Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Small Victories

Success! Yesterday evening I actually sustained a few minutes of conversation with Maybe Crush. There were other people involved as well, but that is fine. The important part is: The boy speaks!

And in the course of said conversation, the phrase "my girlfriend at the time" was uttered. Hence, a.) the boy appears to be single, and b.) the boy appears to be straight. Excellent.

I'm trying to ride high on this small victory as I sit here at my desk listening to the stupid freaking fountain in my workspace that makes me have to pee even more often than usual trickling away behind me, and contemplate the myriad other places I would rather be at this very moment.

At home cozy in my bed, or on the couch with my kitty and a corny romance movie jumps instantly to mind; followed closely by a warm beach somewhere in Central America, or hiking the mountains on the northern coast of Italy, or sitting in the diningroom of my parents' house playing Trivial Pursuit in between snarky comments and shots of Jameson.

In the end, days like today make me miss England. Whenever the weather is grey and gloomy it always makes me think back on the time I spent in the UK. Not that I actually miss the fact that it was always cloudy, and some sort of precipitation fell from the sky 19 days out of 20; yet here I am thinking it would be nice to be curled up in the prison-cell-like room of my grotty student flat with a mug of Heinz Weight Watchers Tomato Soup (you can't find it here and it's the best tomato soup ever), or sitting in the dirty kitchen with a cup of coffee, chain smoking and teaching the Spaniards how to swear in English.

Gah, I hated that kitchen. Yet right now in my mind I can smell it and it doesn't seem so bad at all.

The UK, and the city of Exeter in particular, will always occupy a special place in my mind and memories. The conditions--weather, living, personal--may not always have been perfect, but that year was one of the best in my life. I don't think I'd be the person I am today had I not gone. I discovered a lot about myself, being so far from my friends and family and all that was familiar. I grew up a lot.

And sure, I never managed to stay dry for an entire day, I was always broke, and I desperately missed real peanut butter; but I wouldn't trade a single minute of it. Not the minute I spent jumping up and down on the army of ants that had invaded my room in the middle of the night, or the one when my boyfriend/best-friend told me he was leaving me, or the many, many sleepless minutes induced by the demon known as jet lag.

Because without those minutes I wouldn't have friends spread across the globe--amazing friends that I would do anything to see again this very minute--or memories that can make me smile on the gloomiest of days, or the confidence that comes from knowing with absolute certainty that I can be on my own in a strage place and be just fine. Maybe not always happy, maybe not perfect, but most definitely OK.

At that's worth any scars I took away. That's not a small victory at all.


Samantha said...

That sounds like an AMAZING experience. I wish my time in England was like that. And I'm with you...I wish I was at home curled up with my kitty too...

Hope said...

Aw, this post made me teary. I lived in England (Brighton) for 5 years and I totally understand about missing the weather but not really missing it!

Also, yay. He's straight AND single. That is a pretty big victory in my eyes!

Princess Pointful said...

Those are the experiences you will reminisce about for the rest of your life. How wonderful :)

And the fact that he even brought up this no longer current g/f is a very good sign, my dear!