On Growing Up and Still Feeling 18
Yesterday I sat at my computer and Gmail-chatted with one of my very best friends for a nice long talk. Caroline and I lived together for three of our four years at Longwood University. If you haven't read about me and Caroline and the legend that is 849, you can catch up here and then come back.
I tried to remember the last time I had sat down to catch up with her for more than two minutes and honestly couldn't even remember it. I found myself pleasantly surprised every time we changed the subject. Neither of us had anywhere to go and we had time to actually catch each other up and make plans to see each other soon.
There was a time in our lives when we didn't even go three hours without speaking--most of the time when we did speak, it was face to face in our apartment. Text messages were exchanged constantly. Lunch together every day, dinner together every night, walking around campus together every afternoon. I had a friend with whom I was so inseparable, we'd go home and share half of an apartment together.
Where did that world go?
2006: Caroline and I at Hampden-Sydney.
We made random freshman-year friends who lived
in what ended up being Rob's junior year dorm room three years later.
How's that for a coincidence?
There are times when I feel very adult. And then there are times when I am flooded with absolute panic at the thought of what "real life" must be like. It's exhausting sometimes, living life in this liminal space between undergrad years and a master's degree and, somewhere off in the distance, a career.
I have to say that while I miss the life of academia--of actually living in your studies, reading for countless hours, where your work was constantly guided and improved--I miss the life of 849 even more. I miss things like celebrating everything for any reason at all and nicknaming people we would never actually talk to.
Last month on New Year's Eve, Caroline texted me and said "I had a dream last night that we lived together with our boyfriends. It was weird but also kind of nice," to which I responded, only half-kidding, "That sounds like the dream."
Peter Pan bothers me as a character. Sometimes when I start thinking like this I'm reminded of him. He needs to grow up, you know? I'm not Peter Pan. I know I have to grow up. I think that's where the nostalgia comes from.
Hug your friends who live nearby. And call the ones who are further away. Do it today.
Apparently we really can't all live, drink too much, and get naked in fountains together forever.