All I think about are skyscrapers. I think this is the aftermath of reading The Fountainhead. You read about buildings for 800 pages and then you think about buildings for the rest of forever.
I mean that very literally, though. I think about mid-town Manhattan and how everything is up and up and up into the clouds.
There is a part of me that left high school a long time ago. A part of me that’s ready to take the graduation gown, not even ironed, and run, burn it down, take only my proof of graduation and set out into the world.
And then there’s a part of me that’s falling in love. Not just with boys, but with the way my calculus class is more about what it’s like to have a baby inside of you than integrals and derivatives. I’m in love with the way J teaches so much more than Shakespeare and tap dancing, how I leave his classroom every day and I feel like I’m somewhat more prepared for the world, but I never want to go out in it because I want to listen to him say things like, “We have to remember that human connections are the reason we’re doing this. This whole life thing.” And I want to talk to Kira, who is smart, who I will never be able to call “Mrs. Ludwig-Shelton,” who is just as scared as I am. Mr. Beeson, who made me a lot of what I am.
I’m falling in love with the way my high school has its own weird music scene and I’m falling in love with the people in it and I’m falling in love with the boys in my physics class and the way we haven’t actually paid attention to physics for the entire term. I'm falling in love with the way I can't seem to keep my headphones in because there are so many people to talk to and hug in the hallways, which is wonderful even if it took me three years to feel that way. I love seminary and prayers and friends and lunch times and Sterling Scholars (be a sterling scholar, you guys) and I never meant to love all that stuff.
I’m falling in love with long-limbed boys every evening, getting locked inside, sitting outside, having dinner, holding hands. I’m falling in love with French and Madame and the way Madame teaches French and the moments when I’m suddenly just speaking it. I’m falling in love with these things and these people and this is where my heart is.
It's like high school was never something I was good at until now. I never meant to like this place. I never meant to be here or give any part of my heart to the people that fill up these hallways. God has a sense of humor.
One morning, you’ll wake up and realize that your soul is in one city and your heart is in another and that’s a really conflicting moment.
But change happens and here is comes and there is goes and you can’t stop it or shift it or change it. It just is.
But then there is New York. It is just out there, waiting for me. Maybe that's narcissistic; New York isn't a city that waits for anyone, let alone Addy Sue Baird from somewhere in Utah. But I feel like that's a true thing. I feel like all those buildings are reaching for the sky and just waiting for me to join them in doing so. I feel like the lights will wait.
I think sometimes about the mornings when I will wake up on the lower east side. The edge of Washington Square Park. The thought of it almost reduces me to tears of excitement and sheer shock that I'm actually going to do that. Wake up there, I mean. Have a life there. I will ride the subway. I will read books in the park. I think of Madi Bass of Fort Worth, TX, studying sports management in Robert Preston Tisch, who is Mormon, who I'm planning on being exact best friends with, so I hope she's planning on the same thing. I think of Alex from Philly, studying acting in Tisch, who was so nice, who I can't wait to find again. I think of Deena from just outside either Chicago or Detroit (I don't remember which), studying anthropology in CAS (which is where I'll be, too) and how I'm secretly praying she'll be my roommate.
I think about New York-y things like trains and buildings and alleyways and Joey Tolboe once getting hit by a taxi and saying, "Hey! I'm walkin' here!" and all the other people in the crosswalk going, "Yeeah! He's walkin' he-a!" and how I literally almost started weeping when he told me that story because I love that city so much. I say stupid things like, "That's my borough!" and I just agree with people when they're like, "omg i no xactly wat college will b lyke 4 u bcuz i watched gossip gurl" and I think about how I thought the mission age change wasn't going to affect me, but here I am, praying in French, feeling a little bit okay about setting out into the world because so is everyone else that I love.
I think about Hailey and Harvard and how I promise I will see her at least once a month no matter what.
And this whole thing is waxing poetic. For that I apologize. Basically, I just wanted to say that I love you, and I will think of you all often when I head out.
Seventeen years old and bossy, I never meant to fall in love.
"I am half agony, half hope." -Jane Austen