XXI. To be “an uprooted tree that couldn’t take to new soil” (Tolan, p. 120) -
This quotation in its actual context refers to a Bulgarian Jewish women who after living for 18 years in Israel, felt displaced, restless, and unresponsive, just as she felt this new land, Israel, to be unresponsive to her.
Away for college for the past three years I too have felt displaced. Yes, we’re there to study. On a primal, raw human level however, we want to feel comfortable in our surroundings - an organic relationship between you and the ambiance is necessary for everyday to not seem like you’re away from home.
Still, when I’m in Philadelphia, it feels like I’m in Philadelphia. Sometimes I find the scenario of me speaking to someone in Philadelphia, as if I’m speaking to the land itself, and the person doesn’t respond to me. Nothing. Maybe he/she didn’t hear. So I increase the volume and speak louder. No response.
Have I been ignored?
No. He/she now suddenly makes eye contact and ever so subtly smiles.
Why don’t you talk? Why don’t you respond? What is wrong with you people?
This is not a place where I can live.
It’s not like we’re home-bodies. We’re not. I’m not. I don’t want to stay in my home.
As a twenty-one year old who is about to graduate from college I do want to pursue even more higher education and begin a career I love. Don’t we all? Us soon-to-be college graduates want to take our knowledge base, now degree-legitimized, and travel.
I’m just saying that I want the place and I to mutually converse.
How do I know that I won’t react to any new place with this same restlessness and longing to leave?
I know. I know because I went to a country half way around the world for two weeks last year and I felt like I was living effortlessly - not analyzing and judging every two seconds. (I’ve felt this way in NY sometimes as well.)
I don’t want to feel like this all the time though. Stress is necessary and analysis is even more necessary - so long as there are pockets of time when you can be truly at ease and content with where you are, not only in terms of place but also in the larger scheme of things…
When I was there, I realized that there are amazing people and places that actually exist. My cynicism was controlled and my mind was at ease. My hair was product-less but silky. I only had to wash my face with the city’s rationed water and soap and my skin would be as clear and smooth as it was when I was ten.
About to take off in the plane, my father said that this world “suited me” - it was “a fit.” I thought so too. Now I have somewhere outside of NYC that is my own viable abode.
This quotation taken from Tolan applies to temporary places as well. Have you ever been on a road trip somewhere? Or did you ever have to go to you brother/sister’s college graduation? Passing by the towns adjacent to the college campus that are almost always impoverished, do you find yourself silently thinking?… “There is no way I would ever live here. Can we just leave already! I’m getting weird vibes…How did he/she go to college here?”
Learning from mistakes: The importance of U.S. News Rankings = to the importance of the actual location of the university -
Epiphany: Increasing age has a linearly direct correlation to the greater realization that we’re human…
So we can’t ever be Spongebob/one of the Charmed Ones - no biggie.
That’s what Halloween in three days is for -