Nothing seems more emo to me than walking down 2nd Ave, listening to Coldplay’s The Scientist on Pandora, and crying (my hesitation and/or shame about crying in public slowly died out around the end of my first year of graduate school). I see people watching me cry and I want to tell them, “I cannot hold my own sadness right now so I cannot be responsible for your unease. Please stop staring at me.” Anxiety has been my constant companion lately, shaking my body day and night; tears could be found just below the surface with no quick and easy explanation.
WHY AM I CRYING?!?
Oh yes. I am sad.
I am swimming in a deep, dark sea of sadness, unable to see the shore. Receiving the kindness of others feels like drowning, but I may not be able to continue to float out here all alone. This is what endings do to me. They make me feel utterly helpless because they are a marker in the journey that says, “This thing is over. You must move on.”
Yes, I am so incredible sad.
My dearest, bestest friend has moved away; we are now separated by half a country. We met almost 4 years ago during the first week of school and have endured the hardships of self discovery that comes with being a student at TSSTP. She is my person. I spent holidays with her and her husband when I was here in the city; I was always invited over, her couch always available to me. Her husband loves her and told her upon marrying her that he knew I came with the deal, too.
When trying to describe her to someone, I said that she is my witness. She can speak to who I was when I arrived in Seattle and to who I have dared to become. She has had a front row seat to my journey, even when we went through what I call our Dark Year. She knows me now; she is the keeper of my secrets, my heterosexual life partner, my best friend. She fights for me when I cannot fight for myself because she seems to always see me in the best of lights even when I am in my own darkened spaces.
Yes, there will be phone calls, text messages, Facebook, and all the trappings of this technologically minded world, but it’s not the same. It’s not the same as eating sushi together on a Tuesday afternoon, or being with each other at the spur of a moment because one of us needs the other. I can no longer ride the bus to her side of Seattle and lay on her couch while we dissect my dating life, enjoy a Crap TV Day, or comfort each other when life just feels really shitty.
Deep, deep sadness.
I usually long for the spring in Seattle; the time of year when things begin to bloom and take on new life reminding us, once again, that winter is not the end of the story; spring means summer is near with it’s sunshine and warmth. However, this time around I find myself asking the flowers to slow their birth, to take their petals back into their stems, and rest in the ground for just a bit longer. With the bloom of the tulips and the cherry blossom trees that I have come to love, also comes the end of school and with that I am distraught.
I have yet to know this city without books, classes, papers, projects, and meetings to mark the way through the year. The journey I began four years ago feels so much closer than 2,000 miles I drove to get to this place. Nostalgia washes over me much these days because that’s what happens when your end: everything from the beginning has a bit of a haze around the edges and you can’t help but tell stories with wonder and delight, filled with phrases like, “I can’t believe that happen… I can’t believe I did that…”
Sadness and sorrow cannot be contained, just as anger, fear, and joy will not be kept silent. Emotions will only be held back for so long before they rise to the surface and demand to be recognized; they will no longer be reigned in. So I greet the sadness that comes with these particular endings; I remember the beauty of my friendship, and the times that weren’t so lovely. I look to my school with deep awe and gratitude for helping me grow into myself and learning how to do the same with other people. I feel the ending to my core, giving Sadness it’s deserved space with the promise that it will not be around forever; it will not linger past its time. One day soon, the sun will return, the flowers will bloom, and the trees will adorn themselves with leaves once again, consistent in the reminder that I am not the ruler of the universe.
Knowing all of this to be true, I still ask…
Dear blooming and growing things: please wait. Please. I want more time. Please give me more time. Hold your stems, your blooms, your leaves for just a bit longer. Please.