Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bring it, world

Tonight I'm endeavoring to forget about all that lies ahead. That is, all that lies ahead in the next couple of days.

The last few weeks of my study abroad adventure have consisted of a mad rush to do assignments and an effort to distract myself with some lovely vacances outside of jolly ol' England. All I've been thinking about is schoolwork and getting ready for my voyage au Europe. And with all that lies on the horizon, it's hard to just be in the now.

Since arriving in London, I've come to a place of comfort when and where I am. My room, however stained the carpet may be and however lacking in the overly-decorated charm of my dorm rooms back in the states, has become cozy and liveable. I simply enjoy being here.

When I was away in Edinburgh, though I did love staying with my friend Dana in her accommodation, I kept thinking of how much I missed my own space. It wasn't that what she offered was inferior, but just that I'd grown used to this place.

It's important for me, though, to not grow complacent. Because in the coming days I'm going to have to think about my 1. Europe-wide travels and 2. term papers that are - so wonderfully, I might add - due during my reading week travels.

This is all I have to look forward to the next few days.

But today I refuse. I'm sitting in my room watching Downton Abbey and talking with friends, and for all intents and purposes I'm not even a student. At least not until I wake up tomorrow morning and go to classes yet again.

It's important every once in a while to just stop and consider the more important things. Not that my studies and my vacations are not important, but when I consider those issues against the consideration of a sore throat that cropped up this past weekend and that I am trying to nurse away, I figure maybe a good rest is what I need.

It wasn't quite so easy to turn today into the necessary rest. I still had to go to the clinic to see a doctor to make sure I wasn't dying of some rare throat disease. I also made plans to go to lunch near Covent Garden. Then I took a side trip to the National Portrait Gallery which meant I almost ran late to my one class of the day.

But this was, by far, the most relaxing day I've had in quite a long time. Even though I went to class later in the day and spent the evening on a Jack the Ripper Tour of London that I'd signed up for before I knew how bogged down I'd be as Halloween came ever-closer, now that it's nearing tomorrow I realize that this was just the break I needed so that I feel prepared to hunker down and do all the work that I've been neglecting before.

Tomorrow will consist of reading lots of scholarly articles. Then it will consist of quoting and paraphrasing and analyzing those articles in the context of historical conditions in England. I don't want to be too specific about my essay topic to avoid boring anyone where the information is not necessary, but just know that it will not be one that I can write much of off the top of my head (I'm looking at you, last year's paper on the Disneyland Resort!).

It will also include a lot of frantic packing before I jetset for Copenhagen very very soon.

But looking at tonight, a night when everything just feels like normal. A night when I can sit in my room and feel like I'll be here forever, quiet and comfortable. A night when there are no worries weighing on me because I refuse to acknowledge them. This kind of night is what makes me feel like I can take on anything. Even if, objectively, it looks as though I haven't taken on much at all - I have confidence in me (yes, that's a deliberate reference to The Sound of Music).

Austria in not too many days, but for now I'm just going to think about getting through the rest of the week. If I can do good, then there's a lot of beauty on the other end of the experience. But first that requires me to do nothing as a form of warming up.

At this point I just welcome all the craziness that will ensue in the coming days. Bring it, world. I'm ready.

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