It’s surprisingly easy to build up a life here on exchange when you know it can never be anything but temporary. Actually I try not to think of it as “exchange” at all; it only reminds me just how impermanent this year really is. It makes the whole affair so much more delicate, fragile: you have to throw yourself into it more, because you know there has a time limit on it. Otherwise it doesn’t seem real and you can’t do that for long, you cannot live in a dream, the two words cancel each other out, don’t they? You have to make it vivid because that’s your way of pinching yourself to keep this real. It is real.
For me – for all of us, here, I think – it’s a dream come true; sometimes it is hard to remind ourselves that is has come true. It feels like a dream, a pause on reality. Our lives here are so completely severed from home. We are so free from constraints. We can be anything. We can do anything. We can hide anything, we can show anything, no one’s known us longer than four months. Is it really any wonder that we become more ourselves here? It’s like we’re drunk, the whole year long. The freedom you feel when your head starts to spin with the wine runs deeper and stronger than ever before and transcends the alcohol and spills over into the raw rub of daytime light. The things we have here bear no connection to our past lives except for us. Continue reading