It is good to be back, I think. I’m happy that I get to spend some time in Fife taking it easy and carefully making plans: the next month(s) will involve very little taking it easy and time only to enact – rather than make – plans. I like the fact that Scotland is not as warm as Switzerland or the USA: the sun shines brightly but the humidity in the air doesn’t constrain me.
And yet I’m not quite right.
I’m in a limbo. I have my plan and itinerary all lined up for the next 4-5 months: re-apply to the US Grad Schools, do whatever it takes to get at least one PhD offer. In a week I will start an exciting travelling adventure…until that point it feels like St Andrews & Fife are the wrong places for me. That in being Here instead of There I’m stalling my life and my plans. This place is too small, too quiet, too old-fashioned. It isn’t fitting my fast-paced international agenda.
As has happened before: when I’m lost or upheaved I like to grab my camera and go out for a wander, looking afresh at everything around me.
Then I realise the beautiful place that I am in right now. My possibilities are wide open. I have allowed myself the chance to learn from a mistake and try again. I can feel already that now I know what it means to “try harder”, I am trying harder. I’ve learned that fear and sadness drain colour from my world, and that I must fight against the fear.
Crail too is a beautiful place. Even though I’m spending most days in the St Andrews University Library revising Chemistry knowledge for my GRE resit (I could put many, many hours into this only to find some grad schools are willing to accept your application without the Chemistry GRE scores – it’s something I must be careful about) I still get to see rippling cornfields on my 50 minutes bike commute from the coast to the town. The sky and sea from my bedroom window are different every single day, every single hour: from silvery evening rainclouds pierced with golden sunshine, to misty blue mornings with barely a ripple on the water, to intensely sunny days when the wind churns the sea white.
If I’m going nowhere in a hurry, then the least I can do is stop to admire the scenery. I’ll be getting moving shortly, thankfully. Here’s to plans in action.