It’s been three weeks, and I’m still alive here in London. It took me the first week to realize I’m still the same person, albeit stripped of my 3G cell coverage and the Siberian husky fur clods that usually cling to every article of clothing. I’m still biting my nails and forgetting to take my water bottle, and I don’t know why I thought that would change. The water here tastes too warm, and like the YMCA pool. The sky is the most romantic shade of monochromatic grey. I have a view of what I assume is a sky line (and quite a bit of excellent parking lot), and it makes me tear up. But I’ve found a poster of New York with a view looking across mid, and lower Manhattan, and I can almost pretend I am there.
That being said, thank god I’m not. London doesn’t intimidate me, not in it’s physicality or even in it’s sprawling length and density. I’m ready to welcome exploration as a daily event; this new life change compounded by my lack of navigation software on the Nokia my mother’s friend lent me before I left the States. If I manage not to get run over while jaywalking erratically to the inconsistency of the “red man” on the stoplights, I’ll carve my way around this city, the same way I cracked open New York until every street name had a meaning and a purpose to me.
In a last thought, I’d like to express the sheer relief that is finally returning to academia. A solid five months rotation between heartbreaking volunteer work, office drudgery, and LSAT preparation is begging to be broken, and I have gathered that the extensive reading lists given by my new professors are willing participants in the job. My courses are stacked upon criminology, law, history, and the shiny red button to my internal fires, penal reform. While my Sarah Lawrence education is more precious to me than anything, the sheer joy of a curriculum in exactly what I want to focus on in life is enough to get me clamoring to finish reading lists from start to finish (I’m kidding, that recommended section of the Moodles is longer than most of the bibliographies for my monster SLC papers). And as I fight back the urge to angrily (and pretentiously) rage on the American prison system, I’m battling the emotions associated with never being more excited to return to class.