It’s mid-November and I’m content. I love being surrounded by the crisp leaves, the afternoon thunderstorms, the cutting wind and the aura of change. It’s a time to be cozy. A time to sit in front of a fireplace; to wear absurd amounts of flannel; to curl up with a lover; to watch football with your friends; for the men to participate in “no shave November.”
The leaves have all fallen. They’re a dark ruddy brown, dead, piled at the bases of the trees they used to adorn. I miss them. I miss the brief period where the leaves change and just start to fall and everyone just seems more aware of nature. Strangely enough, the is the first time in three years I’ve actually had a chance to view autumn in all her glory. As much as I love my adopted home in DC, you sure don’t have the opportunity to see the leaves change. But, in order to enjoy the changing of the leaves (leaf-peeping, it’s a thing!), I have to give up the simple things I enjoy stateside, like my football.
I miss football so much it hurts. While GW doesn’t have a team, I have never wavered in my support of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Unfortunately, there are “geographic restrictions” and a 6-hour time difference keep me from watching my team. It’s fine, I guess. It’s one of the really things that makes me realize, hey, I’m in a foreign country!
I’m also going to miss Thanksgiving this year. It’s not that I don’t love the holiday itself or the three days off from school, but huge Thanksgiving celebrations were never really our thing. I will miss the stuffing. And the potential for turning the leftovers into open-faced turkey sandwiches with gravy fries. Mmm, gravy fries.
But I’ve got to suck it up. To make up for missing Thanksgiving I’m gifting myself a trip to Belgium. It might just be a day trip to Bruges, it might be an entire weekend so that I can see Brussels (and find the elusive Pol’s, a place I’ll have to locate on hearsay from my late grandfather). Originally when I came to the UK I wanted to visit Dublin, Scotland, London, Oxford, Amsterdam, Belgium and Paris. Unfortunately with my class schedule, trips like those became improbable. I’ve ticked Scotland and London off of my list but that leaves a lot of open ends, of unmet goals. So, before I go home, in just one short month I hope that I can at the very least see parts of Belgium and Paris. Not too lofty of goals. Simple, practical, delightful.
There will be challenges. I have papers to write, presentations to make, exams to study for. I have to keep myself from freaking out that I only have a month left to enjoy before I return to the states. I have to keep myself from freaking out that I have to wait a month before I’m back in the states. I’m not necessarily homesick, but I suppose if you said that you wouldn’t be too far from the mark. And then there’s my personal challenge: since I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo, I’ve challenged myself to finish, or at least get 50,000 words written, on one of my three current writing projects. Wish me luck!