As I organized the traditional Steak n Shake get together with my old theatre friends, I started to realize we truly began our new adult lives. Soon we won’t be coming back to Pensacola for school breaks and the holidays won’t be an exception to that. Eventually we may be reduced to seeing each other once a year if lucky. We’re moving into the unknown.
Going to college or at least moving out of your parent’s home is about discovering yourself and starting this adult life. With that come the bills and responsibilities, but also the excitement of only being responsible to you. Go out until 3 a.m. There won’t be anyone to question where you’ve been. Eat that pint of ice cream for dinner. You’ve had a rough day of classes, the cute guy you like didn’t come to class and there are FIVE more days until you get paid. You deserve to eat it!
But what we don’t fully realize when we get in a car at the end of high school is, even though we’re moving away from our old friends and hopefully solidifying these relationships, we also are segmenting them into a separate part of our life. Home won’t be home anymore. It’ll be the place we grew up and our hometown.
Home for me now is my apartment that I decorated and share with my stuffed orange fish named Passion. It’s this on campus establishment that I invite friends over to, buy appliances for, host friends at, sat on the floor gorging food with a best friend after a break up, come home from class and kick my shoes off in, stand on the balcony looking at the night sky and update my neighbors on the latest advancement of the guy catching my eye while baking muffins.
The place I grew up and the friends who share this town start to feel like a secondary life. We all have our new homes. I care about this secondary life, but it’s almost an image in the rearview mirror that I circle back to.
One day all my friends will come home and our stories will revolve around these people we never met in an apartment or house we may never see. Our lives will revolve around significant others we care deeply about but didn’t grow up with us or meet our friends during one of the college breaks. While this feels sad, I also know it’s beautifully inevitable. One day we will have lives filled with people who love us very much whether they be partners, children, or new best friends. The beauty and mystery are we don’t even know these people and some don’t exist yet.
We’re moving forward into the people we’re meant to become and lives we’re meant to live.
We’re moving into the black.
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