There must be a term for the feeling of “picking up right where you left off.” Surely. It’s too common a feeling for no psychologist to come along and slap a label on it.
How is it possible to leave a place for over three weeks, go on all kinds of adventures, and feel when you come back as though you never left at all?
I keep looking at the clock on my coffee maker, expecting to see the time, but forgetting that I unplugged the machine before I left. I wash the dinner dishes and put them on the AC vent to dry and almost mechanically. The only thing that feels unfamiliar is the traditional dormitory aroma, which I’m sure my nose will adjust to in a few hours.
Memory is a funny thing. Perhaps returning to a familiar place is like meeting up with an old friend. You know all the ins and outs; all the perfections and all the flaws. Catching up is unnecessary. Unless something about the person (or place) has changed, then there is no further research to do, and you can, as they say, pick up where you left off.
All analysis aside, the effect of such a return is surreal. I begin to wonder even now if Christmas break ever happened.
Then I remember that I feel well-rested, and I assume that I must have gone somewhere. I would not feel rested had the break never happened.
This place is not home. But for now, it is home away from home. It’s in my best interest, then—and the best interest of all of my friends who’ve returned to UU—to unpack, settle in, and gear up for the ride. Second semester has begun.