wow, school ended?
i still feel like i’m in some sort of unending cadence of work and stress, but that’s okay. it’s all okay. life will be just fine.
who cares about college apps? it’s literally been five days since junior year ended — wait, that directly implies the start of college apps.
oops, time to slowly retreat from the thought.
denial is a beautiful thing.
we’ve had the new house for about two months now. and i have yet to step foot in it. while my parents have been moving our possessions there car trip after car trip like ants, i’ve been sitting at my battlestation of a desk, toiling away. thanks schoolwork! my life is changing like the wind and i’m (somewhat ironically) blissfully ignorant in my torment.
hi, final projects! hello, common app! please, (bowing courteously to said entities), do allow me to lovingly embrace you and then violently slash you from my life.
hey, it’s moving day! or rather, the eve thereof.
i need to pack everything within an arm’s radius of my chair. doesn’t sound like much, but over the years i’ve managed to stack everything school-related on a strategically positioned series of bookshelves, stools, and drawers around my desk.
which also means that i have to pack everything. that’s rather unfortunate. time to haul piles of papers to the ground and sort through everything. along with a conglomeration of assorted things which have accumulated on my desk over the last five years.
and damn, are some of these things old. birthday cards from seventh grade. school assignments, random papers i’d cringe off the face of the earth reading. old keychains from field trips, ones where i felt so independent and responsible and thought “oh wow i’m managing money on my own” while simultaneously wasting about $100 in the span of seven hours. old pictures from end-of-year parties (middle school was so wild right), old yearbooks with too many “HAGS” signatures.
journals i started writing in, stopping after seven pages. old macrame (“friendship”) bracelets, silly bandz (what were we thinking). assorted jewelry from friends, from my aunts and grandparents in china. old gift bags (“happy birthday!” or “from your secret pal” or “happy holidays!”), old glasses (why did i ever think those frames looked good?), all the old memories.
as i start finding mementos i haven’t seen in years, i remember. it’s bittersweet, the remembering — i was a somewhat cringy middle schooler, i tried too hard, thought too much of what others thought, cared too much about adhering to social standards. on the other hand, i was sheltered in the middle school bubble, knew nothing about high school or resume building or staying up until ungodly hours of the night studying or caring about how i stacked up compared to others.
i used to cry over petty things; now i cry over slightly less petty things. is there ever a point at which my concerns stop being trivial and start carrying actual weight?
i guess i really don’t want to know the answer.
as i continue to pack, tying old school papers into stacks with plastic rope, piling them into home depot packing boxes and huggies diaper boxes, it hits me that i don’t exactly feel like i’m moving. i don’t feel like there’s anything significant changing, even though objectively speaking, my life is on the verge of changing in every sense of the term.
maybe it’s that denial. that seems like a fairly good explanation.
or maybe it’s just that i’ll still be just as stressed? that none of my responsibilities will actually go away? that the fact remains that i’ll become a legal adult in less than half a year and don’t feel like one at all?
“get a life,” a distant voice yells in my head. “you’re literally the most sheltered kid. you live in northern va, your parents take care of everything, you don’t even go out with friends —”
haha, shut it. no need to state the obvious!
i feel like i should be sadder, that i should miss this place i’ve called home for almost six years, but for some reason, i don’t.
taking selfies with my family in a now vacant living room – i don’t feel anything.
loading some of the last boxes into the back of my mom’s van – i still don’t feel anything.
walking out of the house, climbing into the car, looking back at the shrinking house as we roll away – i’m actually surprised that i don’t feel a thing at all.
the new house is a town house; the flights of stairs are much steeper than they were before.
i haul box after box of textbooks and old binders, putting more weight than i probably should on my 3-months-post-op knee. as i continue arranging my desk to look the way it used to, i realize that this new place already feels like “home.” whatever that is.
we don’t have much food ready at all — my mom is preparing three bowls of ramen in the kitchen for dinner and boiling some water — but everything feels just as it should. my dad is setting up the family desktop, my brother playing in a living room strewn with random boxes, my sister tapping away at her phone while sitting on the new couch.
i guess home isn’t necessarily a specific place. it’s just wherever i can be with my family. “home is where the family is,” they say; hm. that’s really true.
we’ve yet to move everything out of the old place and into here; gotta finish that before we turn in the key on friday. but for now, i might as well just enjoy the new space.
after all, i’ll only be here for another year!
wow, that’s a scary thought.