Saturday, September 26, 2015

rushing up from the water

I finally went back to Seattle for a week in the middle of August, and the seven months since my last visit is now my new record for time spent away from home. Home isn't really the right word anymore because it isn't really home when things are so different now, not just from my life in California but also just from my life when I was growing up there. There are the obvious things, like how I no longer live at the house I grew up in that was down the street from my best friend's house, or that my parents aren't around as much as because of work; there are also the less obvious things, like how I take sunshine for granted now or that I'm willing to walk and take public transportation everywhere because I'm not used to driving. But I don't include those ultimately insignificant details when I talk about where I'm from; I identify with my hometown as an explanation for who I am, because as an out-of-state student at a school with an almost 80% in-state (Californian) student population, I've been intentionally integrating my Seattle roots into my introductions because it makes for some good small talk: when is it ever going to rain? / the drought distresses me / did you know I didn't buy rain boots until I after I got accepted? the downpours here (rare as they are to come by) are ridiculous / coffee tastes better when it's overcast and especially when you need something warm to hold in your hands.

My homesickness as of late is no longer so much about the place itself as it is about the feeling of comfort I associate with grey skies and cold (or at least colder than this sickening heat wave that never seems to go away) when it's easier to focus on doing the things I'm supposed to. The older I get, the more sure I am that maybe the thing that makes me feel like Tiffany's is never going to be a permanent place or even a geographical one, no matter how badly I want to belong to a location I can always find respite at. When I was a kid and went on vacation with my parents I would always get so sad at the end of the trip because I knew I would never be able to get those few days of good food, nice hotels, and sightseeing experiences back once I left (yeah okay so maybe I've always been a bit broody and nostalgic). Even if I went back to New Orleans or Monte Carlo or Nanjing or Honolulu I knew it would never be the same experience, and for as long as I can remember I've always been unnecessarily stressed by the thought of not being able to do things over again.

These last few of months have been especially draining for no particular reason at all, and I hardly ever feel like I have a moment of respite anymore despite the fact that I'm not technically piling on more hours of class or work than what I've been managing for the last two years. Maybe the stress that's been slowly building for years has finally reached its tipping point. I just have so many things I have to do but I no longer have the stamina to get up at 6AM and sleep at 1AM, and my responsibilities have left me drained of energy to write or take photos or make plans to do things like I used to. I have far too many half-written blog posts that I've been trying to finish for months, but at what point do I just take a break from it instead of trying to force myself to work to the brink of exhaustion?

The fatigue seems to be permeating throughout all of my posts here lately, and I think I've forgotten how to write recreationally anymore without coming across as heavy and drowned. At one point I chalked it up to the increased amount of academic writing in my course load now in my second and final half of college, but this goes beyond simply spending my words elsewhere. After a year of so much personal writing and memory purging in an attempt to make sense of the mess of thoughts running through my mind, I want to find the words to talk about the things that fascinate me again. I want to talk about what Lana del Rey's Honeymoon means to me, the sublimity of Donna Tartt's The Secret History, the vintage Saint Laurent jacket and Valentino skirt I bought last week; I plan on finding the words to say all of this sometime soon, but for now I think I need to take a break and leave the world for the ones who change everything.

Do you like
Do you like where you've been
And where you're going to?
Say goodnight
Say goodnight to the life in the world you knew
I'm gonna follow you
Swan Song | Lana del Rey

xoxo, vivian

F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes handwritten by me; view the original scans at the blog I literally write for at white paper quotes on Tumblr.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post! love the pics<3