I have been living on my own for two weeks and three days, and I am still not used to it. Sometimes the feeling of loneliness creeps up on me: what exactly am I supposed to do without my Elon roommates? There’s no one to eat an entire Kraft deluxe Mac n’ cheese with, straight out of the pot the noodles boiled in. No one to persuade to go to the gym (or to be persuaded by). Or to drive to Cookout with, vowing to save half a milkshake for the next day. I don’t cook as much here because there’s no one to eat with, or eat around; no one to help eat the pan of brownies I want to bake.
All the artwork in my new place is lovely, but it reminds me too much of the places I have traveled, and who I’ve met or traveled with. From my favorite chair the walls are filled with views of Parliament and Westminster from across the Thames, the view from my favorite day in London. This makes me smile, in a painfully nostalgic sort of way.
But then there are the other days, the ones in which I feel extremely proud, undeservedly so, for having gotten here. Well…that’s not quite right. Perhaps it would be better to say that I get flashes of how completely lucky I am to be here, independent and in this city and studying poetry. Learning how to do things by myself, however much I might rather other situations. I used to enjoy solitude a good deal more than I do now, and I don’t think it would hurt to get used to it again. To find that enjoyment again. But then, I really am glad to be here. There was a social event for the MFAs this weekend; one of the professors opened up his lovely home and had all 30 or so of us over, and it was this lovely, boisterous, chaotic group of people getting to know one another. I loved talking to these people, beautiful, soon-to-be friends, and I couldn’t help but be struck by a peculiar sense of how strange it was to be surrounded by so many talented, unpretentious writers, people who have all decided to spend two years working on getting better, It was so astounding, and I’m sure I’m still not used to it, but that idea made me so happy. All the uncertainty and loneliness, the growing pains of being fresh out of undergrad, completely paled in comparison.