As I’m sat in Charlotte Douglas International Airport, waiting for my second flight to take me home to Heathrow, I have to wonder and reminisce what this past Fall term has given me.
And just as I’ve picked up my laptop to start writing, an ironic speaker voice states “Do not accept gifts from unknown persons”, with the fear of drugs or death as a lasting statement for America, because some may not have been taught to not take things from strangers… I can’t wait to arrive home for the Holidays. This blessed country has its ups and downs, but it’s not my England. I haven’t woken up to the songs of the starlings in my back garden, or the smell of that crisp winter air, whilst all the foliage is frozen in time. The American South gives some other consequences, ideas of the American dream – everyone can make it, and yet there is the souring coldness from racial and sexual tensions that I have experienced. It’s not the country I love, which though just as imperfect as America, I find a truer democracy in.
Christmas this year will be a different one, you always grow out of presents when you become a teenager; the art of giving has its own satisfaction. Yet, for me, Christmas really is about seeing the people I love this year. 4 months without the people closest to me, and even longer without some others, as me and my friends are now scouring the globe to find ourselves and our ambitions have taken us to multiple places – I can’t wait to be surrounded by them all.
My anxiety leading up to this day has been tremendous, sleepless nights for the past week have resulted in my having been awake for 24 hours now. I’ve had the shakes, and even thought I was going to throw up my nerves. 4 months of being out of the loop, not being able to look them in the face or cuddle up with my dogs. The countless times I’ve laid awake in bed, imagining one curled up in front of me and the other behind my legs, as a coping mechanism to get myself to sleep when homesickness has really hit.
It’s hard. Being away from your family, especially a large and extended one like mine is hard. I’ve always had their protection, their support. Here I’ve been totally isolated from that comfort. But I’ve also made friends that I’ll keep for life, and I’ve learned a greater independence than I thought I ever could.
…Despite the fact I’m about to turn into a 21-year-old infant, pining for my Mother’s every attention as soon as we touch down on British soil.