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I did not anticipate this

July 8, 2008

I’ve always said that it’s easier to be the one to leave than the one to be left behind.

After the festivities of Saturday, schoolmates have been leaving the school one by one. Everybody is done with the school year except for the eleven of us remaining to do the MA. Six of us still live at the school (in two different buildings), one has gone home to the states and will finish there, and four live away but are here during the days.

A couple weeks ago I had a dream where I was explaining to somebody that I was lonely. And the lonesomeness in this dream was incredibly poignant and real. When I awoke, the loneliness vanished and I felt as happy and chipper as I do on any ordinary day. But I did take it as an indicator to what I may be feeling sometimes on a subconscious level. I interpreted the dream as homesickness. But now I also think that it was preparation for everybody clearing out of West Dean. It honestly didn’t hit me until Saturday just how much I would miss everyone. (Except for Brannah and Jo, who’ve been my main hangout friends–I knew I would miss them). I’ve associated with this same group of 50 students on a daily basis for nearly a year now. Just lately I’ve been having some pretty meaningful conversations with individuals, and I’ve been realizing that as you get to know a person over time, your conversations have the potential to become less trivial.

There are still a few stragglers who will leave tomorrow or the next day, and thankfully six of the nine “bookies” remain. But ever since I said goodbye to Brannah yesterday, I keep looking over my shoulder for her. At meals, I keep looking around for everyone else.

I suppose this is why I opted to stay here to finish. Because the truth is I have a whole lot to get done in the next 10 weeks…and what better way to get things done than to be isolated?

And yet, I was surprised to hear our MA advisor tell us in Monday morning’s meeting to take a vacation, and to try and maintain as much of an outside-of-west-dean life as we can.

And so, today I found myself planning to get out of here this very weekend. I’m going to go see friends in Oxford. I haven’t been up that way since my internship ended in February, and they’re all getting ready to leave, too. So I’m excited to see them all this weekend, and in the meantime I’ll try to work hard for the next couple days.

But wow I’m feeling the loss of friends. People really do need people!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jill permalink
    July 9, 2008 6:43 pm

    Hi Lili,

    From the “one who went back to the states” I am reading your entry and crying, trying to lean back every time a tear drops to keep it from splashing on my keyboard (shoot, its not working!). I feel the same. I will miss you so much, and all my other friends at west dean… your photos are really beautiful.

    Love, Jill

  2. lilbooks permalink*
    July 9, 2008 6:47 pm

    Aw, Jill!

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