This morning found me waking up in a groggy haze, as I usually do when the buzz of my alarm goes off. Snow was falling as it usually does, and a cat was purring at my feet as he usually does. Only this morning I pulled a suitcase behind me, wore a new hat on my head, and kissed the head of every furry creature and loving human in my house. It always feels weird coming back home, like everything starts up again right where I left off. Who knows if hopping off the plane in Oregon will feel the same way, even though I've done this many times before. I'm always nervous-excited about what the future holds, even the immediate future. Especially the immediate future, when I know that one action will lead to the next one, then the next one, and before I know it my entire life will have passed by.
This upcoming semester I'm taking more classes for my majors, Intermediate Ceramics and Intermediate Photography, Studies in Writing and Writing Fiction, and then a Psalms class and Philosophy of the Arts. I'm also meeting with professors to hopefully audit (or do an independent study of) a Portfolio Development class, which I really hope I'll be able to do. I am always so excited to go back to college, but there is a part of me that will miss the mountains, the fresh salmon, and the ever changing northern lights. So many kids can't wait to get out of Alaska, myself included, but once you get out, there's always something that draws you back, and you begin to wonder why you ever wanted to leave in the first place.
This has been a good break though. I felt comfortable with being alone, kept myself busy at home, and was excited and engaging when I hung out with people. It's been a time to simply relax and renew, to take a deep breath before plunging into another semester and another year. Though I say it all the time, I am very excited to see what this year holds, and where my photography will take me.
For now it is taking me back to my beautiful state of Oregon, with its rolling hills and tall trees and perfect, perfect beaches. I am a hopeless romantic with everything in life, locations probably most of all. I am in love with every tree and mountain and vineyard we drive past, and being reunited with it all is one of the best feelings ever. Stepping onto the airplane in Alaska is sad, because I am leaving part of myself behind. Being in the air is pure bliss, because I find part of myself within the clouds and the unsheltered sunlight. Stepping off of the airplane and taking those first steps in Oregon is like falling in love, because part of myself is there as well, among those pine needles and ocean waves.
Honestly, I fall in love wherever I go. And though I am sad to leave my family and friends and state, I am very happy to be back in Oregon.