Before I get into my spotlight string of thoughts, I would just like to say thank you for the spoken and unspoken encouragement and support! Julia came up to me on Friday telling me how much she liked my Tabula Rasa article, and that it inspired her to go on a run. And Jenny came up to me today at work telling me she loved my blog. It makes me happy that my writing makes other people happy, and that I make sure that it remains as authentic as possible. It’s meant to challenge myself to open up to anyone who takes the time to read this, which is scary because it forces me to relinquish control over who knows what, from the corny tidbits to the identity crisis ramblings. Of which what follows could be more or less categorized as the latter. So here goes…
A few days ago I received a text from a high school friend studying at UCLA telling me how excited she is to see me this Christmas, that nothing has changed much since high school, and that she should probably become more independent. I also received a text from another high school friend saying he was sorry for not responding, that he was a shitty friend, and that he’s going through difficult times right now. Another friend is living his post-graduation life with his parents trying to find a job in a field related to his degree, and another is busy Instagramming her luxurious Orange County lifestyle. I smile at this little window of life that they let me look into occasionally, think about how different they all are, and spend a few minutes a day randomly thinking about what they might be doing based on the bursts of information that I get from time to time. It’s endearing to think of us, where we came from, and where we are now. Currently I’m toying with ideas of moving to Dublin or London, chasing wisps of writing dreams hanging by threads of idealism connected to dark balloons of a whole lot of unknowns.
Then I think about my friends here. One might move to Germany after graduation, one will stay in the Netherlands with her boyfriend, and the other can’t stop thinking about going back to Southeast Asia. And I find myself slipping into a familiar thought cycle: right now we are all together, in our final year, but who knows what will happen beyond these classrooms. Who we’ll meet, what we’ll do, and where we’ll go. It’s the same thoughts I had exactly three years ago in my senior year of high school, only now I’m in my final year of uni. And then I think about all that has happened, and get giddy with what could happen.
I guess I’m getting a little sentimental and reflective because I’m drawing parallels between 17 year old me and 20 year old me. We have so many similarities, yet so many differences. Additionally, I’m thinking about my relationships. Will my uni friends feel like high school friends after we graduate? Will some fade? Will others randomly become closer? As much as I don’t want my relationships to change, I’m afraid my prediction is yes, it may happen similarly. But unlike the paralyzing fear I had in high school, I’m secure that everything will be okay, because moving forward is a part of life. Maybe it’s because I’ve done this before, or maybe it’s because uni friends are more dynamically built than high school friends. Whichever reason, I’m confident that I’ll walk away from university with strong, satisfying relationships that I can fall back on when “real life” knocks me down. And it sure as hell will.
I can remember 17 year old me quite clearly: strutting my stuff in the halls as a senior. Participating in my nerdy US mock-congressional hearings called We the People. Already thinking about prom and wondering if I want to go or not. The struggle and hatred I had for the college application process, and thinking every day, especially the following March, that I won’t be doing that for much longer. That in a short amount of time, all these people here in my English class with Mr. Ermert, that seem so real and important and emphasized, will soon be characters pressed in the folds of my memory, forever stuck at 17 or 18 unless I choose to see them in ‘the future’. 20 year old me is thinking similarly. All these professors, classes, and people around me who seem like the world to me, will soon be minimized to fond memories of early adulthood, and soon I’ll find myself thinking totally different thoughts.
Please excuse me for sounding like such an old lady. Because if you are reading this now, and are much older than 20, you’re probably laughing at how far I still have to go. And if you are reading this at younger than 20, you’re probably thinking “how could you be that much different than 3 years ago”. And if you are about 20, or are also in your second to last semester, you’re probably thinking the exact same thing as me. And I’m laughing because I think I’m right.
And now dear reader, I give you the Circle of Life to set the mood. Because I am such an idealist, overly dramatic Disney cheeseball, and feel that this is highly appropriate. Enjoy.