Wednesday, July 23, 2014

you haven't seen my best yet

excerpt from Isn't It Pretty To Think So?

I want you to know that I've been staring at the blank text box in the "new post" screen for the last two weeks now because I wasn't sure what kind of story I wanted to tell; I feel a kind of responsibility to write more than just a list of what I've been up to in my time abroad on this blog (I have a notebook that I may or may not have lost since coming here and a Tumblr for that). These past couple of weeks have been exhausting in the best ways possible (my other and more legitimate excuse for not blogging) and I've seen and done and learned so much already; I'm grateful that I still have another four to go before I have to return to the US. I've been looking forward to studying abroad long before I even started college, and studying international relations at the London School of Economics is a dream come true—all I can begin to say is that I am loving every minute of it.

I will eventually come back to write about all of my (mis)adventures in depth soon when I have more time and pictures to upload, but now feels like as good a time as any to dwell on this idea of homesickness/lack thereof again. I grabbed dinner (and when I say "dinner" I really mean a 1AM, post-boat party kebab run) the other night with a couple of kids who admitted that they felt homesick already, and I felt a bit detached for not feeling homesick at all.

I'm not really sure where home is for me anymore: while I'll always consider myself a Seattleite at heart, I knew as I was leaving the Sea-Tac airport earlier this month that this goodbye was it: I will never be home in Seattle for such an extended period of time until at least graduation (if ever again), and a part of me will miss the person I was in my last seven weeks but also the thirteen years before that. At the same time, this unspoken goodbye wasn't as bittersweet or melancholy as I expected it to be; maybe it's because I finally feel like I have so much to look forward to that I don't need to constantly daydream up escape plans anymore. I'm leaving—are you coming with me?

It's surreal to think that Berkeley will be my new home for the next few years; I'm moving in to my first apartment less than 24 hours after I fly back to the States, and even though I signed the lease and everything the day before I left California, I'm still in disbelief at how much closer I am to adulthood. What's next, filing taxes?! For the first time in my life, I actually wish I could stay the age that I am. Everything is changing so fast, and growing old/leaving home/having to worry about "real life" and "the future" sucks; 3/10 would not recommend. Avoid adulthood if you can.

These six weeks spent in interim between my two lives is a completely different type of surreality. I've been thinking a lot about why I always feel like I need to get out and escape, and in the end the answer is always this: my fear of growing bored overwhelms any fear I have of the unknown. Sometimes I feel like I've lived my entire life in interim anyways: I'm comfortable with moving away from home and emotionally detaching myself from everything in part because I don't think I've ever completely belonged to anything or anyone compelling enough to want to stay.
from BBC's The Hour. One of the best TV shows I've ever watched PLEASE GO WATCH IT
I recently finished watching BBC's The Hour and one of the things that really struck me about this letter Bel wrote Freddie while he was abroad was how she didn't see his running away from his problems as cowardly at all. It's comforting to think that leaving and staying can both be expressions of bravery depending on how you look at it: there's a kind of courage required in venturing off into the unknown, just as there is also a kind of strength in rooting yourself somewhere too.

I'm fascinated by how much perspective changes the way different people tell the same story, and I think part of the reason I try to keep this blog alive is to figure out what my perspective is. I'll probably come back to talk about The Hour in depth in another post, but one thing from The Hour that really inspired me was Freddie, Bel, and the rest of the program team's dedication towards finding and telling the most important stories of the week in "the hour you can't miss."

I'm trying to approach blogging in the same way too; I'm challenging myself to write more than just a laundry-list of everything I've been up to is because I need the hindsight to understand what I've lived through these last few weeks; I want to discipline myself to write better posts here—give me this opportunity and I’ll prove it. May I say one more thing? You haven't seen my best yet.

xoxo, vivian


  1. If you don't mind me asking, where are you studying at now? I'm planning on studying abroad also. I love to travel, everything about it.. speaking in broken english is like a puzzle waiting to be solved. I also relate to you not feeling sad to leave your home. When there is nothing worth staying for, why stay? Except my adorable doggie, of course. So many people do stay where they came from, but I'll be the one to go.
    I really enjoyed this post! You write very well! Best of luck for everything that's to come!

  2. Hi there! I loved reading this quotes about traveling! they are funny and so true!!! I can't wait to read more of your posts, I'm sure you will reach all your goals of improving your posts material, even though I thought this post was great!
    Thanks so much for your lovely comment on my blog, I’m following you on Bloglovin, I hope you can follow me back to stay in touch.


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