On Friday night, I ordered my bus tickets for Christmas break. What a trip that will be.
I have to catch a shuttle van to Nashville here at noon, and since the greyhound bus doesn't leave until 6:45 PM, I'll be spending most of my day in the bus station. After that is a 24 hour ride to North Dakota, where I'm staying at one of my cousins' house overnight.
I have no idea how I'm gonna do it. It's just become such an integral part of my existence: I. Don't. Leave. Town. Going to Lebanon for Fall Focus in September took unhealthy amounts of sedatives. That was 40 miles away. I had a massive anxiety attack going to the edge of city limits today, though that was probably brought on by eating too much food that made me nauseous and uncomfortable.
I think about it a lot...and still, I'm not as terrified about going home as much as I would be going to Sparta. Less than 20 miles from here. I suppose it's all about being surrounded by the familiar. Then again, this bus route is different from the usual ones...It's going through St. Louis, Kansas City, and Sioux Falls rather than Chicago and Louisville. That will be unfamiliar too! *screams silently*
My most comforting thought is that bus rides are always easier. No one looks at you differently if you bring along huge bags filled with entertainment (books, magazines, coloring books, electronic stuffs) and knock yourself out with sleeping pills once every couple hours. (Oh, how I wish I could have insurance to get prescription Xanax...it worked wonders...) Most people there are doing the same thing...and there is always that little bathroom for me to lock myself into if I just can't stand looking out the window anymore.
"So? Just stay home." That thought has crossed my mind, but the anticipation of spending 3 weeks by myself seems more worthy of dread than 24 hours trapped on a moving vehicle. Spending 3 or 4 DAYS alone for Thanksgiving will be tragic enough.
I pray that when I get home, I'll be distracted with good things. If I end up rotting in my dad's attic eating ramen and watching hour after hour of MTV, that is no holiday. If it were my choice, I'd spend a couple days seeing my "real" family, spend a weekend with Kristi and all the kids, and waste the rest of the time in Moorhead where I would be close to shopping, a nice library, and all my old solitary hang-outs.
I'm not excited for the semester to be over because to me, this IS home. It's where I feel loved and wanted, and where I feel safest. I've dealt with a lot of loss here, but not irreparable loss. For every friend lost, another one falls into place.(BTW, that one cool guy I've mentioned before? We're finally hanging out alone now and again...) That's not the case with family. For example, someone I don't even know is living in my mom's house right now. That's the only "holiday place" I've ever known, except for Karen's, and Staples is so isolated that I don't think I could spend much of my break there...
Everyone has their "season of joy." Mine will be when spring semester starts and I can look forward to another 4 months where I don't have to leave city limits. (Oh, except for Nashville...but that will be nothing but happy.) The only thing worth dreading AFTER the long bus ride back to Tennessee? ...Valentine's Day.