It was a random evening. My friend and I were sitting in the living room on my tan couch – the rough-looking one that came with the apartment. I was staring at one of the rips in the arm rest, but not picking at it. The rips and the exposed stuffing don’t fit the decorating theme I am going for, so, just so you know, it’s normally covered by a rose-covered blanket. Much better than the guts of a couch spread all about.
Then the phone rang. I didn’t hear what was said, but the corners of my friend’s lips couldn’t stay down. It was a job offer. One that I had forgotten about. One with actual benefits and a pay raise. Those are hard to come by.
I was happy for my friend. I still am. It was like when you’d see every door open for someone else, but you were left in the cold. After so long, my friend could finally get to open the door and enjoy the warmth. Well, maybe it wouldn’t be warm for too long. The job was in another state. Another time zone. Almost 24 hours away.
This is the part of growing up that I had forgotten all about. It’s the one where, sometimes, moving to another city is the only option. Sometimes, it’s starting over and moving somewhere where no one knows your name other than out of necessity. It’s the waiting. It’s the goodbyes. It’s the high of finally getting a good job. It’s the realization that all of your belongings will fit inside of a car.
The bright spot? No expense necessary for a moving van.
In high school, I remember thinking that getting close to someone in college wouldn’t end well. There would be the eventual separation. To hold back someone’s career was a sin to me, and it still is so you have to let go, no matter how much it hurts. But people need people, I kept screaming inside.
I don’t understand how something could be so bitter and yet so exciting.
It’s not my turn yet, but until it is, I’ll look for it. I’ll probably knock on a few doors just to see if they still work. I’ll know how to brace for it. I’ll know how to move on and be excited. I’ll know that it can hurt, or even be daunting. I’ll know to keep only a few belongings and nothing else.
My friend sat there on the couch, causing the rose blanket to drape off the armrest. It was ugly again.
“Why can’t I just fast forward five years from now?”
I didn’t tell him that it was because we don’t have time machines. I didn’t say anything. I wanted the same thing, but only because I don’t know how much longer my body can deal with school.
“…a stable job, a house with a yard, a dog.”
When we were younger, I know that was never the dream. And now, simple has turned into better. It’s crazy how something so simple isn’t that easy to achieve. But it’s part of the growing pains. And those can hurt.
— Hannah Morgan, a native of Wyoming County, is attending WVU in pursuit of a career in journalism. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.