Back when I was younger and my mind was free and I appreciated the world for exactly what it was; flawed and beautiful, I used to get up every morning before school started, sit in the rocking chair at the front of my house, and watch the sunrise. It was the one time of the day where the world was calm and peaceful and I could remark upon it and say, “Wow. How amazing…” It’s the only time of day where everything seems perfectly alright.
Today, I woke up early to watch the sunrise. I couldn’t see it. Stockton is so full of useless buildings and the sky is inconveniently blocked by this school’s trees. I sat there anyway, on the grass, disappointed, but serene and thoughtful. I sat there and thought of time gone by, a far away yesterday, when I woke up those early mornings for school excited, happy, and eager to face the world. Now I’m sitting here on the couch in my dorm hall, after a long, depressing walk around campus where I listened to music and picked leaves from the trees, facing the world unhappily just as I have ever since.
My playlist is on repeat. The music is soft, sweet, and slow. Just as slow as my feelings are realized and just as slow as I wish time went by. On a good day full of hope and promise. Like the first day of freshman year. Where is the promise now? I’m not sure where my hope has gone…
In high school, my soccer coach used to rally us up in a group after practice every day and say, “See ladies? Here we are once again the first to come on to this field and the last to leave it. One day you’ll look back at these practices and realize that some of your best memories happened here. But, most of all, you’ll remember that: Look,” he’d point at the sky. “There goes another sunset.”
There goes another sunset.
He was wrong. I don’t look back and think of practice when I think of good times. I think of the friends I made in high school and the relationships that lasted beyond graduation and mostly I think of this past year and my time here. But he was also right. I do think of the sunsets and all the days I spent visibly happy, in spite of my buried feelings. And now?
Now it saddens me that I’m leaving here. That I’m leaving the friends that I found accidentally, the friends that love me, and that I love more than I thought possible for me to love. It makes me sad that I’m leaving the buildings that first welcomed me here and even the trees that continue to poison me! Because, honestly, I’ll miss it all. The classes, the class discussions, the class arguments…
And if by a strewn mess of unfortunate events I’m not able to be here much longer, then this is a love letter.
This is a love letter to you, my friends who force me to hang out with them, who go to long lengths to try and please me, who listen when I speak (mostly) however mumbled and jumbled my words are, and whom I would do anything for. And it’s a letter to the school I love, which structures I’ll miss passing every morning, which brick pathways lead me to contentment, and which foliage continues to make me cough and sneeze. It’s been a wonderful year that I’ll cherish forever.
Please know that your heart remains wherever you leave it and mine just happens to be with you.