London bound. A few days in a new country, with no permanent home, contacts, or concrete schedule does wonders to mess your head up. I have been thinking now that most people truly need some distraction, some task or deadline to keep them sane and reasonable. The pace of life. Right now, mine is about zero. I have nothing but time until my course begins, and no clear idea how to spend it. I'm reading, walking miles a day, and enjoying some of the local flavor at night. Really though, there is nothing determining me from moment to moment, and I have very little to worry about in terms of personal security or finances. It's unsettling to feel so free and cared-for (in an abstract, general sense) and still to be so far away from the familiar comforts of home.
Today I move in to my permanent home for the next 5 months. Having a sense of place, at least--a neighborhood to call my own, frequented bars and restaurants, just an address--will perhaps start to bring together the various threads of school, personal life, and daily tasks into a more recognizable form of home life. I haven't had to set my own schedule for such a long time. Always there was some outlying task to prepare for; hours in the car, presentations one after the other, paperwork to follow up on. General responsibilities foster general peace of mind. American workers not lucky enough to love their work tend to grumble about the tasks small and large that fill up what is usually referred to as "all my free time." Strangely, without those necessitating tasks, our free time becomes and incomprehensible greatness, equally as mind-numbing and dull as the hated functions of a profession.
Wishing so strongly for responsibility is a new feeling to me. I intend (before I've started, mind you)to work hard and long to make this a successful year. We'll see how that turns out once I'm faced with the reality of long nights and little time to write long papers.