The Calm Before The Storm

Good morning from Michigan! For my readers in Europe, fear not, the time difference will not defer you from reading my posts.

It has been almost a week now that I have left the Maltese Islands and as much as people would think it would be overwhelming, I must say, it is nothing other than normal, for me, to be back in the United States of America.

Very few understand the extent to how hard I have worked to come back to the States. I am a very determined person, especially when it comes to my country. An opportunity like this was one that I knew I certainly had to take.

My trip started off by stopping in New York for just one day, simply to see my city. I was bewildered at how normal I felt. I had to keep reminding myself that I was in New York and that thought just put a goofy smile on my face. I was too tired to really think anyways. I had been awake for more than 24 hours and that 8-hour flight from London to New York gave me horrible back pains.

The next day, my cousin and I headed out to the city where, again, I was in awe of being back, but it still felt normal. I thought something was wrong with me. I have been travelling a lot these past two years, however I was in New York City, the place I have imagined so many times, the place I cried over so many times, and yet it all felt normal??

It was only when I approached my old home, the building that will forever be sacred to me, that all the tears and emotions came out. It was the moment where I fell into a turbulent hole of emotion. All the images of my childhood ran through my head and I looked at the building where I was raised, the building that was my entire life, my entire childhood. It hadn’t changed one bit. There it stood, the same as it was when I left it ten years ago. There is no place other than that building that I hold so close to heart.

I stopped by an old friend, the barber at the barber shop, and got a toasted bagel with cream cheese at the bagel shop, after I left my old home. Again, the barber shop had not changed one bit, and so did the bagel shop. I never felt such a connection with my child-self, the one person I strive to always do better for, as much as then. She was a confused yet creative kid.

It was only when I made it to the nearby park of my childhood that I realized why I was feeling the way I was feeling. I first looked around the park, and so many images conjured in my brain. I then sat down on one of the benches where my mom used to sit as she would look over us. I looked at the kids, who were about my age at the time that I played there so many years ago. I felt old. I felt nostalgic. I’m only twenty years old, yet I missed those days where I played at that very park that was a second home to me. I longed for those days and I hated that I was indeed, old. At such a young age, I do feel old.

I then realized something else. The reason why I felt so normal in New York City, the place I longed to come back to for so long, was because I never really left. Every day for the past 10 years of my life, not a day passed by that New York would not pass through my mind. I was always psychologically in New York City. Physically being in New York City was only physical; I was already there before I even knew it. It only felt normal to be there. It was right. It was right to be in New York City.

As I continued to tour New York City for the rest of the day with my cousin, my determination to come back for good grew stronger. I was a visitor in New York for a day, and I hated that feeling. I felt like a ghost. I do not want to visit New York, I want to stay there. I want to settle there. So many people tell me that New York is expensive, rent is expensive, food is expensive, bills are expensive, but guess what? It’s New York City, for Pete’s sake. It’s a doggy dog world, especially in a city like that. There’s no other city like New York City anywhere around the world. If only people could appreciate its beauty, its life and its greatness.

It is the small things about New York City which I appreciate. The wide sidewalks, the tall buildings, the scaffolding everywhere, the smell and the noise of the subway underground, the smell dollars have, the red brick buildings, the fire escapes, the yellow taxi cabs, the ambulance sirens, the hundreds and thousands of people that don’t know you and that you don’t know… This is what I appreciate about New York City.

I have now settled into my housing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. I may be far away from New York City, but I am in the United States of America, and I love being surrounded by the American way of being. Europeans wouldn’t be able to understand what I mean by this so much. I am not trying to say that the United States is better than Europe, I simply mean that the former is different. I am back in my country and as much as I wish to stay, at least it is for four months. I will be back home in a few years. Sooner rather than later.

I now have four months ahead of me, four months which I want to enjoy to the full. Four months of meeting new people and truly enjoying the experience of attending an American college. As much as college is highly expensive in America, the experience is certainly worth it. For now, this is only the calm before the storm.

Stay tuned for more of my adventures here in the United States of America!

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