Just a little stream of consciousness on Independence for ya…

This afternoon, I returned to my room in Nyon, Switzerland and took off my grey suit jacket and slung it over a chair. I then slipped off my shoes – first the left and then the right, like always – and slipped them into the closet. Next, I unbuttoned my shirt – from bottom to top, just for fun – and hung it in its proper place. I slid my belt out of its loops and tossed it over the hanger next to my shirt. Finally I came to my grey suit pants. Oh those pesky pants.

In my final months of High School I wrote a piece for the school paper titled “Grey Pants.” In the piece I explored my nervousness towards heading forth into the world on my own. My grey pants lay unfolded on the floor and I was frozen, unable to return them to their rightful crisply folded state. The inability to accomplish such a simple household task was representative of my own apprehension and fear of life on my own. Until this point in my life I could simply yell out “MOM!!!” and the task would find itself complete. But no longer. I would now have to begin the process of becoming an independent adult. Fuck.

Some two and a half years later, I take the same finely creased pants and feel along the legs. Laying the seems flat upon one another I slide the pants onto their hanger and place the jacket onto the hanger and return the suit to the closet.

I guess I made it.

Tomorrow I won’t be wearing my suit, but I will be heading into Geneva on my own yet again. I’ll probably do it the next day too. And the next, and the one after that. Studying abroad is an incredible experience, and with each passing day, one that has made me realize just how much I treasure being able to navigate the world on my own.

Independence is a hell of a drug. When I walk around a foreign city on my own, communicating through crappy French and reluctant English, I feel so alive. When I walk into the Migros to buy bread, wine and cheese, I might as well be heading to the dealer to get another fix. Sprawling out by the side of the Lake with a picnic and new friends is the highest of highs. Or rather, more accurately, it is the most empowering of highs. As we lounge, talking about anything from politics to porn, I feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. It’s like I’m Bradley Cooper on Limitless pills.

But just like the Limitless pill, the high will wear off. My new friends will head for their homes and I will be left in a strange place all alone. Independence will turn to loneliness before too long and suddenly being by myself won’t seem so romantic.

But for now, I’m just happy to be an independent human being.

– Reuben Eli

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~ by rmitrani on September 10, 2012.

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