time to take a break; things get in the way, I guess, but only if you let them. Sometimes I sit and think about writing, without doing the writing itself; instead, the thoughts stay curled up instead of my head.
The above pictures are those of Eileen, my best thrifting friend.
And I'll say it like I say every time I leave and then return: I've missed this.