It's amazing how much can change in a year. How people who used to be friends can feel like strangers. How people change, move, disperse into the world. Sometimes I feel like it might be better in the pre-social media age where when someone disappears from your life, they're gone. Nowadays they linger. You have a general idea of what's going on through tweets and facebook photos but if you really meet in person, what would you say? Where would you start? It makes me sad that the only social interactions with those same people you promised to keep in touch with to have skype dates with, to reunite with, has been reduced to liking each other's instagram pictures. It's a sad reality that even when friends put mutual effort into trying to meet up, life just gets in the way. Everyone has a different schedule now, and could be anywhere in the world at any given time. It's even sadder when you start to feel like the effort to stay in touch is only on one side. How many months does it take before you feel weird spontaneously calling them? How many years will it be before you lose track of where they are? How long will it take before you look at a photo of an old friend and realize that they may as well be a stranger with a familiar face?
Maybe it's just me. Trapped in the purgatory that is wanting to be home and be with old friends but realizing that everything has changed and it's far too late to go back, and wanting to escape that by submerging myself in college, yet feeling lost and still so new at school, yearning for the easy familiarity that is home.
I think I finally know why people decide to delete their facebook accounts, change phone numbers and start over. It's easier than holding on.
I guess there's something about transitions that are sentimental, even if it is a transition that doesn't include any surprises or unknowns. Last year on my last night home I was a nervous wreck. I was terrified. Excited. I couldn't sleep in anticipation of all that was to come, all the opportunities, everything that could happen. Of course now it's all passed by in a blur and after commuting to school for a while I'm just happy I don't need to waste half my day on the road.
The thing that is making me uneasy is the lack of emotion. The attitude that it's just another day, it's just going back to school after a (very) long weekend. Things will be basically the same, just another quarter after a short break. Nothing to be excited about or scared about. But it won't be the same. Even the people of my first year at college may be hard to hold on to now that we are spread out. New experiences are sure to come. But the terrifying part is that I don't seem to care. Every day just seems mechanic. I go through the motions of school, but I already feel like I'm wasting time, ready to move on, itching to do something. Something bigger. Something real.
Now that I realize, my Taiwan yearnings have come early. REALLY early. Usually I start wishing myself to Taipei in about March. Usually the few months after I get back to the States I only have mild withdrawals for the first couple weeks and I get over it and get swept up in, well, life. Maybe it's all this free time. Maybe it's because I don't feel like I have anything to look forward to. Except, perhaps, winter break.
my rant on packing
Okay so, first of all, let's map out my summer:
June 10-14, Finals week=packing up to come home
June 15-19, "summer"=halfway unpacking dorm stuff, packing for Taiwan
June 22, packing to smaller bags for orientation
June 23-28, living out of a suitcase, repacking every morning
June 28, packing to dorm, unpacking, and then packing for relatives house
June 29, packing back to dorm, unpacking in dorm
July 12, packing for relatives houses for typhoon
July 14, packing up back to dorms
July 20, packing for Kaohsiung, then back to Taipei on June 21
July 25-26, packing up to move to apartment
July 27, unpacking in apartment
August 22-25, packing up to come home
August 26-28, unpacking back at home
September 9, packing to crash at school
September 12, pack up, come home, unpack
September 17-20, packing for school
September 21-22, unpacking in dorm
SO BASICALLY I AM SO OVER PACKING. Here are some things that bother me most. And some things I've learned from all this...experience.
1. WTF FITTED SHEETS. Y U SO HARD TO FOLD. 'nuff said. ROLL IT.
2. Is it just me or does the most effective and efficient packing happen at around midnight the night before you leave?
3. Chargers are important. Very important. Yet so easy to forget because they are the last thing you pack. So set an alarm on your phone to remind you to bring all them chargers about an hour before you leave.
4. Cushion those breakable objects with clothing. Like a curling iron, hair dryer, ceramic bowl, porcelain doll...etc? Wrap them in clothing and then stick it in the middle of a bag of clothing. Towels work great too.
5. So I fill up my suitcase with clothes and think wow this will never be too heavy. Right? Nope. Toiletries weigh a freaking lot. So split them in a couple make up bags and spread it between luggages. Because paying for overweight baggage sucks!
6. Bring chapstick on airplanes. The end.
7. So, are you supposed to fold clothes? Roll them? How do you minimize the volume without using calculus? Regardless, organize by type (tops, bottoms, undergarments, etc, and bag them) and try to wear outerwear and bulky things like boots. Makes life easier when living out of a suitcase.
8. PILLOW Y U TAKE UP SO MUCH ROOM. Sadface. It's always a bit depressing having to carry around a pillow (especially in societies where that is not even remotely normal) but oh well. At least it's socially acceptable in America to travel with pillows and blankets.
9. Whoever invented suitcases with four wheels is my hero.
10. HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO LAUNDRY AND PACK EVERYTHING WITHOUT WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO PACK CLOTHING. UGH.
11. Desk items are so difficult to pack. Suitcases just don't work. And boxes suck. How do out of state people do it? Ship?
12. Note to self: 12 purses are not necessary.
And finally, a list of things to remember for school:
1. Tupperware for snacks
2. Laundry detergent
3. And dryer sheets
5. Hand sanitizer
6. Air freshener
7. Cushion for desk chair
8. Clippy light for bed
9. Water filter
10. Candy (to make friends)
And of course, of all the random things that I could have forgotten last year, coming from someone that even packed colored paper, I forgot my phone charger. Good thing the iPhone nation got me covered. But I'll remember that this year. Can't wait to see what I forget the second time 'round!