by Fallen Leaves on June 29, 2014
One whole year out of high school. It's unfathomable how much has changed in one year. I was still dating my high school boyfriend. We were excited to start our new lives 1000 kilometers from home. I drove away from my farm to move to the city listening to a "growing up" themed mix cd my friend had made me for my graduation.
And what has changed since then?
I learned what it was like to be hungry. I had to adapt from my wholesome country life to the dark, fast pace of living in the downtown of a major city. I broke up with my boyfriend of the time weeks after we got to university, knowing full well that he was holding me back.
I got to be single for the first time in my life. I had my 'slutty phase' (now is not to get into the slut-shaming or sexual liberation argument), kissing new boys and carelessly going on a date with someone on Thursday and a date with someone else on Friday. That boyfriend and I grew apart and we eventually developed bitterness for one another.
I fell in love with my classes, learning about ancient philosophers, studying feminism, writing essays on the Christian enablement of the Holocaust. I called my friends to tell them about what I learned in class. I read big words in even bigger books. One of my professors said I was one of his best students ever. (I skipped classes to sleep in, did my papers at the last minute, and showed up to class without having read any of the material, too.)
I missed my parents, calling them periodically to ask how life back at the farm was (hint: it never changes). People I cared about in high school became people I 'lost touch' with. I got teased by my friends for being so 'country'. I used public transit for the first time.
I met Lance. He made the city feel like home to me. I found someone who challenged and complemented me. He taught me how to kiss (because my previous boyfriend and I were both inexperienced and learned from one another - incorrectly so). He took me to a French winter festival. He brought me out of the city and took me to his cottage. We stayed up way too late together. We sang Kings of Leon at the top of our lungs on 2am drives around the city. I told him an enormous secret about my past that I had never told anyone before. He held me while I cried and spoke softly to me.
I got my heart broken. I moved to a shitty apartment and school and rec volleyball and my job all ended at once. I stopped eating and lost a lot of weight. I slept until 3pm and drank I had to start my life over again. I cried every night for probably a month. I felt abandoned and bewildered and betrayed.
My friends came to the rescue. Friends I never spent a ton of time with because I was running around with Lance. Friends who would take me out to distract me, friends who would rub my back while I squeaked through sobs, "I just don't understand," friends who made me feel better by just being near me.
I made a whole new group of friends that I hang out with almost every day. I never knew a friendship like theirs. Friends who will sing 90s music with me until 4am. They call me while I'm at home in my pajamas and demand I come out with them. We walk home from the bar laughing in the pouring rain. "You look sad," they say. "It's Lance stuff," I tell them. "BOYS, PACK IT UP. WE'RE OFF TO FIGHT LANCE. LET'S DO THIS!"
Today, my friend and I went to church. My other friends called me for pancakes. While our one friend was out, we went into his room and decorated it with streamers and balloons. We put mayonnaise on his door handles and tied his clothes together. We rearranged his furniture. We bought an inflatable alligator and dressed him up in our friend's clothes. We hid crackers absolutely everywhere (pockets, pillowcases, boxes of condoms, socks).
Yup. It's been one year. And I am so fucking happy.
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