I was ready to leave when I did. I needed a change of scenery - again.
But, even though all of us truly believe that our lives are not a cliche, it just took time to miss what was gone. And now I really do.
I've started having dreams, recalling things about the place I left. An academic year is no short time (at least while it's passing), and in those nine months I experienced plenty of material for my brain to pull from during sleep.
The first were dreams in first-person perspective, as if I had a Go-Pro on my head while I walked. I retraced the steps from my house near the university all the way into town, stopping at my friend Morgan's house to pop my head into her window and say hello. The river gleamed even on this gloomy day, the clouds casting their reflection with what little sunlight could be spared. Headphones in, I strolled to the beat until I reached the bookstore, ready to peruse Waterstones' latest offerings. And then it stops.
I wake up and I'm back in Norman. No river. No real chance of a stroll into town, and far fewer cafes to choose from. No sipping on a cappuccino and watching the rain fall.
The very things that made me most upset ("It's too dark during winter!" "Why does it rain so very often...?" "It's such a hassle to catch a flight onto the continent.") are the things I really miss. The gloom. The rain. The cheap Ryanair flights.
My friends. (They didn't make me upset)
I don't regret the experience, and I don't regret coming back. But the reality is, you leave a little piece of yourself wherever you go. And I left quite a bigger chunk in Ireland.