Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Graduation

The bead of syrup glistened as it fell unto the surface of my beautiful buttery stack pancakes. Illuminated by the streaming light through the Detroit airport skylight I found myself bathed in, the syrup gathered and was spread thick onto the food, only mounting my anticipation to devour it. However the motivation to indulge in and savor the wait was fueled primarily by the milestone event that was this meal. All that I have done, all that I have worked for is finally beginning to come to fruition, and it begin with this pancake. My first meal in the first phase of a new life, far away from home. This was yesterday, en route by air to Houston, the place I will eventually call home come summer’s end. And this trip marks the beginning of the search for my new job, my new living space, new atmospheres, and a new outlook on life and all that it promises. The words to describe the end of College haven’t been invented yet. Maybe sometime I’ll find time to sit down to do that. I like giving things names; like the emotions I felt when the alums piled into the house so early in the morning, one after the other, once again completing our family. Or when Eljay hopped the greyhound to find his way in New York City. Or when the fruits of my accomplishments culminated in moving the tassle from the right side of my cap to the left. I’ll need to create words to describe the overwhelming feeling of having people cheer for you when your name is called, or having accomplished five beer bongs in one night, knowing the only person that beat you at a push-up keg stand was the frat boy, seeing my high school friends graduate with me, seeing the pride and happiness in my parents’ faces, having perfect weather blanket the countless graduation ceremonies, the beautiful mess of people that stayed over at the house, spanning six generations of the Penn State filipino association, accepting, greeting, and drinking with one another in beautiful brilliant celebration.

And one day, the words will come to me that are adequate to describe the sadness of watching these people drive back into the sunset, feeling the Pennsylvania summer knowing it would be my last there, seeing Baxter walk in and out of rooms seeking the people who once occupied them, packing away my belongings in preparation for relocating, and in cooking and eating dinners with the last of the crew in state college, attempting to recreate days gone by.

Goodbye is such a normal word. But it never loses its power and ironically, no word ever needed to be invented to take its place. Goodbye to childhood. Sun-beaten summers rolling around in the grass, only to get scraped and the subsequent run home to show mom the new injury. Lunches dad brought home when he visited from work. Mom and dad’s cooking. Long arduous family roadtrips to visit people we’ve never met. Seeing things in new ways everytime I saw them because I hadn’t learned about them yet. Goodbye school. Projects upon projects and endless nights struggling for the grade, setting high hopes when normal regular ones would do, disappointments and joys of taking your life by the reigns, with no serious repercussions for failures and discovering new emotional states as the only ways of manifesting your reactions to new challenges the world throws at you. I guess life is a series of such challenges, perhaps one of the most trite, clich├ęd statements I never wanted to repeat. But the truth in it is indisputable. In our experiences and our disappointments and our celebrations throughout our lifetimes, we have always learned, we have always grown, we have always broken down and built ourselves back up again. We have always been recreated reevaluated and renewed. This has always happened.

I didn’t know graduation was going to feel so… normal.

Soundtrack: Matchbox 20 –Closing Time

Earth Shattering Revelation #21: Welcome it all with open arms. Look back once in a while but never forget.