I've been trying to work out whether it is perhaps a phobia or the complete opposite, but for as long as I can remember, I've possessed an acute, crippling awareness of the passing of time.
In my first ever blog post on Scarphelia three years ago, I wrote:
'What if I continue to procrastinate and then one day realise that never will I ever now be able to do the things which I could have easily have done when I was younger?'
In a bizarre way, it's as though the idea of potentially regretting something, haunts me so much more than any regrets I may have. I'm like the crowned Queen of FOMO. The Grim Reaper and I shake hands daily. I'm so scared of things ending that I begin to mourn the loss of them before they've even begun.
Within seconds of entering international air space on my flight to New York City 3 months ago, I was already picturing my return. Imagining what those little button cars and broccoli trees will look like after 12 weeks of international adventure, and the changed perspective in myself stemming from it.
The first morning, I began counting down the days, staring wistfully at the calendar app on my phone and panicking that time had already began to speed up.
When I first reached the boat, a girl who had been on board for 2 months already amicably said in passing 'It'll fly by, it feels like just yesterday I got here - Before you know it you'll be on your way home again!' and my smile dropped and I wanted to sit her down and very quietly and seriously whisper 'Do you realise what you've just done'
I think that's the main reason I had my big freakout in the first couple of weeks - the pressure of feeling like I had to do everything RIGHT THEN left me drained, exhausted and unfulfilled.
But however frustrating it is, my god, is it a blessing in disguise.
It feels like I've been living in New York City now for approximately 10 years.
I look back on the things I wrote at the beginning of my journey about it seeming like time is escaping me and I laugh. Bless me. That time and that me could NOT be further away from now. Like, it's genuinely half funny, half scary. Just how MUCH has gone down since I got here is so unfathomable, that it's totally skewed my already warped sense of passing time, right back round to something... almost resembling normality.
I've looked forward to, got lost in and mourned time in an endlessly looping cycle so many times here, that in combination with the various places I've lived in the city, each couple of days feels like an entirely new trip where I've returned to the UK for the winter and come back again the next summer.
Before I came here, I felt I had a pretty good idea of who I was and what I was about. Only now do I realise the innocent naivety in which despite what I thought, I was actually only just beginning to grasp at this understanding.
I feel frustrated now because I'm struggling to convey just HOW MUCH has happened here without repeating myself - the countless things I've learned about myself, others and the world... it just feels like this whole summer has been a high school coming of age movie with one hell of an epic conclusion.
At this point I see my twin goddesses of Amy Winehouse and Beyonce looking down upon me with one piece of irrefutable knowledge;
And now, in the last twist in this grand adventure of epic proportions, I've discovered something more surprising than anything so far...
I'm ready to come home.
I'm actually genuinely really excited to leave New York City and the summer of my making, and come back to England.
WHY, I hear you wail in harmony with my past-self, but all I can do is smile serenely in the knowledge that it's time.
And that's such a bloody big deal, because for me it's never just 'time.' It's always - 'time?!'
This summer I have discovered exactly what I want to do and who I want to be, and I've worked out how to go about it too. My mind is bursting with projects and ideas, and I'm now itching to get back to my homeland, my community and my base, and put all of this into action.
I've always known that I wanted to motherfucking kill it at life, but New York has taught me that if I truly want it, I never have to settle for anything less.
So gird your loins London, a hurricane is coming home. And NYC? I'll see you next sunshine baby, keep a beer on ice for me.
'No home, I don't want shelter
No calm, Nothing to keep me from the storm
And you can't hold me down
'Cause I belong to the hurricane
It's gonna blow this all away'