12 October 2012

A very strange feeling

Perhaps those of you who've lived in several different places or abroad for a while will identify with this.  This complete transfer of existence from "Life in Wales" to, quite suddenly, "Life in Virginia", with "Former life in Georgia" and "Former life in Alabama" squished in between the change, has left me searching for a good metaphor to explain the feeling it's evoked.
I toyed around with the idea of "it's like a time warp" when I went back to Alabama to visit "my old college friends", who are not really my old college friends because I only went to college with a few of them and they're all much more than just friends to me.  Even though a lot had changed, it felt almost seamless to slip back into the rhythm of that place and these people, belonging just as much as I ever did.  Much more had changed in Georgia, though, the place of my roots and my family, and life in Virginia is almost completely new (not totally, I've spent a couple months in this area before), so the "time warp" theory just doesn't quite cut it.
But, being a lover of science fiction and all things otherwise weird, I persisted in that vein trying to explain my experience and I think I've come up with a decent metaphor.
Planes and wormholes.  Not the flying planes (though those are fun too), the other kind of plane.  I've been on several different planes of existence - life in Wales, VA, GA, AL, vacation life, and life with my parents - and I've been traveling from one to another via wormholes.  Hence the eye-blinking suddenness of finding myself in each place and it feeling both natural and alien.  I know automatically how to adjust to each, but it always leaves my brain saying, "hey, uh, what just happened?  How did we get here?  What now?"
Yes, it's weird metaphor.  I'm weird.  I feel weird.
Here's a picture of a bird.

03 October 2012

An Itinerant Month

Four countries

Nine airports

Fifteen cities

Three weeks

Four weeks ago, I turned in my master's thesis.  Now, I am sitting on that perfect screened porch in Georgia (my parents' screened porch) while movers pack up all their stuff (and mine, too) to move it to Virginia, and I can't for the life of me figure out where time went.  I have memories like a disorganized box of photos; every once in a while I try to sift through them and process a whirlwind month.

I've had to say multiple rounds of goodbyes, which are terrible bittersweet things, and this week I'll say more, only they'll be hello-goodbyes this time.  I really do feel like a wanderer now, going from house to house and city to city, getting more of a taste for travel and more of a desire for home, wherever that is.

In a last-ditch effort to take advantage of being located in Europe, and a celebration for completing a thesis that I sometimes doubted would ever end, I went to Scotland, Norway, and Iceland.  I expected Scotland would be great - and it was even better than I expected.  I thought Norway would be beautiful - and it was, but I was sick, (thanks, Scotland), so I didn't see much of it.  And I didn't know what to expect from Iceland - but it was absolutely spectacular.

the twisty, turreted streets of Edinburgh

quiet forests in Norway

good grief, Iceland, stop being so epic

It's time to put down roots again, which is always a chancy move, because you never know when you're going to have to pull them up.  Sometimes I think it would be better to stay in one place for the rest of my life, and sometimes I think I just shouldn't even make friends - but I always dismiss both of those options as equally impossible, even if I am a homebody prone to hermit-like behavior.

The Begending.