Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In the little time I have

In the little (read: long) time I have until the water boils for me to make my pasta, I have decided to take some time to write my blog. It's during days like this, when I have two papers to research and write in less than three days, that I have to really push myself to adhere to commitments like The Songs of Spring. But I'm a born worker-under-great-pressure (no, I'm not), so I'm doing it. And I'm going to like it.

Let me tell you a little bit about my last few days in the city that I love the most in the world times a million: They won't be pretty.

I didn't realize how much I was coasting these past few months in London, but apparently I was. Despite the anxiety of reading assignments and classes and trying to actually experience the city I'm living in over the past several weeks (along with several trips outside of the country so that I could see more of Europe), somehow I've left a great deal of work until the very end when it will be incredibly discouraging and frightening to finish it.

I've never been the kind of person who leaves work to the last minute. I assign deadlines for myself ages in advance, not because I'm incredibly organized, but because it's just the way I work best. I like giving myself the leeway of a week so that when it comes time for the final countdown for my fellow students, I'm sitting in my room watching Hulu or Netflix. I complain in the weeks before, but when it's down to the wire I'm usually done.

That is not the case today. And I've enjoyed the fact that for the first time my freak-outs about homework are aligned with my Facebook friends' freak outs. We're all in the same lazy procrastinator boat. It's a fun place to be.

[I just took a brief break to check on the status of my boiling water. It is not boiling yet, in case anyone was wondering.]

This afternoon when I was heading back from Southeast London to visit Timothy, it occurred to me that it might be the last time I take the tube until I am heading to Heathrow Airport for my flight this weekend. The thought frightened me, since aside from feeling home-sickness for London despite still being here, I also have a tremendous (albeit strange) love of the tube.

Every time I leave London it becomes just a bit harder. There's something about this city that takes me in and swallows me whole. It's hard to get away from it once I've returned to it because it always calls back to me like the perfect little place. My own little corner of the world. Except not little. And not only mine.

This time will surely be the most difficult, and especially so because in these last few weeks I haven't been able to see as much of the city as I'd like. I always imagined study abroad in London to consist of hours spent wandering the streets and figuring out the landscape of this place I've loved for so long. It has been that to some extent, but certainly not enough.

And now it's down to the final few days and I doubt I'll have even a moment to really explore the city like I want to.

Yet I have no one to blame but myself. I had the choice of when to do my papers. If I put it off, then it's my fault that I took the free time then to watch Parks and Recreation or The Mindy Project and that now, when I actually need the free time, I simply don't have it.

But I guess it's better to just stop griping. I know that in a matter of months I'll be back in this city. Even if the plans have not been made yet, this is the one place in the world that always draws me back. I can't be away very long without needing to return.

Even though there is so much of the world I've yet to explore, there is still so much I've yet to uncover in London alone, and so much I want to relive, that it would be silly not to come back regularly. That may sound silly to any other world traveler, but to me it's as natural as breathing.

[Took another break to run to the kitchen and see if there was any water boiling. It sort of was. I put in the pasta because I'm impatient. Also, I saw that one of my flatmates was cooking chicken and for some reason I defaulted to thinking that he was cooking soy chicken. Random sidenote, but vegetarianism has now made me delusional.]

Anyway, I write this partly to lament over the loss of my time in London - or at least the fast approaching of my time in California for winter break - and also to say that London is the kind of city that distracts even me from the terrible fate of having two papers due in two days.

This is a magical city for me. And while it may not be that way for everyone, I'm glad at least that I've found it for myself. And I also hope that everyone else finds the same comfort elsewhere. We all deserve to find the greatest place on earth, even in the little time we have there.

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