ladytroubadour: scrap of blue sky with clouds (Default)
( Sep. 18th, 2009 01:29 pm)
In General:

Scotland is magnificent. Twice as beautiful as the pictures. Every direction I can turn my head is so breathtaking that I find it hard to catch my breath. The people here strike me as warm, a bit stoic, and generally affable. Dumfries is a somewhat small town with a bit of a slow and easygoing pace, a little drowsy sometimes but makes up for it in beauty and serenity. Glasgow is a big city that moves at an almost frantic pace but is vibrant with life and seems to have a certain jovial tone. Edinburgh is smaller than the latter but larger than the former, and balances the energy between the two with a kind of quiet-but-connected feel. I could easily see myself living in Edinburgh. What a place. The people live right on top of history, and there is a certain sense there that the past is still part of the present.

Scotland is magical. There's really nothing else I could say that could capture it in a single word as eloquently. Scotland has a magic and I am caught in its spell.

On Fresher's Week:

Let me give you a word: busy. No wait, let me give you four: Oh My Goodness, BUSY! I've been to almost every event and informative tour, plus walks to town to shop for food and necessities and to generally have fun plus hanging out with the folks in the dorm until the wee hours and on and on. Hardly any sleep to be had but lots of activity, which is why here on the last day of this mania I was forced to skip out on the festivities and take a nap. Apparently there is a physical limit to how much my body can tolerate of taking on a frantic pace with little sleep or food. I've had a quiet day just now, while the dorm is silent as a tomb so I can only guess the others are partying again. How on earth do they do it?! It was scant amount of years ago that I was their age. Hell, Paul's older than me at 32. But I just can't keep it up forever. I love company and being social, but I'm still an introvert and I need my batteries recharged!

But don't think I haven't enjoyed every moment. I decided early on in this adventure that I'd jump at the opportunity for every new experience. Each new food or drink, each new person to talk to, each thing I might not have done before. I felt apprehensive when I beheld the door to the Black Mausoleum, knowing I was about to get the pants scared off me with a tense story and creepy shadows, but I took a breath and I walked right in. I was a little intimidated by the scene at the club and didn't have as much fun as I'd hoped, but everytime someone grabbed my hand or caught my eye and waved, I came over and wiggled to the music. When a game of football started up I ran and kicked and ducked and laughed at mysef. When there was a movie in the dorm upstairs I watched it, when there was drinking and loudness I sat in and listened for a bit (still searching for a drinkable alcohol, I've tried a few things but so far still pretty sure alcohol mostly tastes like fermented barf).

There is much to be proud of in my little compact body, which, while short and leaning well into the rotund, is a sturdy little thing and has held up very well to a good deal of liberties being taken with it this week. As I've long suspected but never properly tested, I'm not built for short spurts of heavy activity, but I have a lot of stamina and I can walk for ages before it wears me down. After a summer of almost no exercise, I've only been a bit sore and stiff from a solid week of nothing but walking and largely on hills. My legs don't go fast but they eat up the miles like it's nothing. It's a quiet victory in a lifetime of being assumed to be very unfit and ugly because I don't meet certain standards of attractiveness and athleticism and grace. My body is not wrong nor bad nor diseased, it's a lovely litte design that does its job and serves me well. It doesn't attract much attention, but then, it doesn't need to. I do that bit well enough on my own. ;) I don't feel I am close with anyone here yet, not properly, but there are people who smile when they see me, and that's my favorite compliment (though when Bom told me I am very good-natured and he likes the way I laugh, I liked that too).

On My Friends in the Residence:

There is something to like about everyone here, for all they're so different. Lots of international students, and I love learning about the different languages and cultures. Everyone's generally quite happy to hang out, to share a beer or a cab or some food, watch movies together, laugh, sing. A bit of general college rowdiness of course but so far nobody seems to be out of control and everyone has been getting along. I'm enjoying getting to know them all. I hope I'll have a few closer friends, maybe even at least one proper Friend (it is hard to come up with words for relationships when you are the sort of person who generally likes nearly everyone unless they really blow it in some way), but if nothing else I can tell already I'm going to have no trouble establishing a warm association living with everyone here. I'm very grateful, as room-mate troubles was a key worry for potential disaster and it is seeming to be averted neatly.

I'm going to be a warden soon (think RA), which I'm very pleased with. Needed the income, for starts, but more important I am glad for the responsibility. I think having so many others to look after will keep me from feeling homesick or frightened as much as I might otherwise.

I'm the only American in the dorm for this particular term, and the only female in my flat. No one in my flat is a native of Scotland. Around the whole dormitory there is a good mix though and we all hang out together for the most part.

Some Thoughts About Journey and My Current Place in the World:

I'm so glad to be here. I still do feel a wee bit out of place, a post grad in an undergrad world, but I still feel this was exactly the way to find my place. I look with eager anticipation to the road ahead. Despite the challenges and headaches that lie before me I know this will be a year I'll remember forever, a real beginning in discovering who I am and what I'm doing with my life next.

I'm glad you're on this journey with me. I'm glad for everyone I've ever been touched by or who has ever been touched by me. Thank you for being a part of my life. I love you all, more than you will probably ever understand.

No really, especially with all the complaints I get about being so rotten at keeping up with everyone! ;D I do tend to keep only a few truly close, and I know that vexes some of you, but I wish there was a way I could explain to you how you're in my heart despite my weird needs for certain amounts of distance. To me, when someone is part of me, the distance doesn't matter. And maybe I haven't seen or talked to you in a long while, but once we meet again I don't really feel as if we were ever apart. Two nights ago when we saw a film the first thing I thought was how much Kori would have loved it, and despite not being able to call her and tell her so, the thought made me happy. It made her close. Bah, it's hard to explain! But you are with me, yes, even you family members I don't see or talk to much, yes, even you, family friends who rarely hear from me, and yes, even you, reading this, who all know exactly who you are. I appreciate you. I do. I am just... ah me, I am my own, and trying to find my place in the wide world, what to say?

Namaste, blessings, and love to all of you. Even the ones I have yet to meet.


ladytroubadour: scrap of blue sky with clouds (Default)

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