Sitting in our nearly empty apartment and the only word I can honestly think of to describe the scene is bittersweet. I believe it is in my nature to be sentimental, even about the most inconsequential of things. However, this feels big. Our first apartment together is in boxes, the walls are nearly blank, and the furniture is gone. All that's left are memories, piled into little corners. Some will be forgotten and others will come with us. Walking to my sister's house for dinner will no longer be a part of my weekly schedule. We won't take evening walks on campus anymore, or go to the co-op down the street to buy our lettuce and dried goods. We are on the brink of the next chapter in our lives. A beautiful, amazing, incredible chapter. The view looks good from here. But that ultimately means that we're closing another chapter. A beautiful, amazing, incredible one. That view looks good from there, too.
Inevitably, growing pains happen. They make things seem more real, more monumental. And that's okay. At least, I'm learning to be okay with it. The truth is, I don't want this chapter in my life to end. At the same time, I'm so ready to embark on our next journey, to take the next step. The horizon is saturated with possibilities, all of which I want to explore. I am straddling two realities, and they're both beautiful.
Most of my friends have left our college town. It is a skeleton of what it used to mean to me. The memories are what I'll truly cherish and I'll bring most of them along, hold onto them until I need room for the new ones. Of course, some will stay forever. Saturday mornings at Starbucks with Jeffrey, Wednesday night breakfast-for-dinner with my sister and brother-in-law, spontaneous lunch dates with friends after summer classes, impromptu marathon trips to the mall with my sister, walks to Chipotle with Jeffrey and Woody, studying in the college of education's library. They are all memories that perfectly summarize my time here in this little town where I learned to be an adult, while still carrying the heart of a child. Our experiences are only as meaningful as we allow them to be and all my experiences here in this little town feel big and meaningful. People always say that college is the best time in your life and I'm not sure I really understood that statement until the moment our furniture was being dragged from our first home together. Down the steps, into the truck bed, onto the next home.
It is a big disconnect right now. Transitional periods have always been difficult for me. Mostly because I can't put the puzzle pieces together, get an idea of the big picture. At least have some idea about the path I'm about to take. It's okay to be uncertain. It's okay not to know. It's okay to take a leap of faith. All things I'm telling myself to remind myself that change is good, it is necessary, it is a breath of fresh air for the soul. Incredible things can happen when you least expect them.
* Photos from our Portland honeymoon, taken at Wahkeena Falls and Forest Park.