Here I am. It’s 4 a.m. and I am on my rebellious child on summer vacation schedule, where I stay up ridiculously late and sleep ’till noon because I can.
I’ve been back home a week,
but it’s the strangest thing. My old life, the one I wrote about, the one I anguished about, the one I cherished,
It already feels so distant.
I feel this really strange kind of innate sense of understanding that my entire life for the past five years are what will henceforth be referred to as “my college years.” This makes them no less real, no less raw, no less amazing.
What it does make them is not permanent. What it does make them,
is a stage.
A stage I have now left.
when I was going through things (different things, take your pick, the kinds of things that people on their own in their early twenties go through), it all felt so serious. So everlasting. So eternal and enveloping. In those things, in those moments, there was no past and no future but those things. They were consuming and never ending. I internalized them to the point that even after these events had passed, I still saw them as critical parts of my identity. Things I would have to explain to myself and each new person over and over for them to know me.
Did I mention I’m a clutcher?
But now, suddenly, these things are just things and they are tied to this location and this location is tied to this period in my life that I have just left. I am no longer in college. I am no longer in that place. Those are no longer my things; they are in that space and time, and already that space and time are gone, irreversibly gone. I will never go back to that particular intersection of space and time, and as a consequence, I will never go back to those things. They are there. I left them behind.
Is any of this making sense?
Let me put it this way: A new friend and I were talking about quitting drinking today, and we touched on phases. I told him that I thought that some things, if they were meant to happen at all, then they were meant to be phases. Take for example that hard partying lifestyle of college, the binge drinking and general hot messery. If you accept that that is something that is meant to take place in the natural progression of life, then I think that it must follow that it is something that is meant to be a phase. If you are meant to do that, then you are meant to stop doing it soon thereafter. I think the problem comes when people make it a lifestyle and not a phase.
Which brings me to my latest rant: Taylor Swift. People are so hard on the girl, but my goodness. She’s 22. I was certainly a hot mess from 22 to 3 months ago or last week depending on your yardstick. To paraphrase, let he who wasn’t a hot mess in relationships at 22 cast the first biting comment.
If at 26, 30, 34, 40, she’s still a hot mess, then talk to me. But actually, still don’t, because I’ll be too busy exploring the next phase of my life to care about Taylor Swift’s hot messery. Or else, she’ll be one of my good friends (because I’ll have made it to that level) and I won’t want to hear you talkin sh*t about my girl.
I’m just saying. We who strive to be happy, to be balanced, to be loved/loving, to be real, to be authentic, to be alive, to be true to ourselves, to explore, we go through things. We go through phases as we learn ourselves and the world around us. It’s the same place, but it’s different for everybody. Maybe we don’t all have the same experiences, but each of our experiences marks a place in space and time where we are and where we’re going until we find ourselves glancing in the rear view mirrors of our lives at all of those same things, as we leave them behind.