“I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward”–Charlotte Brontë
Last night at 22:26, I FaceTimed Sem because I had a story to tell her. After about 2 mins, I realized that I no longer have academic responsibilities, and asked if she wanted to hang out. Why not? I’m officially on summer mode now. Time to switch off the responsible, and switch on the spontaneous. I had my pajama shorts on, packed some junk food, and headed to the Markt Square to meet her. We were going to sit by the canal, and I was going to prattle on about how I was feeling. While I knew she still had an exam to prepare for on Friday, I also knew that hearing my jovial news would indirectly make her feel better too, because in 72 short hours, she would be able to join me in her own celebration. Now it’s your turn to taste my cocktail of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.
In as unpoetic of a way as possible: I was free at last.
I had my last class Tuesday afternoon, but it hadn’t hit me until last night that I no longer am tied to a schedule of going to the Lange Noordstraat. I can go there when I want, or in passing, but no longer because I had to. Along with that came the delayed realization that I had finished my final assignment early (for once I didn’t procrastinate!) and that I was completely, for a quarter of a year, D O N E. No more stress, no more expectations, just do what I want when I want how I want. And the stormy warmth of last night made the summer feelings so much more real. It had begun!
Emotionally, I was on top of the world, because I had cleaned up all of my boy messes, just in time to celebrate the start of summer. I was officially single and baggage free. I had been working up the courage to have my closure talk with someone who had hurt me unintentionally two months ago. I remember when Shanice was telling me that I needed to do it for myself, but that it would only happen when the time was right, and as hard for me to grasp her meaning (what do you mean by the ‘right time’? How do I know when that is?! Shouldn’t it have already happened?), I now completely understand it. I am a control freak, and emotions frustrate me because I can’t control them, let alone always understand them. I can’t say I procrastinated on tying up the loose ends, because there is no instruction manual of when to do what. Things happen when you’re ready. And I can’t create a formula for it, it just happens. I can try to rationalize it. Maybe I had to learn the hard way that you can’t instantly be friends with someone you fell in like with, no matter how much you want to, or maybe I had to wait until I was so sick of hanging on to ‘what could have been’ that I just needed to cut the cord. But I’m not going to try to rationalize my reasoning, because then I’ll go crazy. I just know that as terrified as I was to say what needed to be said, I wrapped my heart up and gave it to him one last time as a way of concluding that experience. And it was good.
On the other side of the coin, I closed another ‘relationship’. I met him a few weeks ago, we talked, went out a bit, it was nice (can I just say I have great taste in guys?! haha). But after a while I realized it wasn’t what I wanted. He wasn’t a rebound, because he really caught my interest, but summer was coming, and I had plans. And as selfish as it sounds, I didn’t want to be working towards a relationship while simultaneously traveling Europe. It would have been too much to keep track of. And I didn’t want to lead him on like the last one did to me, so I was honest with myself, and him. I knew that nothing would come of it, so I told him as soon as I knew. It was hard, I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I did what was right, and I let him go too.
And now I am free. My single square has been reinstated, no attachments or feelings of guilt or shame, and instead of wishing for something I don’t have, I’m really excited to just give boys a break. Three guys in five months is enough to exhaust anyone. It was fun, I learned something from each one, and have no regrets.
So here I am, school free, boy free, and all the time in the world to explore the world. What could be better? My month working in Croatia is coming up, I might go to Switzerland for a week schmoozing with European diplomats and thinking about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, I might travel around Germany visiting friends, and I’ve got Lowlands music festival in August to look forward to. I have dreams of hiking the Norwegian fjords, sipping Sangria in Spain, wandering around Eastern Europe, writing a lot, meeting interesting people, and enjoying my last summer before graduation. People keep telling me “I’m excited to see what you do with your life”, and believe me when I say in response, that no one is more excited, stressed, hopeful, or nervous to see what I make of my life than I am. But I’ll let you tag along 🙂