“I wish I was homeward bound” (Simon and Garfunkel)

Hi all! It’s been a crazy month so far. Between school, clubs and quality time with my bed, I have struggled to find the time to conjure up a good meaningful post. So here I am sitting in a Starbucks waiting for my 3:00 class and I am finally tackling a new post. Last night, I was on the phone with my youngest sister (she’s about four years younger than me)and we are talking about Halloween and all of a sudden she starts crying. I ask her what’s wrong and after a long silence, she says she’s sad because of my absence and the fact that everything is different now- I’m not there on trips, I wasn’t there on her birthday, I wasn’t there for my dad’s birthday, it’s just weird that there’s one less sister in the house. And then after another pause, she says she’s upset that Riley (my other sister), will be leaving next year for college and then it’s just her. And for the first time since I came up to UCF in the summer, I felt an incredible wave of pure homesickness, a pang of nostalgia. I told her that she still has me and Riley and that I’m still her sister even though I’m not there everyday at the dinner table and on birthdays. I told her I was sorry for all the fights I caused between us and that I wished we would have had a better relationship, but that now we have the chance to rebuild our relationship because of the space we have.

 While I tried my best to comfort her, I was torn up inside and all the changes I have experienced- the leaving places and drifting from the familiar and adjustments, – came rising to the surface. After calming her down and hanging up the phone, I sat there on my bed and took out my journal; flipping through it, I came across a kind of short story I wrote the night before I left for UCF.  I read it and remembered why I came this far in life. I’ve decided to post it on here, and perhaps it could reach someone who is going through or has gone through great changes or had to put fears behind them to jump into the unknown.

The car is running. I hear it outside. I don’t hear my name being called nor the dog barking in the yard across the street, not even a horn blaring in the distance. All I hear is the car engine outside. Running. Running. Telling me it’s time to go. Time to venture out into the unknown. I know I should go but I don’t. Instead I set the box that I’m holding, down on the floor, and scan the room. There is my bed, and my dresser. My door, the yellow walls, my worn bookshelf. Empty bed. Empty dresser. Empty walls. In this moment I understand the brevity of time- of years, of months, of days, of hours. I walk to my bed and sit, the springs creaking in their old familiar way. I close my eyes and all at once the room changes. I see my seven year old self sitting on the floor reading to her dolls. She is innocent and smiling, unaware of the construct of time. I want to warn her all about the future, about the fragility of adolescence, about how fast she will grow, and how fast it all changes. But then she is gone, and the flashbacks continue. When I look at the floor I see all the steps taken. I look at the door and I see the years of angry slams and excited shoves. This is my childhood, it is the faded trail, it is where I started……… but not where I end.

And now the room is empty once again. I’m still 18 years old, headed off to learn what’s beyond the boundaries of childhood, of all that is familiar. And the past is just that. The past. But for a moment, I don’t feel the weight of  time nor the nostalgia I’ve felt the past few months. I walk to the box, still sitting on the floor and pick it up. It’s the last box to go. The top is labeled “throw aways” but I cross it out and write “New beginnings.” That’s what today is. Goodbyes don’t always mean they’re permanent. For a while now, I’ve struggled with the idea of letting go, but now I understand; I see the multitude of paths that lay before me, not behind me. And it is scary. And it is unnerving. And it is incredibly wondrous. Perhaps instead of a warning, I would tell my seven year old self all about how far she will go and how much she will see and how much she will learn. And that all you can ever do is move forward, even if you are scared, and try not to miss the things you left behind.

I am just realizing that myself.

    So that is the story and I hope whoever read this far enjoyed it 🙂 I want to dedicate this journal entry to Taylor. I love you and know that things will get better. They did for me.

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