2 years ago
Anonym
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Leaving the Fear and Loathing Behind: Athens and Ohio University
After a childhood full of transience I've grown to hate moving. Moving by definition implies change, whether for the better or for worse. It's forced change.
By changing your environment you change yourself.
My enviornment for the past four years was Athens, Ohio, a place where debauchery ensued, classes were taken, and life-long friends were made. It was a place that changed my life, altered my course.
And now I leave it for good.
We leave because we decide we're not content, or we get a job, or we just don't have the money to live on our own. We get comfortable in the places we spend the most time in. We get complacent.
Most college graduates do one of two things: they move back to safety at home, or they secure a job and strike out on their own.
No one is better than the other, just different paths. Some say that being at home is the best thing that happened to them because they can save money and feel secure, for others it kills them.
If we are fortunate enough to strike out on our own in some way we have to box up our lives, but when we unpack them they're different.
Our lives change in those miles between our old homes, and the new ones. We are forced to reflect whether we're in a car or on a plane. The past becomes a moving picture outside a window. It's like the fear and the loathing from our college days passes by too.
I started moving my things out to my beat up Chevrolet Minivan outside the RiverPark apartments in Athens, Ohio. I got rid of old things I didn't need, found things I didn't realize I had. It was a hot day, equipped with the stickiness you'd liken to a swimming pool. Uncomfortable nonetheless, but necessary.
I keep having dreams about flying away, and they end right when I get off the plane.
As I hauled boxes, bags and assorted make-shift luggage to the car from the apartment, one thing became clear, I was done with Athens, Ohio.
I ultimately came to the conclusion that despite graduating from Ohio University a month before, the chapter on Athens really closes on Sunday, when I get in my car and leave for good.
This place has been my home for the past four years of College. This place ate me up, spit me out, drove me to the edge and changed my life. Now, I box it up and leave it behind. Like an old tire on the side of the highway, I will speed by Athens and never look back.
I will spend two weeks in my parent's house to recharge and on June 30th I board a one-way plane to New York City.

Things move quickly in the AfterLife.

When it's time to leave somewhere behind, we ultimately end up leaving people behind too. It's never on purpose, it just ends up happening. We forget about people. We fall out of touch with people.
And in that inbetween period where we are on our own, traveling to the next destination and have not yet established ourselves, we are alone.
When I was younger I had my family moving with me. Now, I don't. I must make it on my own, without my support system from college, and without any established relationships in the city.
When we get comfortable, we can get addicted to the mundane, the way things are, wherever we are. We can't leave the fear, because it's what keeps us alive. When you leave, you have to leave the fear too.
That fact is simultaneously exhilirating and terrifying.
Ohio University was simultaneously a safety net and a trap door. One minute I was falling, the next minute I was caught. Speeding in and out of fear, disillusionment, grandeur and happiness, Athens was it's perfect backdrop. Now I have to pull back the curtain and find another place to make mistakes, succeed and try to have a life in.
It takes guts to leave the fear and loathing behind. It takes courage to be positive and have an idea of where you're going.
Even if I'm not sure of that idea, I do know one thing: I'm leaving, and there's no looking back.
When we move away, we can reinvent ourselves. We can become fully actualized. You have no standing history in the next place you're going to. You have no expectation to live up to.
The only thing that comes with your carry on is you.
And that's all you need.
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