I’m told there is a time, some five weeks into starting college, when the gloss wears off. This makes sense in my head, and I wonder if it will be sudden one morning, like waking up and not wanting class or Thai or Zac Efron movies in the common room. Yes. You heard it. This place might just have been made for me. And the thing is, it feels in a weird way like it has been. I LOVE it here, but more than that – this life makes sense to me and doesn’t feel like someone else’s or like mine but only just. It feels like I’ve been here forever or waiting to get here only I didn’t know where here was. So maybe class hasn’t actually started, and maybe my days consist of coffees and catching up with old friends, but it’s not so much the content that feels right but the context. This place – my college room – and this place – Newtown – and this place – Sydney – feels like home.
It feels like home when I buy a fan with my GECN giftcard and delight in lying in bed and turning the speed up with the remote control. It feels like home as I hoard $1 coins for the washing machines and as I carry my bath mat to and from the shower each night. It feels like leaving home as I drive to Randwick for a delightful dinner (& dessert!!) with Heather and her sisters, and as I catch the train to Parramatta for shopping and sushi with my Amanda. It feels like home as I catch up with Steve and Hugh (MTS \Reality buddies) and they are so kind and reassuring and familiar that it makes me warm inside.
When Hannah comes to hang out for the second time in 4 days and we walk up and down king st, ducking into book shops at 9pm and making mental lists of the 3o or so ‘must eat at’* restaurants, it feels like this is the place for me. Ditto as we swipe into a nondescript door in the wall of said street and find ourselves in the mail room of college – secret entrances and sensor lights made just for us.
Yesterday at ‘Big Day In’ with people overload and umpteen “I’m most excited about \ I’m nervous about” stories, it felt exhausting and exciting and like teetering on the edge of something, knowing you will love the fall. An easy, laughter filled dinner with some church peeps – Tess, Meredith and Ben – finished the day and the week and somehow these people who I just met feel like home too. And so maybe this is all on loan for a while, and this limited edition version of my life will wear off. I don’t doubt that while the excitement remains and stress is yet to come that this shiny world glimmers particularly bright, but I don’t mind either. I know I will miss family and friends and Newcastle – church and kitchen teas and baptisms of people I love dearly – and maybe soon the sight of rain on a Sunday morning will make me want to curl back into bed. But today, it makes me want to grab my umbrella and go exploring, and so today I will be thankful to God for the blessing of my life. *Czech, African, Italian, Lebanese, Israeli, Indian, Thai and a little burger joint known as ‘Burgerlicious’, just for Jen 🙂