It’s hard to believe that this time last week and I was finishing up packing to move my life halfway across the globe to pursue a dream. Stuffing last minute times into carry-ons, hoping that my luggage scale is right and my bag is underweight (it wasn’t), and going through the mental checklist of everything I have to accomplish to get to and through Heathrow with the least possible stress.
And now, here I am.
Oxford welcomes you back like an old friend it would seem. Industry bustles on and there’s always development or construction somewhere, but the key pieces will always be the same as they’ve been for centuries. the Martyr’s Memorial. The Radcliffe Camera. The spires of University Church. The obnoxious, homogenous crowds of tourists that seem to forget sidewalks are for walking.
I missed the hell out of it.
At least I did until the panic set in. Can you imagine a move where you literally arrive and don’t even have a towel to shower off the over 24 hours of travel sweat you’ve accumulated off your body? Not even a sheet to lay down on? Trudging through the busy streets to a department store to buy towels and bedding was the last thing I wanted to do when I arrived in a literal downpour to the City of Dreaming Spires, but I didn’t have much choice. (Though if I had a pillow to stick my head under when I first arrived, I probably would have done so.)
On top of all this, receiving missive after missive from my program, confronting the literal mountain of pre-reading I should have accomplished a month ago, all while figuring out the basics of my new life, finding a phone, getting a bank account, finding where to buy a damn pan, etc etc….
It’s overwhelming. But not unmanageable.
While taking on this degree and returning to Oxford feels a lot like coming home, this time it is different. I am older, (arguable wiser), and moving much more in a direction purposefully rather than moving with the inertia of what a moderately intelligent girl from Kentucky should do. And after a two year sabbatical from academic work, I’m chomping at the bit to get down to business.
Fragmented as my thoughts are right now, I guess you could say I’m getting back in the swing of things.