Remember that one time I got overly soppy, wept into my keyboard, and wrote this ode to college?
Well, a few months shy of a year later…much of the sentiment persists.
Life now, despite its feverish excitement, has an entirely different feel than life then.
College had the air of an endless conversation, no real beginning or end in sight.
Sort of like the way you dance with your roommate in your dorm [lookin' at you Miss Salmon].
How did it start? Did it actually end, or are you just waiting for the next song to strike the right nerve?
Or its like one big, overwhelming sensory buffet.
Or whole-body-shaking laughter.
You see, it’s because you’re happy, even when you’re not, because you’re always in love.
With girlfriends and boyfriends and, undoubtedly, best friends.
With everything burgeoning, bustling, and meaningful.
In love with the time when you’re still capable of loving in that way–with a stupid, lopsided grin, arms and legs cast open-heartedly around life.
We often forget the facts of a particular moment, but rarely, if ever, its feeling–packing up my car, going to my first class, meeting my teammates…the feel of each lingers.
My body woke up in college. How I hurled it through every semester, often with reckless abandon; feasting on its various abilities to intoxicate and be intoxicated.
My mind, as well, woke up in college. Exercised, constantly, by teachers and classrooms; on bar stools and benches and flat on our backs, sunbathing in the university lawn.
By thoughts, a constant stream of new thoughts. Like when I sat on our stoop, drinking beer and staring at the stars with Eleanor, thinking this is exactly how I hoped college would be. College is where I learned to be a woman. I schlepped the objects of womanhood in tote bags and gold clutches; in pink satchels and team backpacks.
A vial of Gucci perfume, a lip gloss or two, a pen or seven, a book, headphones, house keys, bobby pins, and hand lotion.
Every day it got carted around, checked compulsively–what did I forget? Like a security blanket, wrapped around a bunch of security items.
And I kept journals…their entries abominably self-indulgent. Their wallowings, wonderings, and yearnings. Really just blips and fragments of actual living.
But at their end, after marveling that I survived at all, with a profound awareness of what friends and lovers and teachers I’d take with me, into this next life…as well as those that remain behind, strewn about the sides of my journey…I realized: I grew up.
And it hurt, and it still hurts…but in the most glorious, vibrant way.