We took so many pictures, of marching to Pomp and Circumstance. Walking down to accept our diplomas. Throwing our royal blue caps in the air.
And just like that, we are no longer children. To ourselves maybe, but not to those watching.
Truly, I think we’re all kinda lost. We don’t know where we’re heading, even though we pretend to. And I think that’s okay, but I wish we’d talk about it. Be honest, instead of hiding our fear and holding our heads high. Because it’s okay to be scared, when you’re young and unsure and you’re saying goodbye after goodbye.
I hugged them all, as much as I could. Because no, it probably isn’t the last time I’ll see most of my friends and teachers. But graduating made me realize how short the seasons of our lives are, and how quickly time passes. It made me want to tell the pretty girls I know how beautiful I find them, to thank the adults who have impacted me, to apologize to all people I’ve hurt. I know I haven’t been kind enough, or appreciative enough, or said everything that was on my mind, and now I may not have the chance ever again. The idea truly sunk in then, that you say goodbye all the time–but you never know which one will last.
It made me remember chemistry class, sophomore year. Of trying to sit next to crushes and hoping no one would notice how obvious I was, of being the loudest giggler in the room and trying to smooth down my blonde baby curls during trips to the bathroom. Of Starbucks trips every Friday, and exchanging letters instead of text messages when I was 14. Nothing could separate any of us–from our unrealistic dreams and expectations, from the things that made us happy, from each other. We loved life, and the world, and we found joy in the little things. It was beautiful, to be so young and unaware and innocent.
Now we are older, yet still young. Less naive, but not very experienced. A little more bruised, a little more tired.
But hopeful. Always hopeful.
The gown is in my closet, and the tassel is in my car. The pictures are either strewn around my room or tucked away in boxes, and new clothes fill my drawers as gift cards are spent and I reinvent myself. A promise ring sits on my finger now, and darker music fills my playlist. There is a whole world ahead of me, so many more hello’s and goodbye’s, more places to see and books to read and poetry to study.
I am lost, yes. Just like everyone else.
But I have dreams, and spunk, and I am constantly supported by the people I love the most.
And that is enough for now.