Tuesday, May 16, 2017

dream on the horizon.


I sat on writing this entry too long, and now it's past midnight here in D.C. as I try to find the right words I've been weighing on what to say about May 17.

If you asked me 10 years ago where I thought I'd be in a decade, I wouldn't have come close to being right. Ten years ago, when the clock struck midnight, I remember laying in bed and wondering what it meant to graduate from high school and leave behind the bubble I'd grown accustomed to. At Loretto, I felt safe. I knew the 100 classmates I'd gone through the past four years with. The biggest risk I was taking was doing back-to-back performances on the stage of Memorial Auditorium as the Class of 2007 said goodbye to our high school years. Up until May 17, 2007, the only time I'd been out of state were for family trips to Reno (and that one trip to Las Vegas in elementary school); I'd only ever lived in one house in one neighborhood in one city. My world was small, and yet I wanted more without knowing what that "more" was.

But knowing at that moment, when the clock struck midnight, that I would soon be embarking on an adventure soon was both exciting and absolutely terrifying. It's a mixed bag of emotions that's come up again and again in the past 10 years with every step forward into some big unknown: leaving college... leaving California... leaving DC, and then leaving New York.

My world is a little bigger now, though it can always stand to grow more. The best friends I called "best friends" in 2007 are different now. My family has changed. The future is still pretty exciting and terrifying, and it will continue to be exciting and terrifying. (My ability to drown in nostalgia, however, remains pretty persistent.)

Ten years ago, I walked out of Memorial Auditorium and promised myself that no matter what happened in the future, no matter what would happen the next day or week or month after that, I never wanted to forget where I came from. I never wanted to forget that feeling of standing on the grass in formal white dresses and elbow-length gloves with my best friends and screaming into the black sky about how free we felt.

I used to think that holding onto those memories meant being held back somehow. But the truth is, the ocean only gets deeper as time passes. And even though there's still so much to do and to see and to be, I'm glad I still remember that feeling of digging my heels into the lawn at J and 15th, because it reminds me of also never wanting to forget the possibilities of what could happen next.

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