When my roommate left last week, it felt weird. It was sad too, but I knew why it would be sad, we are living with different friends next year, so we won’t see each other as much, but this year we knew everything about each other, that’s a funny thing.
I watched her stuff get carted away in boxes, and I looked around our dorm. Her side of the room was how it looked when we arrived, a blank canvas, but now that we are not looking at it imagining decorative possibilities, the vacancy is depressing. In a few more months, her side of the room will be what our room looks like to another pair of girls or boys moving to New York City, obsessing over their view of Lincoln Center, totally terrified, and excited, and oblivious as to what might happen.
And then there’s my side, which I’ve slowly started to deconstruct. But still, I can look at it from her side and it’s like I can see everything that has happened since I moved in, because it’s everything that I’ve gotten to do, everyone who I’ve met that made the city feel like home, and that bed is where I would lie down at the end of the night and relive moments from the day.
I moved over to sit on top of her desk, because unlike mine it is empty now. It’s up against the window, so laying down on my back I could see the sky, and on my side, I could see everything else.
Looking out was what really felt strange. Every floor up, the view is a little different, you can tell, even just three floors higher. This is one of the last times I’ll have this exact view, and no matter what my view is in the future, I guess I’ll always miss it. Because looking out my window I can reconstruct everything that I have done. I can imagine myself leaving the building, 13 floors down, and from there following any path and with any combination of people. I won’t forget those memories, but I know that when they aren’t so close, sometimes I’ll forget to remember them. Maybe they’ll just hit me out of nowhere. Someone will say ‘Columbus’ and it will remind me of running towards Columbus Circle with my friends like we were going to miss a train even though we didn’t know when it was coming in anyway.
This feeling will fade. When you are a freshman, you remember all too clearly how you said at the end of senior year ‘These four years flew by!’ But it didn’t feel like it was flying when you were doing it. Freshman year is ending, but it’s still a huge beginning. I’m sure at the end of next year, arriving here will feel so far away, and graduating will feel still farther, but right now, I am amazed at how fast life is moving.
I am amazed that 17 year old me was so nervous to leave home and chase dreams and create a future. I am amazed that I feel so close to people who I have actually known less than a year. I am amazed that in that time we’ve been able to develop groups, relationships, our own shared heartache, our own inside jokes. Most of all, I am amazed by myself and how much I have learned, and done, and grown (all the good and bad, of course).
I look forward to rejuvenating at home, and being with a whole different group of people that I love, but I also really look forward to returning after my break and seeing what the city has in store for me for the next few years, and what I have in store for me.
I love you New York! Thanks for being so hard to leave.