This journey has been in my cards for some time now. My parents didn’t know it, my professors supported it and I was just waiting for the right time to jump. Now, a month and a half away from leaving the little Island that saw me grow I contemplate the things I’m letting go. All I can say, for all those who don’t know, that I will be studying near the Appalachian Mountains my graduate degree. That’s all I’ll say for now. Nevertheless, I have decided to document my expedition in hopes of finding more than just a diploma and a job at the end of my journey.
I’ve had this idea since I started college and never got around to it. Now that I will be subtracted from my haven, my home and my people I see the need to reach out to it while I still have it; but more than that, to document it. My hopes in my work lie in finding something I left, creating something that is mine and being able to just have a good time. Simple goals, I know but we have to start somewhere.
Enough introductions, let me hit the first topic that has had me wandering (yes) for some time. I am not particularly attached to those around me. Like a cat I love those who feed me, pet me and care for me, yet without them I can survive; I lick my own wounds, I can hunt and fend in order to survive. Nonetheless, I do have people who I care for and will willingly give up all I have. The point here is not to get emotional or feed sentimentality but to look back at what I have, and evaluate those I love.
For a long time now I have marveled at how far I have come; not because it was impossible but because I’ve accomplished more than what I set out to do. Yet, as I climb these stairs I occasionally stop and look back to see what I left behind. And there they are, people who I didn’t care for, people who I barely know and then there are the people I loved. I look long and hard expecting to catch their gaze, maybe hear them say my name but sometimes the distance makes it impossible for the sound to reach; and then there are times where they won’t even talk to me. These analogies, to this moment, upset me because miles away in step 1,110 (maybe lower) stand some I called friend. There is nothing more that I would like than to walk down and meet them (maybe half way) but I stop, catch myself and reconsider. I’ve come too far to back down. Not just that, I reached out my hand countless times hoping they would find their way, maybe stand closer to me; but this is not a reality.
We stand apart now because of the world wants it that way. I tried too hard and now I’m miles away. They didn’t try hard enough and stayed behind. To be honest I really can’t say why we are so far away now. We had similar dreams to get out of our small town, reach a place with million lights, get an apartment near a shopping mall (or the beach), finish our studies and have a conjoined office with a view; and so on. It doesn’t make sense now, where we felt apart. Maybe it was how direct I was, the fact that you chose to ignore my words, the way I walked away, the idea that you think I’ll stay; who knows. I’d like to say it is no longer relevant, it sometimes is, but right now (with my bags almost done, my apartment already picked and my trip days away) it’s not.
It feels like I took a detour from my main point, but it is still the same line of thought. I stand way up high climbing these stairs, close to the one door that will lead me out of here. You stand mid-way, down-low, or wherever chasing a dream in a dead-end space. Smiling smiles of yesterday with friends who are stuck in the same days as those of grey uniforms and classes at 8 am. It seems our happiness was never the same. Maybe it was the expensive apartment we were going to share, or the trip to England (don’t forget New Orleans) we dreamed of. Who knows? You know? I don’t know.
Truth be told, now it doesn’t even matter. I look back at the people I left behind and among the crowd and I just see faces with no relevance. I miss not the people but the memories. And now as I am close to boarding and leaving I wonder if they’ll just disappear. Distance has a funny way of doing that. Pictures in social media don’t justify for the reality outside that computer screen. And when we meet up we’ll just be strangers like that first day in tenth grade. Only this time we won’t be reaching out to try to survive, we’ll be showing off our scars and telling our survival stories of how life went on without you.
Friendships are like a garden (if you will). Each relationship is a flower; it has a specific color, shape and texture. You care for each relationship with a different type of light, amount of water and you give it special food. However, when you stop caring for that flower (you forget to water it, to put it outside to get sunlight) it wilts away. It may have its shine for a couple of days. It may still smell new for a week or two but, inevitably it dies. It returns back to the soil and leaves an empty plot. And you can’t expect to saunter back, expecting for the flower to magically grow after it’s been dead. Your choices are to leave the plot empty until a new friendship arises, or to try to bring a similar flower into the empty plot. Once something has died away it can never be the same way twice. And that is where I stand. With many empty plots waiting to be filled with new flowers. I took the dead flowers out and made the soil new.
I hope this serves as a good introduction to what is to come. A little sentimental at the start to cleanse the soul and later on some humor to help me hold on.