In march 2015 Winchester, uni and England in general, was so far away. Some days my head convinced me that I’d made a mistake by applying in the first place, that moving so far away and starting uni in a new language was a bad plan. I “knew” it would be safer to take a gap year or to find a course in Oslo. At least then I’d understand everything my lecturers were saying and my tuition fees would be 50 instead of 11300 pounds. But where’s the fun in that? If there is one thing I’ve learnt over the last six months, it’s that the excitement lies in the challenge. In not knowing, and learning new things, words and phrases, every single day. In meeting people with viewpoints so far fetched from your own, that are still your friends. In getting to know a new city, mapping out all the alleyways and independent coffee shops, making it feel like home at a point in life where “home” is an unsteady structure that you’re simultaneously leaving and creating.
Safe to say, I don’t regret my decisions. I found home here.
Just now a Tumblr post told me that “One day you’ll wake up at 11:30 AM with the love of your life and you’ll make coffee and pancakes and it’ll all be alright”. That sounds amazing, but it may pan out something more like 13:30, still tangled in bed sheets and good morning kisses and what’s left of last night’s drunken delivery pizza. And to be fair, that sounds even better.
The first day you can actually walk outside and unzip your coat because the sun is just so bright! The anticipation in the air that always follows spring’s arrival, that makes the air even more electric than usual. When everyone just have to laugh longer and louder than yesterday and no bad word is spoken, because who would on a day like this. The day you change from boots to sneakers, from hats and scarfs to sunglasses. When you walk through campus and have to stop and turn your face towards the sun, because you haven’t been able to do just that for a very long time. On the day that everything just seems cleaner, prettier, newer, and you remove your headphones to listen to world wake up from it’s season long slumber.
Today is that day. Today is officially the first day of spring.
I think I built you, formed you and designed you,
drew you with green sharpie and the bricks of my pillow fort,
sculpted you from cheap coffee and H&M basics,
moulded you from a year’s worth of lazy Wednesday mornings.
Desperate for something to be only mine.
A book I once read painted a picture of small villages in between mountains as a result of the gods of Nature. Apparently, the old gods pressed a thumb into the ground to crush the first travellers that wanted to settle where Nature didn’t want humans to roam. But the settlers were people from the North and would not be scared away. Instead they adopted the thumbprint as their own, and built their homes in the hollows. Naked and exposed towards the unknown ocean on one side, surrounded by blue mountain peaks and green forests, sheltered from the winds that howled around their little pit of land. They were stubborn, the people from the North. I guess you have to be to defy Nature like that.
“I want to cuddle you, but I’d also like to breathe,”
“That’s fair. You stay on your side of the bed and I’ll stay on mine,”
“I mean, you can hold my hand if you want to?”
“I’m fine, thanks,”
An hour later
“If you didn’t need to sleep, you wouldn’t need a bed, and if you didn’t need a bed; imagine all the things you could fit in your room!”
“Like a trampoline, or a race car or a mural to Leonardo DiCaprio’s face or a brick wall covered in glitter, just for the aesthetic!”
“You need to go to sleep.”
“I could be an interior designer. I would be the best interior designer the world has ever seen,”
“No never mind, I’d rather be an astronaut!”
“Yeah, I could beat some aliens ass. We don’t need aliens,”
One girl is pushing boundaries in the middle part of Norway, paragliding from the highest highs and diving to the lowest lows. It’s weird to think about those brown trademark curls stuffed in under one of those black wet suits, but I have no trouble imagining her soaring across the skies.
Another is modeling in Paris, pursuing dreams at the Fashion Week. Her beauty is marvelled at by the mere mortals who can do nothing but stare, but what they fail to see is the kindness and the heart that those so lucky can feel radiating off of her.
The third one is living her passions in Liverpool, creating art from the music she breathes. Hearts on sleeves and hope in hands, she tiptoe dances just as effortlessly through both the good times and the bad.
And me, I’m here in Winchester. I stumble, I fall and I get back up, all the while trying my hands at writing and wondering how uni and life in general could turn out so different from how I thought it would.
It’s strange how the three of us used to share every single day. The daily 8AMs, overpriced cups of cafeteria coffee, sharpened pencils and broken 16 year old hearts.
Now we’re scattered across Europe, but all it takes is a skype call, that familiar click of contacts connecting, and the inside jokes and that all too natural feeling of home returns. We’ve all done so much in such a short time, and I’m so proud of us.
He tried swooping her off her feet,
like they do in all the movies.
But swooping isn’t easy, so it turned into
more of a stumble.
Like he tried to lift, but didn’t put his back into it,
or like her dress got stuck on the handle of the dresser.
Like he hesitated a second too long,
or like she made herself heavy, a child threatened with bed time.
But he tried and tried again.
Until his arms, his back, his legs turned sore,
before she got a better idea.
“No no no, that won’t do” his slightly inebriated voice scolds her but she has never felt less guilty of a crime in her life time. “Did you just abandon your tea cup?” He looks genuinely hurt, “Imagine how it must feel!” He shakes his head at her. “Here it was, getting pumped and ready for the only thing it would ever successfully achieve in its short life,” he grabs the cup with both hands and falls to his knees, “and you deny it this one, single pleasure?” His lower lip shakes as he gets to his feet and staggers to her tiny uni ensuite. “Shame on you,” he says, staring fiercely into her eyes as he slowly pours the tea down the sink. She chuckles. He’ll get over it.
Have you ever looked at someone you know really well and suddenly realised how beautiful they are? Noticed things you’ve never seen before; like how they hold themselves, or that one little hand motion when they can’t find the right word? That amazing laugh that you’ve heard so many times that you’re taking it for granted? The way their clothes can tell you exactly what they were thinking whilst getting dressed that morning, and how they take their coffee? How their eyes crinkle mischievously as they plan some sort of revenge for that thing you did a very long time ago and the wide grin after a bad joke? I’m the worst at actually seeing the people that are close to me, but when I do? Wow.