Graduation day itself was a blur. Stayed up too late the night before packing, so I overslept. My friend April and I rolled in together 20 minutes later than we were supposed to be there... and April forgot her tassel. Then we couldn't get our stupid gowns on. I had a bleeding blister on my foot by the time we got to our seats in the gym (nice, right). Speeches wise, they were faster than I had remembered in past graduations, most likely because I could actually hear the speakers from the second row. I know if I was in the back I wouldn't have been able to, and my family confirmed this: my dad dozed off during the commencement speech. Mainly, in my head, I kept saying to myself,
"Whatever you do, don't fall." And I didn't fall.
Fourteen people from my family came, and some of them actually came in an RV, mostly for my grandmother's sake, so she'd have a place to rest when she needed it. We went to Bucca di Beppo after, food was amazing, lots of laughs, and probably one of the best dinners I ever had. I went out later that night with two of my best friends, Jennie and Tony, no booze, no partying, but just enjoying our company in a quirky little town for an art show.
And I didn't cry. The day was just too fast.
Sunday morning, Jennie and I have peach cobbler pancakes (her) and peanut butter chocolate chip banana pancakes (me) for breakfast. We strolled through Bellevue, enjoying its loveliness, wishing more places were open and more people appreciated it. Dropped her off (I actually had a car) and then I really started packing.
It was going through my desk drawers that I found them. Many were the obvious, stand-around-our-arms-around-the-back shots. A few featured wide grins and rose-hinted cheeks. Friends in odd situations mugged for the cameras. Pictures. Freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior, and even a couple from high school mixed and mingled, the years out of order, haircuts pre-dating the one before it. Looking through them highlighted the people who had cpme in and out of my life the past four years. Some I talk to on a regular basis, some not as much. Several I grew closer to, and several more grew farther apart. Others I haven't seen in weeks, months, years. I can't recall the last time I saw them. I hope they are doing okay. I had to tell myself that its okay, people come in and out of your life, but I still feel a pang of guilt for not staying in touch with everyone. But its not all my fault, I have to tell myself.
I thought of the people who were important to me at 18, 19, 20, 21, and now, almost 22, and how it has changed more drastically in those years than it ever did in my life. Mostly, because I am not the same person now as I was at 18. I'm not the same as I was six months ago. I know this. Its why I don't know if I'd be able to be friends with the people I used to. I'm different now, but for the better. It makes me sad to think who in my life now won't be there in a year. And yet I wonder who is in store for me, who will influence me, who I will influence, and it makes me feel some contentment over the saddness.
I mourn the friendships I've lost. And it was then I cried.