Every day for the past two weeks I have cried.
I can’t help grieving a part of myself that hasn’t even passed and certainly doesn’t have to either.
From silent tears of frustration to steady streams that seem to seep out of my chest against my will, my tears come in all shapes and sizes.
Not all of them are sobs.
And they certainly haven’t outsized my many, many laughs: The type of laughter that makes you accidentally spit orange juice in your friend’s face. Or bend over and desperately clutch at your sides. Or forcibly purse your lips to try and stifle the burst of air sitting at the back of your teeth.
But that’s the problem, my smiles and laughs give my tears weight.
Their water runs thick and heavy.
It feels like I have nowhere to go, despite the black and white destination on my plane ticket.
I’m going home. That’s where I’m going.
It’s a universal truth that I never want to let sink in.
Despite my home friends’ happy dances at my return, and my family’s air hugs and party-throwing enthusiasm.
Despite how many nights I’ve spent thinking about them all and wanting to give them the biggest hug.
Despite how much I miss the greenery, sea air and rolling hills of the North East of England.
Everything feels just right at this moment. I’m where I want to be.
I’m in bloom.
I have amazing friends. Friends you can tell anything to. Friends whose warmth and laughter can’t be stopped by a time zone change or the distance between continents. Friends you love with your whole self.
I have fantastic opportunities to take and sights to see just waiting for me round the corner.
I have a girlfriend with the prettiest smile in the world; hydrangeas and honey in her eyes.
God, this is hard to write.
So I can’t help but worry about how I’ll feel when I have to step on that plane.
I’m in my stride.
But now I’m the only one running back towards the starting line.
So I do feel like I’m grieving.
No. I am grieving.
It’s a physical sensation, with punctured lungs and clogged tear ducts.
Everything feels like it’s crashing down around me.
I’ve started what feels like a new life, something so fresh and exciting I can’t begin to describe it, and now I have to pack it back up again.
My grief is deep-seated, borne from people and places that make me radiate an extraordinary warmth.
Dr. Seuss once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” I guess that’s going to have to become my new mantra.
You have to keep cutting the flower’s stem for it to stay in bloom.
Sophie McNally is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Sophie McNally is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. She is a history major studying abroad for a year from Newcastle University in the UK. In her spare time, she can be found blasting The 1975 or Taylor Swift and rowing on a random river at 5 a.m.