I’ve known three homes, five schools, and countless friends and teachers. Throughout all of this I have only known one city: Seattle. Knowing that in a few months I’ll have to leave everything is terrifying. I know it like the back of my hand. I know how to get anywhere from anywhere. I know which thrift stores have the best prices. It took me exactly 17 and a half years to culminate this immense vault of knowledge. I haven’t even been away from Seattle for more than 20 days in my whole life.
I don’t know anything about anything else. Everyone I’ve ever known is here. My mom and brother are here. And now, at the start of my last year of high school, everything feels like my last. My last first day of school in Seattle. My last thanksgiving and Christmas at home as a kid. I can come back for holidays, but I have a feeling there’s just something different.
Starting the year with this mentality is really weird. I’m ready to graduate, but not to leave home. I feel like I’m itching to be an adult already, but I don’t even really know what that means yet. The mixed emotions of constant nostalgia and wanting to grow up makes it hard to be ready for anything, because I feel like I’m stuck in limbo. I feel like I’ve been so focused on graduating on time and what I want/need to do after that I forgot about actually graduating and actually having to leave my home.
Knowing that everything this year is my last, I feel like I need to make everything special. I need to do things right, I need to remember everything and document my every move. I spend as much time with my family as I can, and even try to enjoy being at work. I don’t want to feel, when I’m older, that I didn’t appreciate my time here enough. However, when I think about graduation, I can’t help but feeling like I’m in a race against my peers.
In middle school PE class, me and my best friend would get sent to the principal’s office every day for not participating in the team sports because I hated having divided teams. I didn’t like having to win (not that I would win at PE anyway) and I didn’t like competing. At the senior meeting during bridge week, Mark said that out of all the around 100 seniors per year, only maybe 60 or 70 of them graduate every year. Since then, I’ve felt like I’m starting a competition with the rest of my class. Like I need to somehow beat the other people trying to graduate, like there are only a set amount of seats on the graduation stage. This wasn’t a good feeling. So now, I’m in the race to the finish line, but I don’t even know the track.
I am still working to combat this issue. I try to realize that the forces of the universe – and Nova – aren’t working against me. There is no race,and the finish line looks different for everyone, even though sometimes I feel like I need to break into a sprint. I have 9 whole months until graduation, and even though I want to remember things I know that what I don’t want to do is be so caught up in trying to hold on to every moment that I forget what is actually going on around me. Moments are just important to live in as they are to remember. With that being said, I encourage you to give yourself a life that you want to look back on, but more importantly I encourage you to give yourself a life that makes you want to live in the present. So go live some moments!