Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's Been Two Years Since...

The United States inaugurated Barack Obama as the forty-fourth president.

My sister got engaged during a sunset cruise somewhere in Malaysia.  (She promptly texted the family-- I was sitting in the middle of my final AP Gov class with Mrs. Moore-Lobach, and upon seeing the text I...squealed? Shrieked? Yelped?  Mrs. M-L just looked over at me with an "oh Molly" expression on her face and said, "well, what is it?!" So I said, "my sister just got engaged in Malaysia!!"  to which Mrs. M-L said something to the effect of, "Congratulations!  Oh my god.  Am I really that old already?"  ---She had Kate as a student her first year of teaching.---  Anyway, this is how several of my best friends, who were also in the class, discovered my sister had gotten engaged.... So, yeah... that was entertaining...)

And, of course, I graduated high school.

Suffice it to say, January 20 was a big day.

I've been thinking back to that oh so fateful day when, as a student, I drove out of Jamestown High School's parking lot for the last time.  I can still remember the song that was playing in the car...

 Nico's "The Fairest of the Seasons"

Now that it's time
Now that the hour hand has landed at the end
Now that it's real
Now that the dreams have given all they had to lend
I want to know do I stay or do I go
And maybe try another time
And do I really have a hand in my forgetting ?

Now that I've tried
Now that I've finally found that this is not the way,
Now that I turn
Now that I feel it's time to spend the night away
I want to know do I stay or do I go
And maybe finally split the rhyme
And do I really understand the undernetting ?

Yes and the morning has me
Looking in your eyes
And seeing mine warning me
To read the signs carefully.

Now that it's light
Now that the candle's falling smaller in my mind
Now that it's here
Now that I'm almost not so very far behind
I want to know do I stay or do I go
And maybe follow another sign
And do I really have a song that I can ride on ?

Now that I can
Now that it's easy, ever easy all around.
Now that I'm here
Now that I'm falling to the sunlights and a song
I want to know do I stay or do I go
And do I have to do just one
And can I choose again if I should lose the reason ?

Yes, and the morning
Has me looking in your eyes
And seeing mine warning me
To read the signs more carefully.

Now that I smile,
Now that I'm laughing even deeper inside.
Now that I see,
Now that I finally found the one thing I denied
It's now I know do I stay or do I go
And it is finally I decide
That I'll be leaving
In the fairest of the seasons.

The lyrics were unbelieving fitting for the moment.  As I was leaving, all of these nostalgic moments flooded my mind:  

"That's where Nikki and I got the flat tire!" 

"That's the path where Aubrey and I took a walk instead of going to Guys and Dolls rehearsal."  

"Those are the doors Emily and I walked through together on our very first day of high school."  

"That's the column where we all stood before school freshman year.  Right by the attendance office."

In that moment, I wasn't sure if leaving early was 100% the right decision.  I sat in the parking lot skeptically.  I took a breath, glanced back at the school for one last time, and put the car in drive.  As I rounded the corner of Eagle Way and turned left at that stoplight, a magnificent release came over me.  It was all over.  A smile spread across my face.  It felt right to finally be leaving high school early.  It fit.  And, I'm so glad that I did.  Some of the best days of my life were just around the corner, and if I hadn't left, they would be like a beautiful view to which I kept my back turned.  

I just can't believe it's been two whole years.  Time is so odd-- moving so fast and so slowly all at once.  I can still remember my impatience as I waited for the January 20 of two years ago to finally get here.  Little did I know that two more would come and go even faster than the first. 

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