Unfiltered Commentary: The things I’ll take with me as I leave you
Kirk Smith/THE REVIEW
ASSISTANT MOSAIC EDITOR
You don’t know this because I’ve never gotten the chance to tell you, but you’ve given me a lot these past four years.
You’ve given me grief, you’ve given me the hardest of times but more, you’ve given me a whole lot of love.
I’m going to miss finding myself here — I’m going to miss myself here. It’s not that I won’t still be me — I just know that this next part is going to change me, too. That’s O.K. Change is inevitable as we move through the motions of life. Change is our only constant and if we don’t embrace it, we can’t embrace life.
So here I am, embracing it — embracing life.
But since I’ve never gotten the chance to tell you, I want to take the time now and tell you of the things I’ll take with me as I leave you — the things you’ve given me.
As I leave you I take my voice. It’s the thing I cherish most. I found it here — I gained the confidence to have it here and let it be heard, here. Here was the first time I was able to speak my mind, to stand up for what I believe in and replay and retell truths. Here I found courage.
As I leave you I take my roommates — the people I cannot understand life without anymore. Living together all these years, I cannot even begin to try to comprehend life in any other way. I cannot imagine the way that I have come to know these people as home or the idea that our home — the one we have built together in Newark — is being ripped out from under us. But as I leave you, I take this home with me in my heart — I take these friendships into my next chapter. These are the things I’ll take with me as we strip our walls of the thousands of memories we’ve captured on film and the notes we’ve left each other. I’ll never remember the walls inside as ones that were ever bare — I’ll remember these walls as the ones that held so much exploding love within them.
As I leave you I take my ability to face my fears. It was a long journey, but I have long since overcome my fear of public speaking and have found myself standing time and time again as the voice in front of the room. I thank you for the opportunities that have forced me to stand in front of a crowd — but more importantly I thank you for the things I’ve had to say in front of crowds — the things I have grown passionate about, the things I believe in. Thank you for making me stand up for change time and time again.
As I leave you I take my freedom. You’ve given me the chance to become the best version of myself. You’ve given me the chance to appreciate the things that matter most by missing them, like my family. You’ve shown me that freedom comes with a price and that by having it we need to respect it and not exploit it by exploiting ourselves.
As I leave you I take my responsibility. As adulthood reaches out to grab me, I reach back. I look forward to the endless opportunities ahead of me. I seek to approach them with a sense of self that will be able to carry me through the worst and best of times. I take responsibility for my actions: past, present and ones to come.
As I leave you I take my happiness. I take the idea that my happiness is a priority in my life, as it should be. I take the idea that happiness is within and if you approach life with positive vibes — positive vibes will be had. I take the fact that there will always be an inner child within me even though this is it — this is the moment where the world is out to get me. Or maybe this is the moment where the world is about to get one big shock. As I leave you I take my chance — I take my chance to prove myself. I get the chance to let this be the moment where the world is about to get one big shock.
You’ve given me a whole lot, and I don’t know how many times I’ve stopped in the motions that life takes us through just to thank you. I just wanted to remember to make sure you heard me before I go.
Thank you, these are the things I’ll take with me as I leave you: here, now and forever.
I’m going to miss this.