I’m sitting here at Peet’s Coffee listening to a Lord of the Dance playlist remembering a time when all my Spotify ads were spoken by an intelligent-sounding British man. And it goes without saying (though I’m saying it now) that I have my very own pot of tea sitting next to my keyboard.
In a few short weeks, I’ll be going back to school – back to school where I must stay seated 4+ hours on most weekdays, job juggle, and try not to fall asleep during classes after my morning workouts (and as a consequence of the fact that I’m 20 and still don’t know how to make a cup of coffee…).
I’m 90% positive I fall into the miniscule percentage of people NOT entirely enthused about the prospect of going back to school. For one thing, school for me ended the last week of March. Not even sure if I remember how to take notes. And gone are any hopes of taking a quick weekend getaway to some obscure European city…the most exciting places to go in the LA area require a car (or a friend with a car) – otherwise, the nearby Starbucks and Donut Man are the closest hotspots.
And though I’d love to ignore the fact that I still have two GE’s to tackle, I can’t, and will consequently miss reading Austen and Bronte for “homework.”
I’ve been through the post-travel withdrawals with Thailand, so this feeling isn’t totally new. After getting back into a pretty routine schedule, it’s almost as if it all never happened, except for all the photo evidence and the new friends I’ve made through the process. And sadly, as anyone who’s had a similar experience will understand, you almost have to pretend it didn’t happen – or at least not bring up the topic so often – as even the most well-meaning of your friends and family only want the 2-minute spiel (and understandably so).
But while my routines and habits abroad aren’t the same here, the feelings, memories and realizations of what I learned about myself and life remain. Not everyone has to cross oceans to finally realize what it is they want out of life, but this is just how it happened to work out for me. Similarly to how I find myself haunted by sights, sounds, smells and memories associated with my time away, I am continually reminded of the things that I’ve always wanted to do, but put off because of fear and doubt. These too, though in a different way, are withdrawals.
The word “draw” is in the word “withdrawal,” and I think it’s because the things we want keep drawing us out of where we actually are. I don’t know where I’ll be a year from now, but I know where I’d like to be, in that I know where I DON’T want to be. I won’t want to be sitting in the same place, always drawn to another in my mind.
The more I’m out and about in these familiar places, driving past the play areas of my childhood, the Barnes and Noble I love to frequent, the foothills where I take my therapeutic drives – the more I realize that there is nothing for me here, or at least nothing that I don’t have now. This place has already given me all it can, and I need to go elsewhere and continue taking what that has to offer me, or better yet, to teach me.
Have you ever put your ambitions on hold for the sake of practicality? Perhaps placed your big ideas on the shelf, intending to take them back down again only after you have your life together? Probably to different extents, we’ve all done this. Another question is this – how often does your mind wander to those old ambitions and ideas when you’re supposed to be doing something else? Have you ever wanted something so much that it scared you? Then there is no question remaining; run towards it.