I was on the train into London from the local station near my university, I’d been reading and had just come to the end of a chapter when I looked out of the window. I’d been feeling tired all week, so I leant my head against the window I was sat next to and let the world escape me. Music playing from my iPod, I let myself become consumed by the world that passed me. The early morning light shining off the hedges, fragments spearing through the twigs and leaves. The beautiful tinge of yellow in the most extreme leaves that were occasionally tinted with red and orange, anticipating the pursuit of colder mornings. The fields so regimental and straight lined with the prospect of farrow and growth.
It was in the ensorcelling beauty of it all I felt… Alone. Having recently celebrated my nineteenth birthday and started university the ensuing feeling of complete separation from dependence has gradually been becoming more obvious.
In this moment I looked at the scenes running past my window and thought, “This is my life, this is what the rest of my life will be…”
What I have found curious is that this feeling only emerges in its strongest form in moments of travel, for me it’s particularly noticeable on train journeys and long coach trips. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the few times I allow myself to sit and really contemplate things, to escape my worries and the world I live in.
It’s never been a feeling that’s worried me or filled me with nerves in the past, but one thing that particularly got me was the sudden awareness that I was alone. When I say that I do not mean I was the only person on the train (far from it.), but that I wasn’t travelling with anyone I care about. Anyone I wanted to show all my favourite places to. The fact that I associated this feeling with the term “This is my life, this is what the rest of my life will be…” Worried me a little.
So I thought of someone I know, who’s not from my home and imagined showing from all the places I’ve been to in London all the memories I have, the moments where my heart fluttered, the places where my breath was taken away and made me smile. I imagined talking to them on the train into London, pointing to all the things I’ve noticed as I walk by. But not only that, seeing the city I know from their point of view, what they notice, what they care about and the sights they want to see.
It made me happy imagining their reactions, the places I’d visit with them.
It’s as I try and put the conflicting feeling I felt not fifteen minutes into my journey that I realised how much I wanted to be able to give not just the snippets I have given of myself to people all my life, but to be able to give my whole self to someone else and to enter this whole new realm of independence with someone to share it with.
Writing this, I think has solidified the truth of these feelings in me. All I can do now is hope and pray. One day my home will become someone else’s favourite place to visit because they will see the beauty I do and will feel the throb in their heart increase as they get closer to that place, as the anticipation increases.