Summer is a time for 'naturalness' - 8th May 2008

Finally, the summer has arrived!! I’m enjoying the last remnants of studenthood and have taken a glass of chilled wine into the garden to do my reading. It’s so relaxing in fact, I haven’t done any reading at all!! Unfortunately for me, this is my last term at university – EVER – and I have deadline after deadline after deadline. Luckily, I handed in my 15000 word dissertation yesterday so can begin to enjoy the sunshine in between books.

For me, the summer weather brings feelings of “naturalness”. I want to be outdoors…feeling the rays of the sun and the warm breeze while hearing the wind blowing through the trees. I want to daydream, fantasise and just “be”. In fact, it’s a time to feel relaxed, sexy, light and free. Perhaps I’m sounding insane now. I’d better stop!

On a more serious note, I can’t quite believe three years have come to an end. First year feels like another life-time ago, and not something I would choose to live again. Second year was nice – not too much stress, no thinking about what to do next while feeling generally more settled. Third year! now here is a story in itself. Firstly I must ask: where has this year gone? Today, sitting in the sun, I was transported back to last summer in Geneva, even the previous summer in Rome. It almost felt as though this year hadn’t happened at all. Thinking about it, I do feel as though I have sleep-walked through this year. More worryingly, I feel as though I have blagged my way through this year. Any work that I’ve handed in at university and got a good mark for…I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Other work I’ve handed in and got a relatively rubbish mark for…I’ve been just as pleasantly surprised.

On a more positive note this time, all of my friends at university are feeling similar things to me. In a sense, it has made me feel much closer to everyone! Over Easter, I turned to my parents for the first time in years. I don’t really know what happened to me; I couldn’t eat, sleep or concentrate. I’ve always been excessively emotional, but this was something else!! Eventually, I called my parents (as I was home alone in Nottingham)…uncontrollably sobbing. My dad and brother came to collect me early the next morning. As soon as I arrived at home, my mum gave me a hug and started crying! That was something new!!

I’ve gone quite bipolar these days. One hour I’m full of melancholy and self-doubt, the next hour I’m truly inspired by how much people are helping each other through. On the one hand I’m thinking about all the exciting things I can be doing in the very near future, on the other hand I’m sad about everything I will leave behind. Today, however, sitting in the sun, I have imagined myself sitting in a nice cafe in another country, drinking either a cold beer or a hot coffee…learning a new language, teaching, meeting lots of interesting people. I think for the next year I will travel (or more likely settle in one place) and teach. Then I will consider further education (I really must be mad!!).

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