We’re entering the dark days.
No, but literally, the days have become shorter by the hour and even now it seems like night time might be right upon us along with the threat/anticipation of snowy weather later this week.
We’re entering the point of the year where I become much better at editing my Spotify playlists than my papers. I transform into a barista constantly pouring coffee into a mug, wondering when it became possible for my body to consume this vast amount of caffeine in one sitting. The season where I see more live music than my bank account should allow for, where I become indiscernible to the naked eye because I won’t leave my apartment with an inch of skin bare. I am becoming introverted yet overly outgoing all at the same time, meaning I am out of my element – mostly meaning I am the ultimate HBO Go consumer. Meaning yes, winter is coming.
But for this season, these days of dark and cold and bitterness and yet still ultimate joy, I’m planning to fully embrace these oddities I have developed these past four years. It has truly begun to hit me that this is my last full year of school and my last opportunity to behave as such. This is the last run before true adulthood has to set in. This is really happening.
One of my roommates is in her sophomore year of school and I am truly envious. She has so much more growing to do and so many more lessons she’ll learn, and she doesn’t even know it. It’s in these days that I look at her and think wow, if I could even for a minute give you the knowledge that I have now, I could save you so many potential disasters. I could tell you so much about what you will learn from yourself. I could show you how I would retrace my steps and maybe make life a little easier, how I would change things given the chance. And at the end of it all, your senior year almost over, how you’ll look back from the top towards the landslide that was your college career below you.
But… that wouldn’t be true. Not fully. I can’t tell her that from each of these hurdles came the moments where I felt the most at peace, the most myself. I couldn’t show her that from those difficult classes or that disaster of a relationship would come something even more beautiful – that you may be at the tip, the end of one of the greatest chapters of your life, and you may see landslides and destruction and those “how could I have done those betters”, but you’ll see the landscape. You’ll see the most beautiful visual of these years spent with some of the most perfect people you could ever hope to inhabit your life; you’ll see all of these insanely pleasurable moments that transform your distress at leaving into a feeling of ultimate peace, knowing you’re embarking on a journey that only these past four years could have prepared you for.
And she’ll learn that. She’ll look at an underclassman the same way I look at her and she’ll think “if only I could show you…”. But then she’ll realize that this is what being a senior is really about – the fear, the excitement, the desire to be fully encapsulated by the outside world yet totally in awe of how it works. That’s where I am.
For now, in this time I have left within the comfort of knowing I have months before I make this transition, I am entering the dark days. Wondering yet again how I’ll survive this brutal winter or, more importantly, how my car will. And this season which is filled to the brim with school, work, volunteering, work, school, did I say work? I know it’ll be worth it at the end. I may be fully entranced with the idea of switching my schedule to only online classes for spring semester and I may be planning too many road trips than could ever be logical, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. And behind it is light, too. Because each moment so far has been so ridiculously good, even when it hasn’t been.
And to that, I can’t be envious or reminiscent on past days. I can only focus on these days.