I've never done anything on this scale before. I've "left home" several times before--for retreats, and missions trips, and all manner of other things. The longest I've ever gone without setting foot in my home is about two weeks.
This one looks to be a little longer.
Moreover, every other time I've left home, I've had my friends--my fraternity--at my side. Collin to ponder the deeper mysteries of life and love; Kyle to put questions in just the right place; Sergio to confide in and laugh with; Matt to challenge me to do better. I've always had one of them with me, even if it was just their voice in my head. I'm losing that now.
But I don't think the reality of it has hit me yet. I blame this on the fact that I've never really perceived anything to be permanent. Everything, to me, seems only temporary--not because it is, but because I can't make myself see it as lasting longer than the present; I don't think hard on the far future. This makes me odd, I think. Everyone I know lives with part of themselves in the future--days, weeks, months, sometimes years in the future. They're living for Saturday, or for summer, or for their wedding. Everything before it is just detail. I am far too lazy to live in the future, because it takes too much effort. Neither do I live much in the past, for the same reason.
It has consequences. I don't weep for lost pets. I don't lose sleep over relationships. And I don't cry at funerals.
Perhaps it's because I've been raised to think of everything in terms of eternity. Nothing is truly permanent, and so why should I perceive it that way? Live for eternity, and you will live for the moment, and nothing else matters.
Or perhaps I'm simply not emotional enough, either because I simply wasn't born for it or because I've buried that part of myself--but this one I doubt. Because now that I've come up against college, and life without a safety net, things start to seem very permanent. Emotions are suddenly much better at what they do. Fear, anxiety, regret, worry, anger, depression--and that's just what I get when I think about where I'm going. I haven't trusted myself to think about what I'm leaving.
I'll say it again: this seems like the most permanent thing I've ever done. And, frankly, it probably is. I've never done this before--and when I get there, there will be no turning back. In fact, I daresay that the turn-back point was several months ago, and I missed my exit.
But even though this seems like something that will last forever--something that is irreversible, and irrevocable, and much, much too drastic--let me leave you with this: yes, it probably is, in a way. I won't come back for a while, and I certainly won't come back the same. But remember this: change is what makes the world work. Change makes the worm a butterfly, and the egg into an eagle. It's tough, yes; and it's permanent, yes; and there's not a lot we can do about it. It is certainly not easy.
But it is right.