At one point of time, you will feel like you’ve been staying in one place for too long. It’s that moment when you walk around the town and can’t help but to recall certain memories that you associated with the place, a simple activity you’re currently doing, or any other insignificant things like the clothes you’re wearing.
I know I’ve been staying for far too long when I look at a place and I see people, particular people that make my heart constricted and prompted a rueful smile in my face. Because I recall a pleasant memory that got my stomach churned for I know it would never happen again.
That suffocating feeling is part of the reason why I looked forward to this exchange program, because I want to run away. Just like what I did when the town that had become my home is filled with one too many memories to bear. It’s just that both my hometown and the town where I lived – and actually feel belonged to – become a little too asphyxiating and I feel the need to get away, as cowardly as it sounds.
So here I am, trying to navigate through the throngs of friends and acquaintances in the city that is quite comfortable but not yet feel like home, while being utterly prone to homesickness and the incessant needs for a good hug. Oh, and prone to missing those people that I am actually trying to shake off just because I yearn for something that is familiar.
The problem is, I often feel suffocated here too. Maybe it’s the little thing like the lack of close friends that I can just hug or kiss. Maybe it’s the lack of people that I can be utterly honest and talk about improper things with. Maybe it’s the weight of expectation to actually thrive and make a mark. Maybe it’s the pressure of conforming to the supposed purpose of exchange program – which is making as many friends as possible with people from other countries.
It’s just that I never was good with socializing and I’m a little too skeptical to see the point of befriending people that I would probably drift apart from as soon as this program ends. I just doesn’t think it worth the effort of trying to conform, trying to actually fit in because I am not good at fitting in and I love myself a little too much to force myself to make friends with people that doesn’t have the same frequency as mine.
Fitting in is something that I used to work hard for. But as time pass, I sort of realize that it’s…useless. Even those people that I genuinely got close with, those who saw me at my worst and laugh at inappropriate things with me, drift away after some times. Logically speaking, my relationship with those that I have to play pretend with will surely expired quicker.
I know just how self-centered and arrogant it sounds. But considering that I might get hit by the bus any minute now, I really don’t think I want to spend my remaining time putting on a facade and trying to be the nice sociable girl that I am not. Beside, I was never in this to study or to make friends. I’m here to run away and take a breather, so that is exactly what I will do.
I’ll hang with those I actually feel comfortable with – even if most of those happened to be Indonesian and mostly male. I’ll have fun in the way that I do enjoy – whether it is spending bucks on movies or just alienate myself in my room. I’ll take the risk of humiliating myself and enjoy the thrilling sensation of developing a summer crush on an adorable someone. I’m giving myself a break, and I am doing myself a favor by ensuring that when I go back home, I can face the looming pressure of final research project with enough determination.
And ensuring that when I see a
few particular someone with their respective partners, I can grin and be genuinely happy to see them in a purely platonic way.
À la mort,
Because much like her, I handpicked my friends. All the time.