I’m grateful for the chance to live halfway across the world, and I am really fucking glad to be done with high school forever. As long as I remember there’s been that fear haunting the back of my mind — a fear of being trapped by circumstance. I’ve always been afraid of “narrowness” — of never being able to see a bigger picture, of being permanently complacent in a limited, tired perspective. (Abrupt, overpowering sensations of claustrophobia, of being trapped, used to hit me out of nowhere, usually when I was feeling particularly stagnant and settled. There was a need to maintain that state of jitteriness.) There’s a quote from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close that accurately summarises this… mental affliction: “Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.” (This is probably why social media gives me anxiety. Something like time anxiety.) Here in a new environment there’s an intense sense of liberation. It might not last, nothing fundamental has changed really, but I like to think that this forward pace will be enough. It gives me reassurance.