Closing a chapter
Sure, I’ll be back to sleep in my own bed plenty after tonight. But it won’t be the same. This was home, it’s where I grew up. A large chunk of the things that shaped me happened in this very house. But tomorrow morning I leave it. I don’t come home for summer breaks or extended holidays anymore. I’m moving, and unlike college, there’s no foreseen time that I’ll be back. In fact, chances are I’ll be missing Thanksgiving and Christmas here this year.
It’s sad, but only because we have an innate nature to try to hold on to things that we can’t have anymore. In reality, I’ll still talk to my friends and family, and see them about as much as a I did when I was away at college. In fact, on Monday, I’ll be meeting an entire new group of people that are going to change my life in ways I can’t even imagine yet. But for now, on this night only, I’m surrounded in a kind of melancholy of everything that was. This house saw the best and the worst of me in the story of my life. But thats just it. This was the setting for all of those events. And now I’m getting a set change. New York City becomes the backdrop for my story. And that’s where the smile comes back. Not because I’m moving to some city I love, but because I did everything I could to get there, and what I can do there makes me happy. And now I get more of that.
A new chapter in life always comes with this initial feeling of sadness when that moment comes to turn the page, but that’s because we spend all of our time looking backwards when those moments come. There’s nothing wrong with reflection, but it should never engulf the forward progress. I could stay in this room, in this house, on this street, in this neighborhood I’ve always loved with the people I’ve always loved. But the reality of it is, that would just mean I wasn’t giving myself room to grow. This place will always be here when I need it, and those people will always love me just like I’ll always love them. Those memories that wait around every corner of this home and neighborhood aren’t going anywhere, but will rather be accompanied by new ones that I forge on a road toward a path that I’ve begun blazing for myself.
My mom told me a story the other night that sent chills down both of our backs. She asked if I remembered our trip to New York when I was a freshman in highschool. I of course did, although I just barely recalled the detail in the story she was about to tell me. She said she could remember me looking up in awe at the sky scrapers, even after we’d been there for a few days, and she recalled seeing my sheer love for the city and the culture that surrounded my 14-year-old self. She said i stopped, and looked at she and my dad and stated: “I’m going to live here someday.”
Eight years later, I am holding true to that promise. Tonight may be a the last page of this chapter, but that only makes way for a first page in a new one.
New York, here I come.