Heart Is Where the Home Is

It is currently 5:00am on a Monday morning and I am not waking up, but rather I have already been awake for an entire day. In the past four days I have had to write six poems, two 600-word reflective commentaries, and a 2,500 word short story. Correction: I am still writing that second commentary and my short story. It really isn’t a lot, but when you’re the relentless procrastinator that I am, it all adds up in the end (i.e. the last 24 hours).

I still have about 1,000 words to go on my short story, and then 600 words of a commentary to write, yet I’m spending my words here instead (again, if there were an award for “world’s best/worst procrastinator,” I’d win it… Or I’d procrastinate winning it). It’s as though when I need to focus most is when my mind seems to be the most scatterbrained and starts thinking about literally anything and everything else possible. If you know me, you know I already don’t have the longest attention span ever, so you can imagine how crazy my mind gets.

First and foremost right now, I cannot stop thinking about the inevitable fact that I will be leaving home in just over two months. Yes, I said I will be leaving home, not returning to it. Because right now, in this moment, England is my home. I feel a sort of sentimental attachment to it. I have lived here and I have breathed here for over three months and I hate the cold and I hate the rain but that is not all that England is, and maybe I haven’t gone to a single beach here but this, this amazing, cold, rainy, beach-less place has become a part of me and it is home. In this moment, in these last months, I do not wish to be in California, I do not wish to be anywhere else but this place: Hatfield. I live in one of the smallest little towns in England and everyone here complains about how there is nothing to do, but to me, there is everything and I never want to leave.

During my time here I have met amazing people. Heck, I’ve made more friends here in the past week than I had in the first month. I have traveled to eight countries and countless cities and I have eaten worms and strange meats and just tried so many different foods and I have made friends all over this continent and I have lived, man have I lived! And my stay here is nowhere near done, it’s just over halfway over, but I cannot help but feel this impending doom that I will be leaving this place.

In less than a month, exams will be over and all of my exchange friends will be on their way home to their respective countries and states and my English friends will be on their way home to their respective cities and I will still be here. Although I will miss all of them, I wouldn’t want to be headed back to my hometown so soon after school ends because I want to truly make the most of my time here. I want to wake up in the morning and look outside and see the calm campus and listen to the birds chirp (believe it or not, the birds sing different here). I want to wear my shorts and tank tops out in public in the English summer weather (all two weeks of it). And I want to feel at home, if only for a little longer.

I know that once I get back to California, I’ll readjust and pretty soon my sleeping schedule and social life will go back to normal, but I’m not ready for that. I know that California is home, but so is England and, in a way, so is every other place I’ve visited. It’s like that cliche phrase, “Home is where the heart is” but for me it feels more like, “heart is where the home is.” Because even though I’ve barely scratched the surface of these places I’ve visited, they have torn me open and ingrained themselves into my heart and soul in the best of ways and they have made me rethink life and every single aspect there is to it. I will not leave England a new me, but I will leave England a me that has been opened up and enlightened and is ready to embrace life in the fullest with everything it has to offer. I am at home, and I am immeasurably happy.

It is now 5:40am and the sun is rising and I am ready to finish my work and get on with the rest of my time in my home.

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