I was thinking about time a lot today.
I’ve spent nearly four years at the Academy. I’ve been there since September 2009, back when Patrick Swayze was still alive, the iPhone 3GS was hot on the market, and Windows 7 wasn’t even available for customers yet. (I’m not sure why I picked those landmarks, but they seemed pretty good.)
As of today, in the Academy time zone, there are about 76.5 days remaining until I graduate from the Academy. No, it won’t mean anything incredibly dramatic like “I will never see this place again,” but it’s still a fairly big deal. Having college all set makes it easier, since I know where I’m going next year, but it’s still a weird idea not to be going there anymore.
I find it somewhat ironic, or paradoxical, or something, that Senior year has been the most fun. It would certainly be easier if being a Freshman were the most fun and the fun decreased until Senior year, making you ready to leave, but unfortunately that’s not how it works. Freshman year for me was, as it is for most students, chaotic. I did stupid things and was absurdly social for my personality. Sophomore year was rough, my hardest year. But it’s also the year I really became friends with Fred and Victor, so in the end good things came out of all the crap I went through, which is a story too long for me to write out tonight. Suffice it to say that besides discovering loyal friends in Fred and Victor, virtually nothing went well for me that year. Junior year was hard in terms of work, but was a lot of fun in terms of friendships. Not as much fun in terms of romances, but things went better that year than the two before, I would say.
That’s obviously a very brief overview of three years of my life, and at some point I will go through them all in more detail. Seriously, I promise. I will absolutely embellish on that Sophomore year. It really sucked, but I learned a lot about myself and some people in my life.
And then, finally, Senior year. If you’re a loyal reader, you already know that this year’s been dominated by a few things: Kimberly, Minecraft, and my damn Spanish homework. Staying up too late has become a habit, some new faces joined my group of friends (notably Liza, Rose, Violet, and Natalia) and my diet now consists solely of Mountain Dew variations, ramen, and Easy Mac. (Not literally, of course. That’s probably only about 90% of my diet.) Probably the best part is the “YOLO” mindset that I’ve been able to slip into a few times. The inability to do some things again drives me to do them now, so I’m more courageous in my actions. Even asking out Kimberly was kind of inspired by that mindset. I figured that high school was the best time to experience a real relationship for the first time… also she was cute and a nerd like me. Looking back, I’m glad that happened; that said, I’m also happy with my decision to end it.
Senior year will mean goodbyes. I felt that pain for the first time when I hugged Girl 1 after her last swim at championships and she said quietly in my ear, “We made it. I didn’t always think we would, but [four years later] here we are.” That really shocked me, because I’d always thought I was alone in not thinking I would make it through four years of swimming. Those two sentences made me realize just how strong the people around me were, and how much we had been through together… and when I thought about leaving all of that behind I almost started to cry right there on deck. I would have been embarrassed, but for the fact that she was already sobbing on my shoulder. I told her she was a damn good swimmer, which is one of the truest things I’ve ever said, and walked away to get control of myself a little bit.
I don’t think I am very good at goodbyes. I tend to handle them by writing letters, mainly because for someone with an A- average I’m extraordinarily bad at ad-libbing and coming up with things to say on the spot, especially if the person I’m talking to is an attractive female human. Hell, I can barely order at restaurants if my table has a hot waitress. “Okay, sir. Would you like any sides with that ‘Uhhhhhh.’?” Letters are easier. I can take some time to let everything I will miss about that person coalesce into something coherent, and then write it down. I wrote a letter to Girl 1 and gave it to her after championships. It ended up being very final, something more suited for Graduation really, but I think giving it to her then would have been way too painful. I needed to get one goodbye started early. I’m already going to cry at Graduation, I don’t need it to be the creation of a new tributary to the Mississippi or something.
One person that I know will be really hard to say goodbye to, outside of my close friends, is Sen. She helped me through a lot of my struggle to stay (relatively) sane during Sophomore year, even if she didn’t know it because I always tried to act as “normal” as I could around her. We’ve been loosely-tied friends during all my years at the Academy, and is one of the few girls that I know that’s comfortable with my arguably-overused use of the word “love,” a rare trait in my experience. It’s a real pain, since I tend to develop strong feelings of loyalty and caring for people very quickly after I meet them (at least the ones deserving of those feelings!) but that word, though accurate, can often scare them off. Like I said, it’s a real pain.
Vacation Update: Probably going to the Grand Canyon tomorrow. Right now we are in Flagstaff, Arizona. I got to spend hours in the car today. I LOVE road trips, in case you were unaware… hours in the car = awesome for me. When my parents turn down the radio and stuff it’s less fun, but still today was a total blast. Landscapes were beautiful and I took tons of pictures.
Okay, this post is well over a thousand words so I’m going to call it quits. That seems like plenty for tonight, though I might go into this topic again in the future. (Reminder to future George: do a 50-day countdown once the time comes.) As always, thanks for reading!