There is a fragility here I cannot hope to describe. The words turn and run whenever I approach, seemingly ignoring me because no, no. This can’t be right. You haven’t finished. You can’t be done. This isn’t over yet. No way.
Except, of course, it is. These days are numbered, one and two, and slipping slowly from my grasp. I tried ignoring them; I tried laughing at them; I tried not to cry over them; I tried to be excited about them; I have tried, even, to hold them tight and not let go. Not yet.
Time, unfortunately, is not a particularly good listener. She rolls on as though we weren’t even here, weren’t even trying to gather our scattered thoughts and pack them into bins and boxes without the promise of have a good summer or until next year. Sometimes, it seems, she’s leaving us without that usual promise of until next time and I am left wondering how many of these people I will see again. I try to avoid thinking like that.
I have tried refusing to pack. My room is a mess of blankets and clothes and books and notes and pictures and shoes and thoughts. I stand here with one foot rooted in denial and the other stuck in nostalgia, trying to sort through the material and the memory. I am proud of what I’ve done here–all I’ve learned, the friends I’ve made, the person I’ve become–but I am not quite ready to take my leave.
This last week has been one of laughter, of fun with friends and enjoying the sun and ignoring the goodbyes that tangle in my throat. I will see you soon, I tell myself (and sometimes, it’s even true). These familiar faces and familiar places are slowly, slowly leaving–packing their bags, moving away. I would not deny them–I’m excited for them. They are headed for beautiful, big things and I cannot wait to see what happens next.
But through it all–ignoring goodbyes and packing and thinking about graduating and leaving–I am having a hard time remembering that this?
This was never meant to be forever. This was only ever just for now.
So I’ll pack my things. I’ll organize my books. I’ll throw out my notes. I’ll wear that cap and gown hidden in the back of my closet. I’ll show up for the ceremonies and even smile for some of the pictures. I’ll write letters to my friends, send them pictures from wherever I end up in the next few years, and hope they do the same.
And on Tuesday, with all of the pomp and circumstance concluded, I’ll leave. I will look at these dorm room walls for one last time, lock the door, and head onto the next adventure with tears on my face and butterflies in my stomach.
That next adventure is still a bit unknown, after all. I just hope it’s a good one.