Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Letting Go

Four days.

Four days left in South Bend. Four days before I head out to Boston.

For days before I leave everything behind and start it all over.

I've been waiting for this for so long, but it's always been one degree removed, a far-away dream of a distant world. It was always just "next year" to me - that was how my friends and I talked about it, what my relatives and my parents' friends said when they wished me luck. But suddenly "next year" has become "next week," and it still doesn't seem real to me. But the suitcases on my floor are proof.

I'm leaving.

Really, finally leaving.

It's not that I don't want to. It's just that I didn't realize until today how much I love South Bend. For the past eighteen years, I've always treated the city with a kind of casual disregard, an arrogant flippancy. Yes, it's small; yes, maybe we're kind of in the middle of nowhere out here. But it's still my city. The places I've claimed as my own, the memories I've made with my friends - the concerts at the Morris, Thursdays at BW3's. The Barnes and Noble on Grape I have always loved. The volleyball courts at Notre Dame. That one building Alan showed me downtown. The motorcycle shop on Lincoln Way. My friends' houses.

It's hard to let all that go.

There'll be other stores in Boston and Cambridge, I know. Other places to find, to claim, just like all the others have before me. Other friends - many, many friends. And I'm pretty sure that it won't be long before I stop really missing South Bend.

But I'll still remember. I'll never forget where I came from - and it's good to know that it'll always be here. Things are going to change. It wouldn't be right if they didn't. But I know that, no matter what happens here, whether I come back for a year or just a few days, South Bend will always be my home.

A lot can happen in four days.

I'm going to make the best of them.


Hawkins '12 said...

*sigh* I can't wait for that feeling...

Shawn said...

I know what you mean. I never really appreciated what I had here until this summer. I was never so close with my friends until this summer. And I get to leave all of this right when I enjoy it the most.

But oddly I'm not sad. Maybe a little blank. But the whole experience is just surreal to me. Knowing me, it won't feel real until I'm already settled in at least that's the general pattern of things for me.