“To change your life: Start immediately, do it flamboyantly, no exceptions”
I read this today and it struck a very poignant chord with me. As you all know, I’m in the process of making some changes and trying my best, every day. I’ve accepted that my best is all that can be expected. But the past few days, I’ve fallen short of that goal. I’m giving myself a pass though, because I was feeling rather shitty thanks to my sinuses. But in my down time, I set a new goal for myself.
I have some serious baggage that needs to ship the %*#% out.
Three years ago, I went through a really bad breakup. At the time, I didn’t see it as such but I got dumped. The love of my life, the heart of my heart, OU, dumped me.
We called it graduation, but at the end of the day, it felt more like a funeral than a celebration. The end of an era…
I’m smiling in the pictures, but I cried for hours that night. And for the large majority of the five hour drive home the next day. I still cry, from time to time, for that beautiful place and those four wonderful years.
OU is my home in the truest sense of the word. It is where I feel the most alive. It changed me indelibly and I am forever grateful. But OU is my past, not my present or my future, and because of this, I have to let her go.
Fall is the worst. I have always been a back-to-school lover: new clothes, cooler weather, school supplies (don’t even get me started), football games, and most importantly, the beautiful routine that required me to see my best friends every damn day. There is nothing better. And that love grew times a thousand, when back to school started meaning back to this:
I mean, is there really anything more beautiful?
No, absolutely not. Other than the people I shared it with.
And I guess that’s the upside. I got to take all those people with me when I left. They may be spread all over the country, but they are mine and I am theirs and that will never change.
But everything else has. And it’s time to let go. Because as I said, fall is the hardest because it’s always been my favorite time of year. And nowadays, instead of enjoying it for what it is and what it has the potential to be, I long for autumn in Athens. Fall is good for longing: the cool breeze, cozy sweaters, rainy days.
It’s different down there. Lasts longer. The weather stays a little warmer and because of such, the trees can hold onto their red, and orange, and gold leaves for months it seems. Autumn in Athens is exactly what God intended.
But fall in Cleveland can be just as beautiful. And this goal is about starting to appreciate that, celebrating what is instead of longing for what was.
And what is, is two eager puppies, a beautiful day, and just a hint of golden leaves right outside my door, so you’ll have to excuse me.
- Best Friends at a Funeral, graduation, June 2008, personal collection
- Two Spice Girls, Veruca Salt, and SNL’s Pat, Halloween 2007, personal collection
- College Green, Ohio University, 2011, OU Alumni Association
- Junction Kisses, Homecoming 2007, personal collection
- Fall in Cleveland, September 2011, personal collection