It feels weird being back home after months away at university. There is something quite eery about staying in your room for the first time in months, moulding a shape in your previously worn mattress, putting your clothes back in to old and dusty mahogany draws. It just doesn't feel right. Or rather, it doesn't feel like home.
Let me explain. I have been rather preoccupied since September with my new life at university. A lethal cocktail of work, alcohol, friends and more work has fuelled my independence, even if in the meantime, it has taken up my time. It has completely changed my way of life. I am an independent man now, who respects the value of money, the importance of friendship and the reward of handing your work in on time. I'm more level headed, and definitely more opinionated.
I guess you could say I have found my true calling in life. I love journalism, which is not to say I didn't love it before, but I now view it as my future. Without university, I would still be stuck in Hampshire pondering on my ambitions and dreams.
Which is why Hampshire just feels weird. Like a part of my life I don't want to return to. Seeing family, catching up with friends - yeah, I've missed them but it's almost as if they've become strangers. I don't understand my family now; their routines for example, really irritate me. So much so that even now, whilst writing this, I am confined to my small bedroom to protect my sanity!
I'm not saying I dislike Hampshire. On the contrary, I love it. Give me Marks & Spencer, chardonnay and green fields anyday over Medway's offering of 99p store, Frosty Jack's and shit-stained concrete. But it's different. Somewhere fresh and interesting.
The people are different in Medway, from all parts of the world. The locals may be considered more Jeremy Kyle-like material then say, The Archers-type from Hampshire, but it sure makes for a fascinating environment. Medway is certainly warmer than Four Marks, and the buzz of the thriving town is much more appealing than the chorus of bleating sheep and the twitching of the blinds coming from your nosey neighbour in my cul-de-sac in Hampshire.
So as I stare at my former bedroom walls, scanning my childhood books and the place where I used to store my old diaries, I ask myself the question; will I ever be able to call this place home again? Maybe. It's always going to be here I guess. There's a certain familiarity of the Hampshire way of life which I've grown to love. Even when I'm away in Medway, I'm forever reading the local newspaper and scanning the East Hampshire District Council planning pages.
But besides familiarity and friendliness, I want new things. And the university life that I'm experiencing in Medway ticks all the boxes. I've even started to refer to it as my home, which six months ago, I refused to contemplate, despite feeling pretty comfortable with it now.
So here's to my new future, wherever that maybe. I might not be able to view Hamsphire as my home anymore, but it's still going to be here, wherever I decide to go.
Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia/ my own
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