The walls are white. Yesterday I stripped them of all the creativity and life that I’ve worked to create over the past two years. Place. It’s important to make a home out of a place, no matter how long the stay. Now it’s time for me to leave this home. Cardboard boxes filled with my few belongings take up a lot of space in this small apartment. It feels empty, but an emptiness that is ready to be filled with a new personality. I am ready to leave; ready to move on to the next temporary location. Temporariness is a state of being I find comfort in.
Things have happened so quickly in this small cowboy/hipster town. Maybe that’s a product of being 22. Just when I find my rhythm in a new direction it turns corners and I’m left searching for the meaning and lessons in it all. The meaning will arise; eventually it always surfaces. Life moves like a series of photos flashing in front of my eyes. I love it. For now, anyway. I dictate the speed of my own life (or maybe not). It’s a chaotic thrill trying to put all the pieces together. One moment I’m walking along the ocean on the east coast on a chilly February day. Goodbye is on my mind, and I know heartbreak is only a few words away. Knowing what you want at the expense of another is a difficult thing. Goodbye. From one love to the next. Goodbyes are difficult, but commitment and stagnation are sometimes more challenging. I feel shy admitting that my greatest lessons come from relationships. The stories we create with others are even more significant than the ones we create on our own. I am thankful for the relationships I have formed in this small town. It seems we don’t realize the impact people have on us until distance exists, but I’ve already discovered how special the people are that Laramie has introduced to me.
I’ll remember other things about Laramie, too, like spending endless amounts of time wondering whether school was my best option. Universities aren’t particularly my favorite place. I’ll remember driving along country roads that line the outskirts of Laramie, listening to the combined sound of music and wind surging through open windows. I’ll remember my introduction to good beer, dancing to the best bluegrass tunes, riding my bike in open spaces where the blue sky is so immense that it’s hard to find the horizon. I’ll remember setting up our campsite in Snowy Range at 1am and hiking Medicine Bow Peak just to watch the sunrise with my greatest of lady friends. How could I forget that?
So the walls are white, and everything is moving quite quickly. I will be walking across the stage soon, from one end to another, figuratively and literally walking from one phase of my life to the next. I feel like a snake shedding its skin. Ecdysis, its called. Snakes shed their skin to allow for continued growth, losing their outermost layer and leaving the layers beneath more vibrant. Transitioning from one moment of life to the next is uncomfortable and frightening. Closing doors that feel like they should remain open forever – “just in case” – is an act of bravery. Shedding our skin, portions of our old selves, is necessary for growth. We move forward with the lessons and memories of the past, but we let go of the extra baggage and old skin that is no longer needed.
The walls are white. I’m leaving. I’m shedding old skin to create room for more growth. Laramie was filled with many hellos and goodbyes that all intersected, and at times it was hard to tell when one ended and the next began. I will never be the exact same person I was here, but the memories and lessons will remain. We transition, we transform, and life continues its cycle.
Cheers to the journey. Yours; mine.