Unfiltered Commentary: Open arms, straight ahead

AlexS

Kirk Smith/THE REVIEW

BY

ASSISTANT MOSAIC EDITOR

I didn’t know him, and it was dark. He was sprinting toward me, so naturally, with open arms I started sprinting toward him.

Once in a lifetime, love just comes at you with full force.

Our bodies met as he lifted me. It took guts to embrace a moment like that — on both ends. He held me in his arms for about one good full minute. He gently put me down and we melted, for a moment, into each other’s eyes.

Mutual: “Wow.”

That was it. He unlocked eyes and kept ahead, in a full sprint.

One moment over three years ago, one embrace — and still, I think about it as my senior year comes to an end.

It’s about holding onto the memories, embracing them and letting go, moving on. That’s the thing about graduating. We forget. We forget that we are able to move on while keeping our memories. We forget that it’s not all scary.

It’s time we start sprinting toward reality — unafraid, with open arms. It might not look like it’s coming toward you at full force — or maybe it feels like it’s all happening too quickly, but just breathe!

Inhale, exhale. Your life is in jars of moments — your brain connects to islands of memories like in the film “Inside Out” — there are core memories that are easily replayed at night and then there are some that come back to you in moments that remind you of them — and that’s the best, remembering the temporarily forgotten.

A new island is forming inside your skull and it’s exciting. It’s going to take time because it sits idle now, waiting, but it’s just excited for what’s to come. It’s not sitting there to taunt you about needing to know — it sits, patiently, reminding you that new chapters can be exciting.

Look at the ones you have just conquered: preschool, elementary, middle, high school and college — these all are different islands. You have core memories from each, and there is no doubt in my mind that there will be core memories from the next. What are we going to call this next chapter though — this next island?

This is the first time there’s no school involved — there’s no you have to be here, in this class, doing this assignment, socializing with these people. This is your time now.

Let’s call this one “the independent chapter.” Let’s have this one be the one where you killed it — where you got your dream job and figured out your life. Let this be the one where you messed up a bunch but came out on top. Let this be the one where you fall madly in love — where you make friends you never knew you existed without. Let this be the one where you finally grasped the concept of responsibility — the real kind. Let this be the one where you gave up on giving into all the bulls— that others asked of you and instead you acted in favor of yourself.

Let this be the one where you’re your number one fan and the one where you laughed a lot and cried over the things that actually deserved crying over.

Let this be the one where you opened your eyes and actually smiled at strangers, where you pet dogs on the streets and went to bed every night knowing that it may have not been the best day but that you’re destined for greatness.

You’ve got this. Open arms, be unafraid, keep straight ahead.

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