Reliving & Celebrating Freefalling
Standing on the platform waiting for the Hogwarts Express. Interjecting when two best friends are fighting. Leaving Hogwarts to discover and destroy horcruxes. Walking into the woods to receive death. There are so many moments in Harry Potter where the characters have stepped off the hard ground of the known and into a freefall of the unknown. For us squibs (yes, we are still magical folk in our own way), the real life seemingly free-fall situations are a tad different. And today, January 8th, is the anniversary of mine.
You see, two years ago today I stopped living my normal life as a 21 year old American and left for an unknown country to live with strangers & go to a school where I knew not one soul. I’ve had friends who have moved all over the place their whole lives, rebuilding their relationships and adapting. But me? The girl who has burrowed in Scranton, PA amidst tons of family and the same friends since pre-school? This experience was like wading through the filled, comfy wardrobe and into Narnia. This new world was filled new mythologies, food, and traditions and away from everything that I knew and loved. December 8th is the day I started free falling and it is the day I began travel writing.
I wonder what we would read if Alice had written on her way down the rabbit hole? Or if Harry had a journal throughout the whole of the series. Almost like a Midnight Sun, the story of Twilight in Edward’s perspective. The only way that I was able to cope with all the exciting, terrifying newness around me was to turn to the one thing that has been constant in my life: writing. Particularly, a subtle black journal given to me by a friend was my magical object that gave me solace. In it, there were quotes telling me to be brave, open, and creative with the lack of familiarity.
“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.” – Neil Gaiman
I don’t know about you, readers, but I was never one to keep a journal. It was always a nice idea- a new years resolution more than once- but I just couldn’t write everyday and I couldn’t think of any thoughts worth sharing for posterity. But traveling? That always got my fingers moving, even when I was young. Similar to Joanna’s blog on Travel Writing! How do you all cope? Do you write? Do you read? Paint? Do yoga inversions? Play hackysack?
And so, on this January 8th, here’s to the free-fall and remembering all of those feelings after stepping off the edge.Here’s to all the people, places, and experiences that have completely changed my life and made me into quite a different – better- person. It was more than I could have imagined.
“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”