6.29.2007

moving on

I want to write what I'm thinking right now. (I'm not speaking in universals, so don't think that I am.) I will not reread it. I will not do any extensive editing. I just want to write. And so I begin:

I understand that life cannot exist without movement, that stillness remains the only concept that can truly kill us, but what difference, I wonder, can one find between "moving" and "moving on?" To date, I seemed to have lived my life in stages, each step bringing me closer to adulthood, to my "real" life. Each phase possessed unique challenges, opportunities, people and places--interesting, boring and, at the same time, labeled, by various people, as "the best time of my life." Agreed, the steps intrigued me, often made me wonder, but never did I see any of my previous stages as "best." For instance, how could I believe my mother that high school, a time of confusion in my personal, professional and social realms, ought to be a romping good time. Around me I saw drinking, drugs, sex, bigotry, incompetence, depression. I never knew from one day to the next whether I had real friends--a product of both my utter lack of self confidence and the fact that my friend base changed from middle to high school. I was confused by women, my future and the possibility of those four years constituting the pinnacle of my life. How could I believe her? I didn't. I wouldn't. I would not belong. I once said, bluntly, "If these are the best years of my life, I should probably invest in some sturdy rope." So, as I accepted my high school diploma with my left hand, making sure to shake with the right, I reflected on what my grandfather said about college, "Oh, college. Those four years will be the best of your life." I doubted, prayed, doubted again. But reflecting on the past four years, I fear, for the first time, that those ~prophetic words are unabashedly true.

Being here, in the soy capital of the universe, with the people I can assuredly call my friends, I'm finally safe. I can finally breathe, rest, tell the truth, ... live. Together we earned our B.A. in Life, with nightly labs running early into the morning; pop quizzes on health: injured knees, pulled back muscles, broken hearts, and dry eyes; oral and written exams where we argued in circles, using elaborate metaphors and the bluntest of realities to make our points--often finding that we both adored and despised the conclusions; study sessions in Pepe, on the couch, at the dining room table on a Thursday in September, or over dinner and a shake; homework with friends and weird German diction; extracurricular board game nights with made up words and definitions and words that sound made up; and doing community service by frequenting local restaurants theatres. And though no one will ever hand me that degree and shake my right hand, I feel that, moreso than my traditional degree, it belongs framed on my wall for all to see and admire. After all of this: the life lessons and strengthened friendships, life demands that I leave it all behind, that I walk away and watch it shrink as the distance between me and these past four years becomes sizable enough that even the memory shrinks, eventually hiding itself behind a neuron in my left hemisphere, making friends with my other miniature memories, crying.

I am expected to believe this movement is a natural part of life. I am expected to do the same thing again in two years. Then again in another two. Then again. Bog only knows how many times in my life I am expected to repeat this movement until one day I am allowed to stop moving, in a sense, and settle down. And we wonder why there is depression, why humans are an unhappy lot. Our entire lives we're expected to befriend people. It is demanded of us by God, bog and the rest, by our innate evolutionary senses that we bridge close bonds with various people, people that we care for, people with whom we fall in love. And when we get comfortable. And when we feel as if we can finally be ourselves. And when we finally get enough courage to tell that person how we feel. Both of us have to go. We wouldn't want to be late to our next appointment. We wouldn't dare be a second tardy to the next time we have to leave. And when I finally want to belong. We can't.

Yet, I realize that the alternative is irrational. I understand that without this movement we are nothing more than pigs satisfied. And that's why I will continue to comply with these demands. I may march on a path of tears, but I will march nonetheless. Currently, I feel this view to be very nihilistic. I will, hopefully, look back on this post and realize the errors in my irrational thoughts. But for now, I'm in step with the cadence and the rhythm pains me.

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