asphyxia.

Philly city skyline
Philly city skyline

I miss Philly. I miss New York City. I miss Boston. I miss Seattle.

I miss the places I have traveled to – the travel bug’s gotten to me, but this time it seems adamant to stick around. This place sometimes really feels like the middle of nowhere, even if it’s untrue. It is out of the way, but there are means and ways provided one has the time and money; I have the latter, more or less, but not so much the former anymore. It sucks, it really sucks. The campus is breathtakingly beautiful that it’s easy to get lost in and be caught up in the present, but in truth despite its overwhelming size, in the end it is what it is: school.

There’s an entire world out there, and I know it. I have seen it.

I believe it. I crave for it. I hunger for it.

Thirst. 

One argues that happiness isn’t dependent upon a physical setting, but I believe it’s simply prioritized differently for different people. There are many folks I know who can up and leave a place, start anew elsewhere and easily blend in. There are as many people who I know will only stay rooted in one place, too afraid of the big bad world. There are also the perpetual travelers, those who can never settle for a finite period in a single place. There are yet others who are indifferent – here, there; what do they matter?

Chihuly Glass and Garden
Space Needle as viewed from the Chihuly Glass & Garden, Seattle (2013)

Then there’s me, who values the setting, place and environment I am in. There’s got to be someone else like me, who finds perspectives in physical settings – perspectives, a determinant of my well-being. There has to be others like me, who can neither slow nor stop the spatial mental alcoves – every outward sight, sound and motion are internally reflected and dissected. I am the perpetual observer; the unnoticeable participant.

Sometimes this place makes me claustrophobic, as wide and vast that it actually is.

It isn’t so much that my mind feels cluttered – this is more due to stress – but I feel trapped. Suffocated. Mentally stimulated education-wise, yet the paradox is soul-searchingly stifled. I remind myself daily that I need to be patient; if it took me six months to fall for Philly years ago, why the hell did I think it wouldn’t take as long or longer, for me to adjust to being here? I remind myself that the train station isn’t too far, that small shops and quaint towns hold their own respective charms. I remind myself it’s my fault, for not being able to drive.

But the travel bug is like a virus. Once it sticks, it’s hard to shake off.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York City (2013)
Brooklyn Bridge, New York City (2013)

It has always been so important to me, where I settle. It has always been so effing important, where I am and how I live there. Rumi says that this world is like a mountain; “your echo depends on you.” For me, where I am echoes my internal complexities; turbulent, maddening and spiraling, juxtaposed against peacefulness.

There is the buzz, the rush, the vibe, the earthen sensations, the tranquility, the city skylines, the nightlife, the dewy morning, the contemplative late-nights, the soft patters of the rain, the gloomy rainy days, the breezy sunny days…

Where I am is an extension of my being, happiness and welfare. Perceptions. 

One and a half month here and the honest, honest truth:

Some days it still feels like a fucking asphyxia.

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5 thoughts on “asphyxia.

  1. Aw :( plan ahead maybe? Choose a weekend to go out, maybe in a few months, and keep your mind on that? Or just grab a bike and go cycling!! Stay healthy and sane, hopefully!!

    1. Actually… I went out last weekend to the nearby town haha. Also had a slow Saturday, but it’s back to chugging this weekend because for reasons unknown my problem sets this week are all SUPER long *cries* and I’ve another midterm next week. I think I just like being able to have options and not spending so much time just trying to get to the desired location. Like if I want to go out for lunches with classmates, if only we could go out and eat other food apart from campus food (which aren’t bad but… variety’s the name of the game). I think I also just like the feeling of being mobile – which is so easy via public transportation (I don’t drive… unfortunately) in big cities.

      Plus, I’m having serious heartache for Philly at the moment, where I spent undergrad. Thanksgiving break is in two weeks and I want to fly back there so badly but tickets are too pricey le sigh. I’m staying sane, but some days it feels – urgh, it really feels more stifling than other days. But thanks for the cheer! :)

  2. Try talking about this to someone who’s been mostly unable to leave her house in over 2 months – I came out tonight for a bit of late-night work, and was shocked to realize there are even stars outside. I’m not much of a traveler, or at least I haven’t been in recent years, but I savor all the memories of real actual road trips, and plane flights to whatever random cities my mother and I would decide sounded like a great vacation spot.

    Funny how the weirdest thing I miss is my college campus. I went to Houston, which is basically a commuter school, and if you ever walked inside 80% of the buildings they were dumps. But from the outside the campus was gorgeous. I find mostly what I hate about my non-nomadic lifestyle now is that I have nowhere to go.. I mean, no where to WALK. No destination that requires a tiny bit of mindless exercise, and the peace of mind that this path I’m taking now will wind around buildings and trees and take me to another location. The where didn’t matter – the getting there did. Just that tiny bit of outdoors time in a world all its own. I’m nostalgic just thinking about it.. Ahhh

    On the bright side – I am planning a trip next May to NYC. No doctor visits, no family – just friends (that I have never met!) and no agenda except to have fun and hang out. I had so much fun just doing the planning stage, and now that it’s really going to happen I could cry!

    1. Hey Rosie, happy Sunday :) glad to hear you’re out of your house now though this means your recovery must’ve gone well thankfully! I went to a commuter school too for undergrad (I’m tempted to say it’s name but I’m always wary someone will find me here haha) and so I get what you mean. My advantage I guess was that I was so near to the city and an ivy, so whatever the school didn’t have I could easily find then outside of the peripheries. I miss that, but I feel you when you describe that sense of nostalgia and feeling that the where doesn’t matter, but the getting there. On a bright side, yes so happy to hear you’re headed to the big apple! And with friends you’ve never met?? How did that come about? Hahaha don’t tell me they’re drama blogger friends… Very exciting plan definitely, almost wish I could do the same!

      1. Not blogger friends exactly, but I’m going to meet two girls I met on Mydramalist and have become super close with in the past couple years. We started planning it one month after we all ‘met’ but are finally putting it into action. One lives there already, and another is flying in from Belgium! Belgium!! It’s like, the midway point for us. Plus, I love NY and the one that lives there won’t have time for us 24/7 so I can act as a guide from my other friend. *still giddy* xDDD

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