Since I returned home two nights ago, I've slept, ate, unpacked, and began exploring the city I call home again.
In some ways, I feel like things are starting over as I settle into this winter break. I have to readjust to home life and New York City life again, I have to find something new to do this summer, and to top it off, I have to start a new academic semester with an entirely new group of strangers, traveling to new countries I have no experiences with.
I would be remiss to not mention that I intended to start things over by taking time out to study abroad for a semester. Life inside the hedges has been fulfilling, exciting, and particularly challenging. I see myself grow every semester, bigger and better as the days and weeks push me to a different level. While I'm proud of all that I've done and feel that I've used my time well, I also feel that everything I've accomplished is beginning to wear on me. Between classes, extracurricular activities, and maintaining meaningful relationships, I sometimes struggle (don't we all?) with giving myself the time I need to be alone and recharge. Also because I love spending time with people, I don't regret all the fun times I had this past semester.
But it is time to change gears. While I adore the amazing things that sociology has discovered and the life-changing lenses that women's studies has given me, my passion lies with social justice, social change, and development. I think it's time to go outside of the hedges for an extended period of time, fully immerse myself in this focus, travel to new places, try new things, meet new people, and come back a different person. While I'm at it, I want to get a new hairstyle, too. I'll let you know how it goes.
Of course, starting over comes with its own risks and fears. I'm worried I'll get homesick or actually sick. I'm worried I'll get into trouble abroad that will take me away from my loved ones thousands of miles away from home. I'm worried all the focus studying human rights will overwhelm me so much that I can't breathe. I'm worried I can't find something decent to spend my time with this summer. I'm a little sad that I'll be missing all the fun for an entire semester, especially Beer Bike. I'm worried that being away for so long will distance me from the people I treasured.
But I also know that time away and coming back a new person will reveal to me the people and things that are truly worthwhile. For now, my
love is calling
-- and I'm starting over.