An Excerpt from a Memoir I Never Wrote (Pt 1)
Here's to my mom, my best friends (family at this point; you know who you are), the relatives who let an aimlessly floating 18-year-old blob crash at their place, CocoTheDoggo, my grandparents, dad, my younger sister as well (for making me food and letting me snatch her Nintendo controllers whenever she failed at Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild), the friendships I'm currently forming at Trinity, TXT, Backstreet Boys, Machine Gun Kelly & Lorde for having concerts during the span of ‘22-’23, Bali (for simply existing), my coffee machine given to me by my uncle, my music and art teachers, Olivie Blake for writing The Atlas Six (the book that got me out of my reading slump), Netflix, Apple Music & Disney+ (couldn’t have survived without you), and to all the people I fleetingly met during this year. If you’re reading this, in those few hours/days that we met, you undeniably carved a little part of yourself into my soul.
Most importantly, here’s to Nana, the first person who ever saw me and just understood.
Oh, and also, my therapist and psychiatrist who made sure I didn’t lose ALL my marbles and go COMPLETELY clinically insane (woohoo!)
Well, here I am. College. I made it (shoutout to Nick & his team at Essai).
Half of the first semester of my first year is already over and I already want/need to avoid a couple of people on campus, my grouchy-gremlin-grandpa quad-mate decided to take a gap semester after barely two weeks of classes, successfully added ‘borderline insomniac who can’t function without 20 hours of sleep a day’ to the list of illnesses with an unstable immunity and shit ton of work to catch up on. Yay!
But as I’m writing this, I can’t believe it’s already been two months since college started. Sometimes it feels as though I’ve been here a lot longer and sometimes it doesn’t feel real at all. Perhaps it’s a subconscious acceptance of the change in surroundings, people, and reality. But it’s still a bit weird. Maybe the whole concept of college hasn’t really sunk in yet, but saying “I’m a college student” feels normal yet foreign on my tongue simultaneously. Like, this is it. How did this happen? It was the summer of 2008, I was four, drawing pretty little patterns on my bedroom floor, and now it’s October, and I'm sitting in my dorm watching the leaves fall; how did this happen? If time is another dimension, where did the years go?
Because I’m here.
And there’s no going back.
If you’ve read my previous blog entries, the one before this was about choosing between two paths, and wondering how life would have been if you had chosen the life, the sister ship, left behind. It was inspired by a decision I had to take back then; namely to choose between my two final options of where I was going to spend the next four years of my life (in the scenario that I don’t fail and/or drop out). It was either UC Davis (I still have some of the free merch they gave me) or Trinity College, and believe it or not, I was initially inching more toward Davis, even though applying to the UCs in the West Coast wasn’t even my idea.
UC Davis had a lot more programmes and summer abroad opportunities which, at the time, seemed more appealing to me. But after making a pros and cons list of each school and showing it to my friends, every single one of them said Trinity was the place for me, and I quote them, “given my nature and personality”. So did my counselor. During the last meeting I had with him, he wouldn’t even hear of my argument for Davis, he told me to deposit the five hundred dollar confirmation fee to Trinity and ended the call there. And I’m glad that they pushed me to Trinity, I would not have survived in a school filled with 37,000 kids.
Fun fact: the first higher education institution I wanted to go to was Trinity College London for music. That is until *cough* certain people *cough* crushed the hopes and dreams of my 10-year-old-self :D!
To be fair, Trinity College Hartford does have a music center with a bunch of practice rooms littered with pianos, they do offer majors and minors in music, and Connecticut is a part of the New England region... so I'll take it.
Speaking of school, most of you reading this know how much I hated high school. And I know everyone says that at some point in their life but there are a few people who hold witness to the intensity of which I despise it, to the point where I had concocted plans which may or may not have involved arson and/or arsenic (I guess we’ll never know!).
However, recently, it certainly has made me think about whether I’ll ever get a chance to spend as much time as I did with the friends I made there. Flashes of memories pop here and there like a bulb from a torch slowly dying out; my best friend and I, age fifteen, on our way home on the bus from a space science competition, excited voices discussing visions about our future and creating video games in our heads. I can see it all, skipping classes with the excuse of preparing for an interschool art festival when all we really wanted to converse in hushed whispers behind the theatre stage, forming a crew to go to the Bermuda Triangle in middle school, three girls, all pretending to go to the dentist to leave school early and watch Frozen 2, and even the tiniest of things walking around the football field during lunch to meet friends from other classes, dressing up as an anime character for one of my final exams, "exploring" the elementary school building because we're bored, or just being thirteen again. We'll never be able to do those things again and we'll never be that age again.
To clarify, I certainly don't wish to go back, I had more than enough of that dosage of poison, but it's just the lingering feeling of bittersweetness, the conscious awareness and knowledge that you can't go back. The inconsolable desire to make the most of whatever time you have left of this era, even though it's going to slip away like how wisps of vapour slip from your clutched hand through the gaps between your fingers, because of the dissatisfaction of past years ruined a time of your life that will never come again. We have all our lives to be adults, but we get nineteen years to be a kid.
From seeing each other almost every day, we're seeing each other maybe once or twice a year. We all live in different cities now and one of my best friends just got her first apartment ever, her first home away from home. And now, there will always be an apartment/house for her, other than the one she grew up in now. She doesn't just have one home anymore and she never will. And the same thing will happen to us after graduating college. Will we ever get to spend the same amount of time with the friends we're currently bonding with, on the same, frequent, daily basis that we meet them now?
Swallowing the pill of acceptance of a life that is no more is the one I choke on the most.