On Life Changes

…They’re really far easier when they’re a bit more sudden. The last 12 months have been both the most painful and the most joyful of my life … but then again I suppose I’ve said that before now.

I feel as though my last year in Davis has been my most rewarding: I’ve found new friends, new experiences, new connections to the town itself. The transition to non-student life, however, is still incomplete, and I have to say it’s been very difficult. I’ve always identified myself as a student. Pretty much anyone under the age of 18 (or 23 in my crowd) is a student. The primary bits of information about my friends: name, gender, school, major. It’s doubly so when you’re living in a college town. There are exceptions, but essentially you’re a prospective UCD student, a current one, a staff member, or an alumnus/alumna. I always feel a little strange in choir rehearsals when a difference is made between student and non-student status. I still have to stop myself from raising my hand.

And now the change I’ve been trying to predict for the last twelve months is looming – and I’m still trying to make it an impermanent one. That is, the choice to leave Davis. I find it difficult to foresee myself living here on a long-term basis. All my experience as a student has led me to believe that the collegiate life is a fleeting one. They tell us over and over: enjoy it while you’re here, it ends far too quickly. With that in mind, I find it a little odd and yet perfectly natural and expected for me to long to stay here. At the same time, I’ve made it my home. In the last three weeks alone, I’ve begun considering other aspects of Davis life besides the University. The layers and varieties of musical opportunity are vast! There are actually people my age here who aren’t just grad students!

But Ojai is still home and I’ve always assumed that I would return there at some point, as an independent adult. The climate is better, the mountains and beach call me home every summer and winter, and the equine Western/trail-riding lifestyle there is far more comfortable than the English/jumping/dressage scene up here. If I were in Ojai, I could easily see myself resuming it. In Davis, I don’t think I will anytime soon. There are comparable restaurants, festivals, arts and entertainment in both places.

The most difficult part? The people. I have the family I grew up with in one, the family I found and created in the other. I love both, and I’m not using the word lightly here. And I find it impossible to choose.

~ by jackelopette on May 14, 2007.

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