Two days ago, my parents and I loaded up the family Toyota. Together with a book-on-tape and my Mom’s heavily-Bruce-Springsteen-centric CD collection, we embarked on a road trip through the desolation of Middle America. Our destination was a new university, where in just a week I will start the Next Big Phase of my life, unsure of the ultimate outcome. In a way, I could have been eighteen again.
Except not really. Unlike when I was eighteen, there was no all-night vigil with friends before I left, no tears from my parents at our final destination, and—for me—no ulcer of nervousness and trepidation growing in my stomach with every mile we drove. Despite the endless self-deprecating jokes I make about the fact that I am still going to school, I am not the shit-scared adolescent I was when I first went to Princeton—or even the person I was when I left for Oxford. Moving to Berkeley, so far, feels less like a dramatic life change and more of a logical next step, a big shift in location but only a small one in terms of goals, lifestyle, and mindset.
What I am getting at is that I think my life is about to get very boring. Now, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, just an inevitable byproduct of growing up. When I look back at the last two years, spent contracting rare internal diseases in Uganda, running around the Amazon, and trying to make sense of a fascinating island in the Atlantic, I realize that I’ve been fed some pretty excellent material for blogging—whether or not I’ve always capitalized on it.
By comparison, Berkeley feels very familiar. For all the talk of the “People’s Republic of Berkeley”, with it’s cooperative vegan/halal burrito joints and nuclear free zones, I am nonetheless struck by how American it is. This blog, then, has outlived it’s ostensible purpose of documenting my wide-eyed observations of the Misty Kingdom and sharing the unique experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to have. Without the literary crutch of Oxford, blogging already feels a bit (more) like self-absorbed naval-gazing.
This does not mean I’m done with this blog. I regret the periods of my life where I didn’t keep a journal, and love looking back and laughing at the silly nonsense that used to fill my brain. I’m sure that someday, future-me will want to humor himself at the expense of current-me, and for that reason alone, I’ll keep writing. But for those of you who are just reading in the hopes that I will soon report that, once again, I have maggots living inside of me which need to be removed in a one-room clinic in Masaka, it might be time for a purge of your Google Reader Blogroll.