This has been the longest semester I have ever had in my entire stay in the university. When I closed my eyes last January—the blaring sound of beating deadlines ringing in the background, the clicking sound of tapping keyboards banging steadily in my ears at 2am, the hollow feeling of isolation in the midst of the great white sea of papers—I felt like Time stood still and never again ticked like it used to. But now I could hear the rushing sound of Time once more as I approach the final deadline.
Graduating today feels more like a dream, like a fiction. Like even if I put on my best dress, slip into these expensive pair of Charles and Keith, wear my graduation robe, it would all seem unreal (Yes, I deliberately used the word unreal instead of surreal, for the former captures better the phantasmagoric nature of the event) which I deem is a pretty normal feeling for an event as momentous as this one. But far from this dreamlike reality, I imagine myself misplaced—a piece of a jigsaw puzzle which could not fit into the picture. I feel like I am not here anymore, like I have graduated a long time ago and carried on a different life.
The truth is, I do not have words to describe the pounding in my chest for this day. But even with no words, I still feel an improbable burst of language in my head. The words of all the people I have known and have met during my stay in the university. Their words ring in my ear like wind chimes, as if to remind me that some grand and graceful thing is coming—the wind, the gentle breeze of a brutal finale.
It is quite a fascinating idea to realize how some people could linger in your soul, and even take residence there and make your heart their home. If I have anything to feel sorry about today, it is the fact that I did not allow myself to let others take shelter in my soul for I was always at flight, always fleeing from the safety of the ground. To live and share no part of yourself to others is dangerous living.
But the funny thing is, even if my head was up in the air most of the time, my heart learned (almost on its own) to seek comfort in the hearts of other people. I know I was a scaredy little owl in college, but even in fear I think I have learned to leave even just a tiny part of my self to others. It is my wish that when they look back they will remember me only as Summer, as this forgettable person whose name is as ephemeral as the season. But the more crucial truth is that perhaps they won’t remember. I do not expect them to remember because after all, memory is treachery.
I guess this is it. This is the end of the line for me now. You know what they say about how everything is not yet the end but only the beginning; that when one door closes, another one opens to welcome you home. I have never really understood transitions because I feel like I am stuck in a small space all my life…smooth striated space. But even then, I still feel this nagging discomfort of never knowing when things will actually come to end.
I told myself I could die in peace after I graduate. But then again, I feel like I am already dead all these time. Sometimes you have to suck in your soul and for a moment and at least for a day, pretend that you are human.
I will wait and let Time do its work. Allow yourself to be dragged in its raging flow. Allow yourself to slide freely with the current. I do not know how to end this more than I know what the end actually means. But just the same, I will allow myself to glide gracefully like everything is a song.