I reached my one-month anniversary of arriving in Manchester on Saturday in smashing fashion.
Looking back on the past month, I naturally ask myself where the time has gone. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been here forever, but most of the time I still feel like the new kid. I’m not sure what areas have yet to click into place because it’s, well, not so tangible as that. In some sort of abstract way, I feel like I don’t quite fit… yet.
Not to harp on — I’ve already gone into the initial feelings of loneliness interspersed with a sort of quasi-certainty that I won’t feel that way for long. And I don’t feel the same way now as I did when I wrote my last blog entry. I’m not depressed; I’m not even lonely, per se. It’s something else. I have this horrible thought that maybe it’s my course of study, even though I’m enjoying breaking into a new field. My professors have assured me that it’s actually a good thing that I have a different academic background because it will bring a unique understanding to anthropological theory. And as I’ve said before, I do enjoy the challenge. That doesn’t mean that I don’t wake up sometimes and wonder what the fuck I’m doing.
Part of it has got to be the sense of dread that this will all end eventually and I’ll be back at square one, living at home and unemployed. That’s not bad in and of itself — not everyone gets a job right out of school, even with an advanced degree. It’s just that I can’t go back to that stage of my life. I’ve been trying to put it all into perspective, this seriousness and weight that I carry around with me. Previously I called it “the weight of expectation” but it’s morphed into something more complex than that. Strangely, it’s in the midst of an academic lecture that I seem to have moments of clarity about my own life. A lecture about time — about what it is, in essence, about our conception of it. A lecture about communication, about language, about what makes us human. A seminar about ethics in cultural advising. All of these are stark reminders of what I’ve just come out of.
The process is slow, but I finally feel some forward momentum. That I’m more preoccupied and worried about a presentation, about a future essay, is in and of itself an improvement for me. That I’m able to laugh, that I’m able to sleep, that I’m able to get out of bed in the morning and feel some sort of contentment is further proof. I had a thought this weekend as well, right at the one month anniversary, that for the first time in ages I felt pretty. It’s something small, but it’s been missing for a long time. Too long. And just taking that first step gives me all the encouragement I need to continue down the path I’ve chosen.
I no longer have a case of the Mondays, or Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays. Every day is a new day, as banal as it sounds. And even though each day isn’t a perfect day or even a good day, it’s another day to repair all the damage done and find a way to live again.