Monday, January 23, 2006

A Precocious Comfort

I hope my absence hasn't troubled anyone. I have immediately discovered the difficulties of maintaining a blog, as it seems to require both a diligence and an ingenuity that I may not actually possess. Nonetheless, I've decided to painstakingly formulate the third installment of this online journal. Perhaps perseverence will yield surprising results.

As somewhat of a preface, I'd like to thank everyone who emailed, messaged, called, facewalled, or otherwise took the time to wish me a happy birthday. You're all on my good list, which I don't actually have, but if I had one, you'd probably be on it. In all seriousness, I was touched.

In regards to London, it's going pretty well, although I'm finding it difficult to become ensconced with my regular work routine while in such an incredible place. Only one of my classes has thus far captivated my interest, which only compounds the situation. Hopefully things pick up in the others, but I'm not terribly optimistic. I've become extremely apt at judging a professor's quality at this point, and my other professors leave a lot to be desired.

On the cultural/entertainment side of things, a lot has happened since I last posted. The highlight has probably been a boat cruise on the Thames (but no, I sadly did not see the whale). It was probably the first redeemable event my university here has put together. Lots of people went, so in addition to being beautiful and enjoyable on its own, it also provided an opportunity to mingle with some new people. Other things have occurred, such as trips to Westminster, The National Gallery, various London theatres, Oxford University, and Parliament. If any one of those things piqued your interest, feel free to ask me about them online/through email.

With the tedious life updates out of the way, I feel free to focus on the true intent of this post, the issue of comfort. The trajectory of my experience in Britain has undoubtedly been wildly unstable. To some degree, this is what gives the experience it's allure: a liberation of sorts, from the mundane and monotonous routines of the familiar. It was probably a large part of my own reasoning for coming to London. There is, all romanticizing aside, some truth to the conception of study abroad as an exercise in self-ecstasy. Still, I think there is a point where that emotional state is transcended, and I believe I've at least done that temporarily. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that the ecstasy is actually intermittent, as opposed to something ephemeral, but for now I've certainly achieved another plane. It's this plane, this comfort, that has emerged as the new definitive stage of my experience here.

I'm not about to say that everything has fallen into place or that this is everything I want...because that wouldn't be true. However, this stage is characterized by a more palpable sense of contentment, a contentment that is perhaps achievable. People, places, and opportunity seem to be there, if not in abundance, and I have a sense that I can craft my own experience here without succumbing to an experience contrived by circumstance. Prior to this frame of mind I endured an emotional upheaval of polarity and inconstancy. I liked elements of that, and wouldn't trade that part of the experience for anything. Still, it's a relief to feel a wave of comfort, however precocious it may be.


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