“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh
Dear graduating senior,
Congratulations! You made it. After four years of blood, sweat and tears, you’re ready to go into the real world. You’ve paid your bills, didn’t cause too much trouble, passed the minimum requirements, and because of that you’ve rightfully earned that fancy sheet of paper that you so richly deserve. You’re moving on upward in this twisted ladder we call life, and you should be proud.
You probably know all that already. Or you’re probably sick of hearing it from everyone else. But it’s true – in fact, it is because these things are true that I am writing this letter.
Because three weeks from now, you’ll probably be gone.
Not gone from my life gone of course. But still gone. As in away from here. As in that sudden, sinking feeling, as if you see were seeing someone walk wave to you down the street only to disappear by the time you’ve turned around.
I suppose a part of me is reassured, because after all, leaving is inevitable and it’s only natural that things should happen this way. Let it go. It’s time to move on. That’s what everyone says, right?
I guess I will too. But I won’t forget that time in September when I first came to Boston and I was green as the Bruins no the Celtics the Bruins are the hockey team because I was a west coast kid trying to be east and wondering what the hell I am doing because it sure looks like everyone else does and oh look school started my first class is somewhere in the college of arts and science which is definitely not on commonwealth avenue right wait no hang on crap yes it is okay so you have to turn left towards the big building now what room am I in and then I see you walking by and you saw me and led me to the sidewalk and said
Look at me.
You’re gonna be alright.”
Or that time in broomball when you explicitly told me to “line up in the middle to take the face off”, even though I had never played before, let alone walk on ice with sneakers and still had complete confidence that I would score.
Or that time when you were in Sydney and I asked you how it was like, and you talked about how it was so much fun and all the stuff you got to do and said so enthusiastically through the Internet that you convinced me to go too in the future.
Or that time when we were…
…sitting next to each other reflecting in controversial thought,
…crying at our heartwarming stories,
…laughing at our inside jokes,
…too busy to talk because both our mouths were stuffed with food,
On second thought, I guess those things happened a lot.
And don’t forget all these mementos that you left me! A hockey puck from Jack Parker, a Red Sox t-shirt, a raspberry pinwheel that I still haven’t paid back, fun and interesting games, dance moves, constructive criticism, fashion tips, pieces of advice that I take to heart, hope – all these regular and ordinary things that you managed to make special.
Safe to say, you’ve been a great influence on me. And I thank you for taking that chance.
Well, I guess it’s time for the both of us stop procrastinating on important matters and say goodbye – until the next time we meet, at least. As for now, let me leave you with this:
One thing I learned
about making footprints in the sand
is that they last.
Even as gravity works its science,
the print is stuck there,
So as you lift your foot
off the soft wet grains,
You leave your own mark.
Like a signature on a mural.
As I reflect upon
the past two years
that I’ve had the privilege
to share with you,
I can still trace your steps,
your trail along the beach,
the outlines of your inspiration,
fading, but still there,
And I can only hope that the tide never comes.