I thought this goodbye would be easy


My first day at FHC

A few days ago someone asked me a question.

How’s it feel to be graduating so soon?

I didn’t expect to blank at such a simple, harmless inquiry. I opened my mouth like I always do, subconsciously awaiting the onslaught of my own words to pour out like they always do.

But I gaped in my own constructed, unfamiliar silence.

The countdowns echoing relentlessly from my classmates’ mouths have been growing far too loud, but somehow I shoved the elephant in my mind to a corner until an innocent question beckoned the mammoth right before me.

I know that apprehension and dejection and tribulation are all painfully normal feelings for a painfully ordinary event, but somehow graduating feels a lot bigger than its ubiquity suggests, and somehow my conflicting sentiments feel misfit and outright erroneous for me, a devotee of cynicism.

Funny for such histrionics and agitation to make their appearance from the girl who one day, as a sophomore, vehemently declared, I’m done, stubbornness and commitment fastening me to the vow of edgy opposition. I decided that some (or many) people just weren’t for me, that this community had met its expiration, that the sweet release of graduation couldn’t come sooner.

From my angsty high horse, I scoffed at those clawing at the threads of high school and resenting their leave. How lucky they were to be rising from this agonizingly familiar little pond, what shimmering, glorious oceans they had to discover.

But Time ran so fast, blowing my hair and drawing goosebumps, and all the cliches are coming true, and I’m just kind of confused.

It turns out I didn’t always know everything or everyone as well I thought I did, but at the very least, I know who I am here.”

I’m not supposed to be sad or any form of it.

I wanted to leave. I still do; I know I do. Even despite my admitted negativity, my home has served me so willfully and wholly, but I’m ready to give another place, another community, a turn.

But now that the clock is ticking so deafeningly, I’m reminded that the empty half of the glass I’ve ogled for so long has another half, too. And maybe that half felt more like a minority sometimes, but it was still there, always has been.

There are things and people I didn’t realize would be such a hard goodbye. I’m realizing now that my insisted negativity or frigidity or “strength” is not so ardent as to defeat the crushing entities that are comfort and nostalgia.

Even despite pain or disappointment, maybe I’m not so eager to leave. Maybe a familiar little pond isn’t so agonizing; it’s familiar.

After 13 years in this district, it turns out I didn’t always know everything or everyone as well I thought I did, but at the very least, I know who am here. I found myself here; I shall find myself wherever I am next year. I just didn’t think I’d stumble into such cliches and have such a significant weight of grief looming over me.

But that’s okay. I realize that now.