Posts similar to this will be common around this time of year. Graduation, leaving, sadness, friendships, gratitude. Clichés didn’t come from nowhere, and they apply to me just as everyone else. This post, though, will bypass that sector which applies to me just as much as everyone else, and probably break every rule on the safety page. It is considered unwise to post feelings in blogs, but that’s what I’m about to do. It is the product of reflection that goes inevitably with graduation, and it is in company with the sadness associated with the separation of paths, the joy of five years’ friendships, the satisfaction of what has been achieved and the ignorance of what has not.
There are two prevalent sad thoughts that leave this year with me. The first is that, despite having spent five years of teenagehood at a school with people I couldn’t be prouder of, I’m still trying to figure out who I am. The second is knowing that there are people who have had a far greater impact on me than they would have ever guessed, and that they might never know, simply because no-one ever told them.
I know the latter thought is justified, because the two people I did manage to tell in the past week both responded in a manner somewhat surprised. It is natural to assume yourself to be just anyone else to everyone; that, I suppose, is what happened here. There are others who I’ll never get the chance to tell. Signing shirts and books is a rushed process; my mind has on several occasions bypassed what I’ve always wanted them to know. It is the sort of thing that cannot be fully explained in one or two sentences, and generally relates to either self-image or traits that I admired and learnt from.
The former thought lies in extended internal conflicts of belonging and self-confidence, about which I find people are often surprised to learn. Becoming a well-known senior student has forced me to learn to separate what is seen from what is. It is generally therefore assumed that I’ve always been comfortable with my position. In hindsight, it was probably naïve of me to believe that engagement in so many activities could come without sacrifice in social arenas. Also, when it comes to what others think, the line between one person and everyone—contrary to how it might seem—is incredibly fine. Those thoughts are but two in an ever-growing internal collection on the matter, a collection that will leave this school in the same state of disarray it has always been in.
The last three days have been filled and exhausting. Wednesday night saw graduation dinner and Thursday night prizegiving; the entire three days have been punctuated with shirt-signing and book-signing that was hectic, saw pens become communal and is, not unlike the charging of a capacitor, always incomplete. There are people who I have missed and people who have missed me, but it is probably too late. You grow sick of signing stuff after a while.
Today, in my attempts to search for rides to places, I rode in the cars of five different classmates. One of my pens mysteriously disappeared. I was later to lose my shirt that everyone signed, after leaving it in the sun at a party at a friend’s house to dry off after someone spilt beer on it. I’ve yet to recover it, and I don’t think I ever will. And I misplaced my camera case. Today was not my day.