I’m finally living in the moment! Are you proud of me?
Back in March, most of my plans slowly but surely crept out the window. An on-campus fashion show, then in person classes, living in a dorm, studying abroad, all slunk away in the middle of the night. All things I could completely live without. It feels silly to complain when so many people have lost so much more.
I left for Vermont this fall, to live for a month with friends in the Green Mountains. I was living only a few miles (as the crow flies, because nothing is that direct in Vermont) from the place I’d gone to summer camp for eight years, and the air smelled the same, something I always missed. I went hiking and kayaking. It was a beautiful way to live, a wonderful opportunity to do something I never thought I would do in college.
Then I left for the beach, southern Massachusetts. The air smells vaguely of saltwater, something that I always wished for when I lived on campus. Driving around, through red and orange back roads (moving south gave me a second chance at fall), towards the sunbeamy ocean, and I think how silly it is to ever be anywhere else.
I don’t know what the future will bring, because absolutely nobody does. I packed all my clothes in a single suitcase, and my friends and I fit in a single car. The whole point is to not put down roots. This is not where I thought I would be, this is not where I will be ever again.
Some days, in that fuzziness of not knowing what tomorrow’s tomorrow will look like, I find excitement, excitement to get to live this strange life that I never thought was an option. Some days all I can find is fear, nervousness, a feeling that I’ll never get to where I want to be, that I don’t even know what I want. Some days, most days, I don’t think about it. It’s a lot easier that way, to go through life without examining too much where I’m going. Everything that came before feels very far away, and everything that will be that someday, after, is impossible to imagine.
So I do my homework. I write in my journal. I cook- pasta sauce, carrot cake, cinnamon rolls from a can because normal cinnamon rolls don’t come with the joy of banging a cardboard tube against the counter. I go on walks around the neighborhood, waving at all the cars. I write email after email, planning things that are fulfilling, but not really. I’m on facetime until midnight, only to wake up the next morning with the phone ringing.
This is the moment. Momentary pause, momentary start.