“The most poignant way to live life is to anticipate that emptiness before it comes and have that fold back in on itself and treasure it while it’s happening. Realize you’re in the good old days while you’re living them.”1
Upper Management of The Phillipian CXLIII sent out their farewell emails last night. The ritual felt too soon when I was doing it last year, and this year it feels even more so, my removed perspective compounded with the shortening effects of quarantine. The experiences of UM CXLIII were very different from those of UM CXLII on many levels, but one sense of awe is the same: that of not only a tenure, but an entire scholastic journalistic and community service career, an integral part of one’s identity, passing by just like that.
I was looking at my Spotify Favorites Fall/Winter 2020/21 playlist. I didn’t make a new one in winter because the time felt continuous. But now, looking at the songs on the list…they’re not the songs of the present. They’re the songs of a time that has passed by. Fall/Winter 2020/21 has passed by.
It’s now spring. Spring. Time of renewal, healing, fresh starts, a breath of warmth sweeping through to lift the world up from its pristine and crystallized winter.
Spring will mark a full year for me away from Andover’s campus. For all I thought my connection with Andover was severed, I realize I still depend on it a lot in terms of my identity. There is no other environment, community, even physical place that I feel is my home in the same way.
I’ve spent a lot of my energy in the present. Pushing myself to be a builder, to relentlessly prioritize, to cut out everything that doesn’t matter to me. The huge amounts of change and turnover of all sorts happening around me has contributed to this state of being very much in the present.
But now things are just stable enough, and just enough of the past is resurfacing,2 to balance the present out and put things in equilibrium, or maybe limbo.
I miss the past but I don’t long for it. I’m excited for the future but I don’t feel compelled to rush into it.
These moments aren’t particularly memorable. They don’t grow roots like low points do or sprout flowering branches like high points.
But in the moment, it’s quite nice.
an hour ago, a few bags of Chinese groceries unexpectedly arrived at my Community House in Utah, ordered by my mom. Yesterday I spent an hour in a critical theory book club, listening to the connections drawn to International Relations classes and random other readings, a familiar trickling of the atmosphere I so enjoyed at Andover… ↩