It has been a week of ends. Last show with OperaSoc, last show proposals, last show with Backstage, handover meal with committee, end of term, seeing my friends head off into exam season, and finally watching to the end of the Mentalist (which really has been a long time coming).
It should probably have been an emotional rollercoaster, and in some ways it has been, but in others it hasn’t. I was always confused at school when everyone would cry before they left for the 6 week break, like they were never going to see their friends again. Like they hadn’t already planned to meet up at the swimming pool the very next day. Things end, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily change. New things just happen in their place and that is rarely something to be sad about.
I say it has been an emotional rollercoaster in some ways, because while I’m not sat crying, I do feel like I’m closing a door on an important chapter of my life. It’s been a slow process, from around January when I decided not to take on applying for a PhD through to now, when my extra-curricular hobbies are coming to a close. University has been a turning point for me in many ways – realising the potential I have, and being realistic about how much I can’t ever achieve. Making friends and losing friends and slowly understanding myself a little more. And of course, going through the turbulence of a relationship which at times has stretched me to breaking point.
When you start something you rarely remember to think about how it will end. Getting caught up in the moment is part of the romance of life, and I’m very glad that I don’t find myself sad about things before they have come to their close. But it does make this time even more difficult. I logged out of the LUU Backstage twitter account earlier today, and I wasn’t lying when I said it felt like my heart was breaking. The thing that I find most painful about endings, is the bit just after the end which you do alone. Letting go is a very personal experience and one which I’ve proven time and time again I am very bad at. I think I’m bad at it because it hurts so much.
It’s a good pain though, because it’s the pain of having loved something, or someone, or a group of someones, so much that tearing yourself away is like tearing a little piece out of yourself and leaving it behind. I feel like I’m part of the fabric of these groups of people now, and I wouldn’t want it to be any different.
But life shouldn’t ever be about endings. So I’m looking forward now, and trying to think about all of the things I’ve learnt in my 6 years at university, and how I’m going to use them on the next things. I’m making new plans, finding new goals, and trying not to dwell on the things I’m leaving behind. They will always be the happiest memories, and memories only work if they are things from the past. I’m lucky that I get to have this ending knowing that the people who helped make all of those moments special aren’t leaving me, and I’m not leaving them. We’re all just moving forward.
[PS. I wrote this a few days ago, and I made a lovely collage of pictures from uni to go with it, but then WordPress was all “no no, you haven’t updated me so images are not a thing”. And I thought, fair enough, maybe it is right, maybe it’s about time for an update. Except now, I can’t see any text in my text editor so I’m literally typing this explanation blind, and images still don’t work. Because I simply cannot update WordPress correctly and never have. So, at some point this will be replaced by a lovely picture, but for now, see you whenever I convince WordPress to work again. And have Hairspray, because moving forward symbolism]