I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about a great many things. I’ve said all my goodbyes and though many of them still sting, there’s not much I can do about it. I’m gone from Bloomington, but I miss it. I spent the weekend in Columbus, Ohio with friends from high school, and oddly, I missed Bloomington more there than I did when I first arrived at my parents house. Perhaps the fact that I graduated a week ago was setting in… Columbus is nice. It’s a big city, but it’s very spread out. It’s not really feasible to walk anywhere, at least from my friends’ place, and it took us 30 minutes on the bus to get downtown.
Seeing the OSU campus just reminded me of why I went to IU. IU is GORGEOUS. The trees, the limestone, the flowers that seem to magically appear but which are really planted by landscaping workers at 6:30 in the morning at the beginning of spring… Bloomington is this lovely, idyllic town with friendly people and fairly quiet streets. It’s a utopia of forward-thinking, patient, and genuinely kind people. OSU is mangey and dark. Also, they renamed the street that their football stadium is on “12 and 0 row.” I know that IU is a bit preoccupied with sports, but really? Really? Ugh.
I have nothing against people that go or went to Ohio State. We all go to different places for different reasons. Still, seeing that campus for the first time in 7 or 8 years made me so glad that I decided on Indiana. Not that I ever even considered attending Ohio State – I didn’t even apply there. Nonetheless, it made me happier in my decision, and it was that happiness, I think, that made me miss the place even more.
Hanging out with friends from high school made me realize how changed I am since I started college. I was this shy girl, who’d never done much. I was afraid of everything – of failure, of rejection, of making too many mistakes, of making the wrong decisions, of misbehaving… I spent my time reading and living vicariously through fictional characters who were far braver than I. Even then, I had an intense desire to travel, having already visited England on an AP Lit tour and several islands in the Caribbean on two cruises. The interest in travel was there then, but the need hadn’t developed yet.
I was bad at meeting people – too afraid of rejection to put myself out there. I like to think I’ve changed from that, but I know that at heart I still fear rejection more than almost anything else. It has lessened, but it’s still there. I was once afraid to speak my mind – that has changed significantly… now, good luck to anyone who wants to get me to shut up! I’ll rant about my beliefs for as long as I have a captive audience.
For many years, I was preoccupied with the notion that I was waiting for my life to begin. I was waiting for things to happen to me. In the past 12 months, I’ve realized that my life has been here all along. Waiting around isn’t what makes a life worth living – doing things is. If all you do is sit back and wait for things to happen, nothing will. When I went to England to study abroad, and travelled, and made friends with people from all over Europe… That’s when I realized that they only way to live is to do so on purpose. Sometimes, okay, most of the time, it’s difficult. There’s a reason that most people do not end up very far from their hometown. Family brings them there, and comfort prevents them from leaving. It’s certainly easier to stay at home and watch movies than to walk or drive across town or the state to see a friend. I am guilty of doing so on more occasions that I would like to admit.
I want to keep challenging myself. To do the scary things. To remember that no reward comes without risk.
I guess that’s what moving to DC is really all about.