The New Year

The school year is starting without me here at Columbia; my friends begin classes on Tuesday. I’m glad I can participate in the “What are you taking?” conversations, but it’s strange to have to include an explanation of the British university system. By the way, I’m not sure exactly what I’m taking yet--I have to meet with my Director of Studies next week. At any rate, I was in a Barnes and Noble on 5th Avenue downtown recently when a song by Death Cab for Cutie came on my iPod. It was so appropriate I nearly cried right there in the bookstore. Instead of crying, I laughed at myself and my current state if a Death Cab song can make me tear up in a public place! This is the verse that made me cry, from a song called “The New Year”:

I wish the world was flat like the old days

Then I could travel just by folding a map
No more airplanes, or speedtrains, or freeways
There'd be no distance that can hold us back

There'd be no distance that could hold us back

So this is the new year

But if I could travel just by folding a map, then it wouldn't mean very much to go away, would it? I'm a different person since I had the courage to move to New York City (which was very scary--many of you remember times I said I wished I had gone to Grinnell in Iowa) so I must have faith that leaving everything familiar far behind is part of what makes travel such a great experience. A few days ago I was more afraid and sad than excited, but now I would say I'm more excited than sad.


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