Home for the Holidays
A blog about travel and growing older. As usual, in 2 parts.
Part 1: Christmas at the Airport
I have fond memories of sleeping in the daytime. It feels good to realize as you lie down just how tired you actually are, and let yourself drink deeply of Hypnos' draught. I can remember many times during my childhood waking in an unfamiliar bed as the curtains feebly resist the intrusion of the evening sun. As it is I've become accustomed to unfamiliar beds, to the extent that I don't really have one that I call home.
My flight home left at 2:00 PM on December 19th, so you can imagine my surprise when I awoke in my room at 2:30. After quickly glancing at my watch with a sinking heart, I realized that, beyond any doubt, I had missed my flight. Having slept rather irregularly in the days leading up to my departure, culminating in a late final the night before, I had fallen asleep on top of my bed at around 10 in the morning and stayed that way until far too late. My clothes were still in the washing machine.
At this point, I found myself completely lost for next steps, so I called my mother and father, but couldn't reach either initially. I felt somewhat sick by the time my mother called me back and I had to explain my situation. She was (understandably) furious, but before prompting me to take any serious action, urged me to contact my father. My father was in switzerland at the time on a business trip, and seemed otherwise engaged as he didn't answer the phone for a couple hours. As I was about to give up, he sent me a text asking if I had anything that warranted him stepping out for a minute.
Luckily for me, my father flies on this particular airline rather often, and had booked the ticket on his account. He was incredibly calm about the situation, and informed me that he had simply moved me onto the same flight the next day. Students at my university have a general air of independence around them, but its moments like this that make me realize the extent to which I am quite a ways off from being a responsible adult.
I travel relatively often, and I have become somewhat accustomed to the routine of travel days. I can get everything I need into a single carryon bag, get my ticket online 24 hours in advance, and fly through security checkpoints and customs alike. I generally have my trips planned out to the level of knowing which airport restaurant I'll go to for my ill-timed lunch and which book I'll read while trying to get comfortable in the waiting area in front of the gate. It's relatively rare that I even get a missed connection (knock on wood), and thus far my travel experience has been entirely free of disasters of this scale. It certainly gave me a different kind of airport adventure this year.
Part 2: There's No Place Like Home
This summer I wrote a blog about our family moving to Connecticut. This winter I returned to find them relatively settled into their new home. Everywhere from parties to church services, I was introduced to new colleagues, new schoolmates and new friends. While I'm happy that they are meeting new people and finding a making new lives for themselves here, I feel somewhat isolated when I end up telling people that I've never actually lived in Connecticut.
At this point I feel that I essentially have no "home" to speak of. I'm currently studying in Ann Arbor, but I have no real ties to the area, and don't intend to stay there past my next couple years of school. At this point I have become too detached from my erstwhile home in Kansas city, as I have no plans in the near future to visit, and nowhere to really stay if I did. I list my family home in Connecticut as my permanent address, but I have spent a total of 3 weeks in the town including my current vacation, and I don't have a single friend or acquaintance here.
All of this sort of reinforces that fact that the time is soon coming when i essentially have to make a life for myself. I'll graduate in 2016 and at that point I hope to get a job and place to live and start living independently. And yet the prospect of that sort of life is still somewhat frightening to me. While I have been living away from my parents these last 2.5 years, I find that I still sort of think of myself as a kid. I almost can't imagine that level of complete responsibility for oneself that my parents have.
And on the other hand, the true adults in my family are getting older. My grandmother visited us this Christmas and informed us of all of her newest ailments. She is still in relatively good health considering her age, but she certainly isn't getting any younger. My father has recently started complaining of aches and pains in various joints, and in general my parents are starting to show their age. They were pretty young when was born, so I'm used to having "young" parents for my age, but at this point , even my "young" parents are seeming older and grayer by the day.
At the end of the day I don't really have much of an option. Time and tide wait for no man, and I certainly don't have the wherewithal to stop them. I'm going to have to become more independent soon whether I want to or not. I just hope that I'll be able to overcome my tendency to wait until opportunities pass me by and that I can actually become somebody.
Bonus Section: New Years Shoutouts
@ the #TL-ABL gang: Thanks for always being there to talk to, especially dravernor
@farvacola: thanks for providing a level head and the wisdom that can only come from experience
@sam!zdat: thanks for constantly challenging my assumptions and forcing me to either justify my views or change them
@licher and Shellshock: congrats on getting staffed, hope to help out to make LR threads even better in 2014
@salle and the LP staff: Thanks for helping me with my personal projects and good luck making liquipedia better than ever.
Happy New Year!