old college try

Another year, another introspective blog post. What can I say, I’m a creature of habit and bad luck.

You see, I totally had plans for tonight. For the first time in years I had plans for New Year’s Eve. The most I’ve ever done for New Year’s Eve was that one time a friend stayed over my place and we just watched let’s plays until we were stupid tired. But, where my social schedule finally threw me a bone, my body decided to play its own game and get sick. So, once again, I find myself sitting by a record player listening to Tallahassee by the Mountain Goats (I don’t have a vinyl of The Sunset Tree, else that would be on constant repeat until I passed out from the Nyquil).

Tallahassee is a weird album for me. It reminds me so much of a specific time; my second semester freshman year of college. Those cold winter mornings walking to my 8am class, trudging through snow to the dorm building across campus to go to the class that basically sparked my entire body of work throughout my time at university.

And now it’s done. Well, not like “gone” done or anything: college has shaped who I am today, is responsible for some of the best friends I could ever ask for, and some of most amazing interactions and learning experiences. It will always be with me, but it can never exist again. I’ve thought about visiting campus, but a pit in my stomach tells me I don’t want to, because it’s not mine anymore. It’s someone else’s. The sidewalks that I walked every day, and the walls that I knew, they belong to a new bunch of students who will make amazing memories and create beautiful art that I can’t even imagine.

But I miss it. I miss those walls. I miss our laughter echoing off of them.

I miss walking across campus in freezing temperatures just after the sun had risen to meet a professor for coffee. I miss trudging back from class into the worn-and-lived in dorm and walking into my room. I miss the cheap wine and tuna noodle casserole dinners.

I feel lost, a mix of identities. I moved back home after college, the home I spent middle school and high school in (and college breaks). Who I was. Who I am now. Who I will become.

It sucks, because this year wasn’t bad in a lot of respects. I graduated from college. I started my first “real world” job. I went to Disney with two of my best friends. I generally gained a lot of confidence in my voice and my work. I even got a tattoo! It feels at times like three years shoved into one with all the stuff that happened.

But, graduating set a lot of things spiraling off in my brain. With the end of one ticking clock, the bigger one became even louder. Sometimes it’s not too bad, just an undercurrent, but other times it’s a cacophony of noise and the only thing I can do is buckle down and bare the pain.

I have a lot of hopes for 2016. I want to make more art, especially more art for myself. I want to make more memories with family and friends. I want to live life without being afraid, of the future, of what people might say.

Here’s to the new year.

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