This moment – the end

Dancing+to+the+music+in+Terra+Bagels%2C+during+a+bittersweet+spring+break%2C+bittersweet+like+this+ending

Lorelei Moxon

Dancing to the music in Terra Bagels, during a bittersweet spring break, bittersweet like this ending

Hi. My name is Natalie. 

A year and a handful of days ago, I became one of three Editors in Chief of The Central Trend. A few months later, I wrote my first editors’ column. I was unsure of my topic, unsure of my future, unsure that I was capable of molding the future I held in my shaking hands.

I was unsure, and I was scared. So I put my trust in what I knew I could count on: my words.

Now here I am, a year later, saying one of many goodbyes—from the backseat of my friend’s car, from an aisle in Target, from anywhere that will keep this goodbye from feeling real. 

I am still unsure, and I am still scared, but I am stronger, and I am proud. 

I’m proud because, by some definition, I think I’ve achieved what I set out to do. I’m proud because I fell, and I fell hard, shattered even, but I put myself back together in ways I never could’ve before. 

I’m proud because it still hurts sometimes, it’s still all too much too often—the world twists her fingers between my ribs and wrenches them open wide—but I’m growing through it, and I’m more in tune with myself than I ever have been before. 

At the beginning, it was this very goodbye that scared me so much.”

I cry in the hallways at school, there are a million little things that make me anxious, and everything I feel is at an incomparable level of intensity, but sometimes I write poems to cope with it, and sometimes I make people feel seen and understood. 

I know who I am, and more importantly, I think I’m okay with her—the girl who isn’t stretching to fill spaces she was never meant to fill, the girl who’s learned what her own energy feels like, what her own noise sounds like, the girl who finally started leaning into the things she already was. Sometimes, I even love her a little bit. 

At the beginning, I didn’t think learning to be in the moment would look like this. At the beginning, it was this very goodbye that scared me so much.

But I stepped into the storm anyway, and feeling and unfeeling, I let it move me. I let it change me. Since the beginning, since that very first editors’ column, I have lived and told stories that are entirely responsible for the person I am now. That girl is who she is because she fell in love, because she totaled her car, because she was so scared of the future, grieving what hadn’t even happened yet. 

And now that girl is saying goodbye, writing an ending for a story it feels like she just started.

I’m saying goodbye, getting ready to at least, writing pieces of it, and I’m not ready. But every word I write, every tear I cry, every morning I wake up and walk into first hour just a couple minutes late is bringing me a little closer to the end, to maybe being ready. 

Hi. My name is Natalie. I have a long way to go. Just not here. This moment is saying goodbye.