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Back when I still thought I was going to be moving out of current apartment, my mom and aunt (her sister) planned a trip to New York to help with that move; since I ended up staying here, their trip was spent mostly (finally) transforming this apartment into a home. LOTS of cleaning, organizing, and buying of things has somehow done just that. They left this morning and left me feeling like I'm living in an entirely new apartment. It probably doesn't hurt that the roommate is gone until mid-August and the girl she's sub-letting to is very kind and also very clean! At some point later I may actually finally post pictures of my room because it actually finally looks like a place I'm planning on living in for a while...something it never really managed to do during most of the past nine months.

It was great to have Mom and my aunt here to visit -- I love them to pieces and they're two of the most kind and caring people I know, and I really do miss them now that they're gone -- but it was also good to spend most of today being incredibly lazy and watching cartoons on my new TV. (Yes, that's right, I now have a TV! No cable, but really, who needs that when you have the internet and can connect your laptop to the TV?) I'm justifying the laziness because for no reason I can discern, my voice has almost vanished. My throat doesn't hurt or anything, I just can't produce speech that sounds even vaguely human. I suspect it's from all the dust and cleaning chemicals kicked up around here over the past few days (it started two days ago) but whatever the cause, it's starting to bug me, even though I don't even have anyone around now to talk to!

That last bit will be changing tomorrow afternoon, though, when [livejournal.com profile] octavius_x and her awesome friend show up! They're crashing here for a few nights on their way elsewhere and I'm looking forward to gallivanting about the city with them and eating and drinking and SHOPPING. I am just hoping that my voice returns before they arrive because I plan on doing a great deal of talking and it would be a shame if my body got in the way of that.

Then as soon as they leave, pre-travel packing and panicking will commence! I leave New York for London June 11, I leave London for Norway June 20, and I leave Norway to come back home on June 29. Summer school French will commence almost immediately thereafter (July 2 or thereabouts) and I will actually start looking over that scholarly list of "things to do this summer" which I've basically been neglecting in my current academic detox. 

BUT before all that happens I will be back in London -- for the first time in two years! -- where I will be staying with [livejournal.com profile] lazyclaire and [livejournal.com profile] apotropaios and seeing all kinds of other awesome London people (including hopefully [livejournal.com profile] carawj , [personal profile] cosmic_llin , [livejournal.com profile] jenepel , [livejournal.com profile] ladyvivien , [livejournal.com profile] mini_hannah , and [livejournal.com profile] silly_cleo -- if any of you are reading this you should tell me your work schedules so I can figure out when we can hang out!), with special guest appearance by non-Londoner but equally awesome [personal profile] oliviacirce ! I am dreadfully afraid already about having to leave this place I haven't even gotten back to yet, but I'm trying not to let that do me in. And it's probably good for me that I won't be going straight home from London, but rather onward to Norway, where I'll be reuniting with friends I made in Berkeley and haven't seen in over a year (one of whom is actually Norwegian and with whom I'll be staying, the other of whom is also American and just visiting), and where I'll get to fall in love with a new set of places and leave my heart behind me all over again. This is the curse and the privilege of travel, you can't have one without the other, and despite the pain it's always worth it.

And to be fair -- although I'll always long for those places I'm not, New York isn't exactly a shabby spot to be coming home to! I realize more and more every day how much I love this city, and how deeply I care for some of the people I've met here, and how excited I am at the prospect of all of the people I'll get to meet, and all the exploring I'll get to do, and even just those lazy summer days I'll get to spend reading in the park in the shade or having impassioned conversations about young adult fantasy novels, because I have found people to do these things with! I mean. I spent two consecutive days last week doing almost nothing but encountering awesome fictions (ranging from The Avengers to Young Wizards) and then talking about them with wonderful people, shoving aside that niggling feeling that there was something more "productive" I ought to have been doing, because this is summer and there is sun outside and grass was made for lying in.

So here's to summer and to travel and to coming home again (and maybe coming home at last). 
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