To All The Friends I Didn’t Get The Chance To See Before I Moved Halfway Across The Country

I’m a huge jerk.

In a lot of ways, I got distracted–sidetracked–by the ideas of starting a new life somewhere far away from home. I was focused on the environment I would be spending all my time in and the relationships that I would be developing. And, in doing that, I forgot about the relationships I was leaving behind. I wasn’t as nurturing to the friendships I had already developed. I guess I assumed I didn’t need to be anymore. But I guess I was wrong. And, for that, I am sorry.

But I think in the same regard, you were all doing the same. You may have not have been relocating yourselves thousands of miles away, no, but I think you all began thinking about the future: where you wanted to be, what you wanted to be doing, who you wanted around when you were doing them. And, so, I guess if that’s what constitutes my being a huge jerk, then you are always huge jerks. 

I guess we’re even. 

I’m not here to try to make excuses for how I acted my last few weeks at home. I know you all have your individual problems with the way I decided to spend my time and that’s ok. We’re all entitled to our opinions, and sitting here trying to fight about them is not going to help anyone. I guess all I am writing to say is that I’m sorry that things ended the way they did–that I wasn’t able to see half of you before I changed my life and location. It’s been a weird time adjusting to not being home and not being five minutes away. I guess I took you all for granted in that regard. And, again, I can only apologize. I wish there was someway I could explain to you all how wonderful you have been, but I also know that maybe none of us (myself included) are ready to have that exact conversation.

Just know that no matter how far away we end up in life, that I am thankful for the relationships I developed with each one of you. I know I may not have always shown you, but you have helped me become who I am in more ways than you realize and many more ways than I let on. You have been some of the greatest support systems, cheerleaders, listeners, security blankets an individual could’ve asked for. You’re all amazing in your own individual ways and I know that no matter what happens between us or in your lives, that each one of you will do amazing and wonderful things. Things that you love. Things that inspire. Things that change some aspect of another’s life. Or lives. Or the world. There are no doubts that I will grow up to watch each one of you achieve something great–big or small. And there are less doubts that I will be the most proud. Whether we keep in touch or fall out of reach, I will never forget all of the things each of you have done for me. Long term friends or not, the relationships we all had were something I will take with me and cherish for as long as I can. I will take all of you with me. And I will love you for the same amount of time. Thank you for the friendships and the laughter and the arguments and the falling outs and falling ins and the memories and the strength to show me that I, too, am destined for bigger things than myself. Thank you for the strength to show me that no matter how far I go, I’ll never be too far from home. 

Till next time.

Half Feeling How I Want To Feel When Sitting In a Foreign Barnes & Noble

Ever since deciding that writing was an official thing that I was going to do with the rest of forever, I had a really romantic idea of how it would go and look and feel. I imagined that I’d travel. And I guess everyone everywhere thinks that their life will culminate in a backpacking trip around some foreign country (and I guess I am a conformist with no imagination because this is going to be a thing that happens at some point). Moleskin notebooks in hand, laptop stowed away in my backpack. I’d stop random places and jot down what I see and how what I see makes me feel. Watch new people, connect with them in their environment, form new relationships. 

As I sit in the Barnes & Noble down the street (again), I half feel like that. The actual setting of the building is familiar, the faces are not. The streets that lay outside are new to me. Nothing is the same and maybe I’m not either. A short time does a lot to a person, whether they know it or not. I feel like I have just begun my new adventure, my latest travels. My notebook is out next to my computer, my backpack leaned against the wall on the floor. I am nowhere near where I want to be, but I half feel like I will be soon than I think–sooner than I would’ve been had I stayed home. 

It’s a weird feeling: feeling as if you’ve finally begun. Feeling as if this is what you’re supposed to be doing. As if this is what you’ve been waiting for your entire 22 years and never knew it until right this moment. Until you’re sitting in a Barnes & Noble 1,500 miles away from home wondering what next.

Attempts At Being An Actual Adult

Being moved out is a weird time. I can tell you this because I have basically been moved out on my own for about eight hours. I can also tell you that driving halfway across the country is a terrible thing. I know it sounds cool to drive across the country and see different states and be a cool traveler, but it’s not. It’s just not, ok? This goes especially if your journey takes you through the following states: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

But here I am, sitting in a (pretty well air conditioned) Barnes and Noble down the street from my apartment (MY apartment) because I have yet to get internet. There’s a real awkward boy sitting across from me on his computer, probably anxiously waiting to see if he makes this blog post. It’s hard to focus with the music playing in the background and I’m trying not to look up and around in fear that this strange boy and I will make uncomfortable eye contact and thus be bonded for life.

Saying goodbye to everyone was just as I suspected it would be: a disaster. I thought I was doing well for a while. No tears. Just spirited “good luck”s and “I’ll send you letter”s and five minute hugs. If only life could stay that easy. I left last Monday at 6am and the tears started shortly thereafter. I knew that saying goodbye to my family would be hard, I guess I just never imagined how hard it would actually be because I never have actually had to say goodbye to them. I don’t mean like a forever goodbye, but I mean a basically forever goodbye. My dad cried. I cried. I cried again. It was just awful. But with distance, I got better. I wasn’t over it, by any means, but I had found a way to let myself just enjoy where I was at. And remember that this is what I have been waiting for and wanting for the last months. I guess the hardest goodbye (with no surprises) was when I had to bring my older sister and my mom to the airport yesterday. Dear goodness, was it just the worst time. And now she’s gone and I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s a weird dilemma I find myself in because I want to be here and I want to start my life but I also want my mom here at all times. Nothing seems to make sense and I am feeling so many things.

(Just an update about B&N, some older gentleman put his stuff on the table directly next to mine and then walked away to talk on the phone and I really don’t want him to get back because I’m afraid he’s going to sit in the seat facing me and that would just be so much worse than the situation with the aforementioned male.)

But I guess despite the sadness of leaving the comfort and familiarity of my home and my family, things are not terrible. I feel like I’ve been here for months already. Because of my constant vacationing here, I already know how to get certain places. Things look like I’ve seen them before (because I mostly have but you know). It doesn’t feel unknown, which is mostly comforting. I have seen some people that I have been wanting to be around and that’s also comforting. And now, after six months, I have been able to see the boy I was in a long distance relationship in and we’re actually discussing because in an actual relationship and it’s a strange and wonderful time to realize that perhaps there is a home away from home and that that’s ok.

(This gentleman next to me keeps dropping things and is now trying to fight through every person on this side of the wall to find an outlet and it’s causing almost a ruckus. None of us are amused. But now I’m afraid that he’ll be able to read my blog post and know that I am, in fact, talking about him.)

I don’t know how long it’ll take me to fully accept the fact that my mom is now 1,500 miles away. And I don’t know how long it’ll take for me to be ok with it. I don’t know if I’ll ever be. I don’t know if I’ll end up here forever. And I don’t know if this will be something I want in six months when I have to think about renewing my lease or finding a new apartment. I don’t know if my long distance relationship will turn into a long term actual relationship. And I don’t know if I’ll ever feel as comfortable here as I did back in New Jersey. I guess all I know is that this was something I wanted. And this was a leap that I think, at some point, we all have to take. And I think instead of thinking what if, sometimes you just have to find out what if. Sometimes you just need to cry for six hours in the back seat of your fully packed car as West Virginia zooms past the windows.