Posts tagged with "past"
The other day after my Philosophy class I took the train downtown and sat in the Starbucks on Granville Street for three hours writing, drinking my grande pumpkin spice latte extra slowly so I could sit there longer. Then when my inspiration was all used up I collected my things together and bundled up in my scarf and coat and went and stood outside in the rain, experiencing the abrupt realization that nobody knew where I was and I could go wherever the hell I pleased. So I just walked through the city with no particular destination and thought about things, cushioned by strangers and their stories. Maybe it’s just the beauty of the colder seasons, or because of the memories, but I feel as though I’m falling in love with the city all over again. This moment was the highlight of my week.
Cleaning out my bedroom closet to prepare for painting, and dividing the contents into two piles: for the cardboard boxes (the things I want to keep in storage) and for the plastic bags (the things I want to throw away.)
Is it ridiculous that I still feel somewhat emotionally attached to my stuffed animals? I feel as though by throwing them away, I am taking the final step in departing from my childhood. I can drive, I’ve graduated from high school, I have a boyfriend and I can legally vote. It seems as though just yesterday I was making houses for my Beanie Babies out of microwave boxes and singing to Britney Spears’ first album in the backseat of my aunt’s van.
The night I woke swimming
in your heat, the moon
a bone splinter through
pale curtain gauze, is the night
that fills my shoes.
wading shin-deep through rivers –
cobalt waltzes on Lakeshore Avenue –
the sound of television static
through warm rain, shadow lips
and ticking stoves –
Time is an intrusion, distance
is a key. I am light
and you are the sand
that filled my shoes.
Lately I’ve been thinking about how much I’ve changed within the past few years. Even when I think back to the beginning of this year, I feel as though I have become an entirely different person. We often don’t consider how much mistakes and experiences shape us, but after a relationship that lasted for eighteen months of my life, a new relationship with someone who I had been good friends with for over half the year, and all the friendships that I’ve lost, gained and maintained since elementary school, I can safely say that I have been influenced by just about everyone and everything. I’ve also been influenced by teachers who have encouraged me to value learning and to continue writing, and I can’t express enough how grateful I am for the greater and less trivial lessons they have taught me.
I was always quiet and reclusive, particularly within the past two years (when I finally stopped denying this and instead began to accept it as who I am), but I am often very moved by other people and their words, the slight glimpses of their characters. I love being alone, yet I love being surrounded by others. Despite that I was not as engaged with high school as I perhaps should’ve been, and that I didn’t condure enough of an effort to talk to those who I may have gotten along with, I was effected by just about everyone. And even though I couldn’t stand being in the same room with a lot of people I attended high school with, there were those people who seemed smart and interesting and sincere, and even though we weren’t friends, I was inspired by their opinions and their individuality. I think those people gave me hope, and I didn’t realize until now that I will miss seeing them in class and in the hallways five days a week.
And then there are my friends, old and new. I may have been a little tipsy the other day when I said this, but I truly meant it when I said you were beautiful human beings; all of you are. Each and every one of you have pushed me to become a better person and to take the best kinds of risks. At three o’clock in the morning I laid upstairs and stared at the ceiling and listened to the onslaught of rain against the windowpane, the shouts and laughter from outside, the hum of voices two doors over, and felt feather-light knowing all of you were so near. I think that was just about the best feeling in the world – to realize this was my present, our present, and nothing could take that away from us. Most of you will never read this, but I want to thank you all for those moments regardless. I really do love you all, despite your mistakes and weaknesses; your flaws are only gorgeous in my eyes. I hope we can feel infinite together someday soon.
Since two years ago, I’ve learned that romantic relationships extract an emotional but gregarious side of me that even I had never witnessed within myself before; I think I have unwittingly begun to apply these traits to other aspects of my life, such as my friendships and my writing. I have become more open to other kinds of people and new experiences that I had once misjudged. I’ve kept the morals that I’ve always had, but I’ve since realized that just because someone drinks now and again doesn’t mean they aren’t a principled and intelligent person, and just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to abandon what you love to do. I have begun to see my parents as humans, and I understand that they are the way they are because they care about me. I’ve become more open with them, and even though we are entirely different people in just about every way, we get along well. I have realized that there is much more to people than how they look, and that it really is true that beauty emanates through character and imperfections as opposed to physical appearance. I try to absorb everything around me, to bask in the brevity of every waking instant, and to remember that there is a life outside of all that I presently know.
The changes that will occur within the next few months will be very difficult for me to accept, and it may take a while to be okay with everything. However, after talking to one of my best friends last night, he helped me realize that I do not have to grow apart from the people who are worth staying in contact with; I simply have to make whatever effort I can, and allow fate to run its course. I am content with the person I’ve become and how my final year of high school was spent, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I revel in the quiet, but I think it is the chaos in existing and feeling that moves me above and beyond all else.
I’ve always been the kind of person who embraces change. I love the changes of season, I love to plan, I love the prospect of new beginnings and the hope and clarity that reinvention brings. Sometime this year, however, I realized that for once I am satisfactorily content with who I am and my life in its entirety. I have yet to get my driver’s license, or a part-time job, but these achievements now seem trivial in comparison to all the things I should be happy about; for instance, I am beginning to claim responsibility for my actions. I have come to terms with my social anxiety, and have accepted that I will always prefer observing people rather than mingling with them. My friends are some of the most beautiful individuals in the universe; every day they unknowingly remind me that I must keep my faith in human beings, despite all the ugliness in this world. They have encouraged me to grow and inspired me in ways that I could never quite explain. My boyfriend is always sweet and supportive and teaches me everything from piano scales to feeding ducks from the palm of my hand. I adore my English Lit class. I write constantly, and will be writing for the rest of my life, no matter what. My teachers this year have motivated me to value the art of poetry, and my love for it has grown so much that I have begun to write my own poems. I am happy with how life is; I have never felt so like myself as I presently do.
As lovely as yesterday was, it left me feeling desperately sad, and helpless – helpless, because the aching reality is starting to sink in that before we know it, our lives will never be the same ever again, and there is nothing we can do to avoid the inevitable. All of these ridiculous adventures involving strobe lights, Bailey’s brownies, bad horror films, “anti-sleep” sleepovers, SkipBo, twelve a.m. bus rides, Truth or Dare games, and laughing at the most absurd jokes will be over just as suddenly as they began. Despite how grateful and comforted I feel that three of my best friends will be staying here with me this fall, I can’t resist the thought that everything will be drastically different anyhow. The boys are moving across the country, I am growing apart from one of my closest friends since childhood, one of my other close friends will be attending post-secondary in Victoria, and a number of my other friends will be leaving not just the country, but the continent. I know things will turn out all right; that’s just how life is. I will build new friendships and make new memories and face new challenges in university that I can’t even begin to imagine as my current self. Soon our “present” will be our past – not our pasts, but our past, because those are memories that are ours, that belong to each and every one of us as a whole. I hardly mind that we are graduating from high school; I am welcoming that change, above all. I’ve been ready to graduate for a good year or so. It’s just I simply can’t stand the thought of leaving behind, or being left behind. I have always deemed myself as independent; I suppose it’s never occurred to me how deeply I rely on those I love in order to remain intact, unbroken.
I know I should be celebrating with my friends and enjoying our final days together to the fullest, granting every moment all it can possibly deserve, but that word is still there, stark and simple and ugly – final. Last. The end. I have unwittingly begun to detach myself from the people and life I have grown to become so satisfied, so complete with. Words cannot leave, they cannot be taken away, therefore language has become my sole conviction.