I’m writing this as I sit in Costa at Gatwick airport, looking out the window at darkening skies and bare trees that make me think I’m back home for Christmas again.In 24 hours time I’ll have finished a practice round in Portugal for the inaugural Patsy Hankins Trophy, a matchplay event between Europe and Asia. Even as I type this messages are flashing up as the players already there discuss what the dress code is for tonight’s dinner.
Less than 24 hours ago I was in Phoenix, Arizona, probably about to watch my 8 iron on 17 drift slowly, agonisingly into the water as I made double to drop out of the lead in my most recent college tournament.
I still have three hours to kill before my next flight. Maybe it’s the tiredness, the coffee covered jetlag struggling to make sense of which emotion is most appropriate to feel. I want to go through my stats from Phoenix, I want to get lost in new House of Cards episodes, I want to finish reading Legacy, I want to get ready for the amazing experience ahead of me this week and I want to take a train to Leicester with my sister to watch Newcastle’s first game under Benitez.
But I don’t know which.
Everything just feels a little bit different. Exactly the same, but different.
CNN to BBC News. The New York Times to The Guardian. I have Netflix open but my US account won’t play here. And even if it would, watching a show about American politics isn’t something my brain feels right about in a UK airport. (Not that American politics is something my brain feels right about either). I asked my dad to bring me some European adapters when he picked me up, which he did, but now I’ve realized I only have an American head for my phone charger with me and the adapters are UK-Europe. I accidently asked for a grande latte in Costa instead of a medium. I’m not supposed to be in England in March. Split life living.
It’s hard to answer the standard “do you know what you’re going to do when you graduate?” college tournament question when you just don’t know what’s going to happen. you don’t know which path will work out. They say the best in the world don’t even consider the Plan B option because doubting Plan A is a self-belief weakness they just don’t have. But one thing golf teaches you is that you can have all the best plans, best preparation and best intentions in the world… but it will never guarantee the outcome. The unpredictability is what keeps me in love with it. It doesn’t help me answer the question though.
College opens your eyes to the world and the thousands of different paths you could take; the different lives you could lead. You want to give your all to one thing and see how far it could take you, but what if you’re leaving something else behind? What bit of your life goes into what compartment? It’s not just college: people travel all the time and have experiences every day that change the way they view things. We leave, and learn, and return, and everything is the same, but different. Maybe we expect the world to go on hold while we figure out what and where we are. But the world keeps turning and people keep living. Trying to figure out how that all fits together can be unsettling. But who wants to settle anyway? I’m incredibly grateful to get these experiences.
Split life living. It’s time to find another coffee.