What the hell, guys? The 2015 school year is essentially over. I swear on all my final grades that we moved into our apartment like three and a half days ago. Maybe five. No more than seven. So why do people keep saying things like, “Goodbye” and “See ya next fall”???? It is rude.
I’d like to begin by saying that I blame this on Father Leahy. Allow me to explain. Students at Boston College all have two questions ever-present in our minds:
1.Why does time go by so quickly when we’re having fun but so slowly when there are un-fun things on the agenda?
2. a. Does Father Leahy even exist? and b. If so, what the frick does he do all day?
Here’s my theory: Father Leahy warps time. An answer to both of our questions and more. He simply perches himself in the Gasson bell tower and counts the smiles of students from above, moving the clock forward accordingly. More smiles, less time. This is all done with a sinister eye-smile (smeyele) and a blatant disregard for political correctness. “Who are all these WOmen with BACKpacks??” he often asks himself as he yells from high above at some freshman who is walking across his grass.
Think on that one for a lil bit. Keep reading when you’re ready.
Before I left for India, I wrote about “taking flight”- jumping into something I’d never done before. Shaking up my sense of self to see what sticks and what I should let go. It was worth it, but it was exhausting. Coming back to BC felt like coming home to all of my favorite things. Tailgates. Pulled pork and Bud light (Ok ya I hate Bud Light but I’m still allowed to get sentimental about it). Fall and afternoon coffee hangs. “FindMyFriends” and throwing parties and being just a little bit reckless because we’re all catching planes to different continents at the end of the year.
This semester has been about enjoying solid ground, not about taking flight. And it has been truly dope. It’s been about following the good vibes, about investing time and laughter in the things and people that make us better versions of ourselves.
Lesson 1: People that laugh at the same jokes and care about the same things eventually find each other. Life is kind of that simple.
And I’ve learned some things about myself along the way. For one thing, I’ve come to realize that I live about three floors above reality. 90% of the time I think this makes life more fun. Hilarious, even. But every once in a while, my expectations and the actual state of things crash into one another. Sometimes it’s just a fender-bender, other times there are casualties. Sometimes I give more of myself to people than they want or need. But given the choice, I’d rather be the one that cares more, that’s still laughing at a joke after the conversation moves on, that is half in love with as many things as possible.
Lesson 2: Don’t feel un-cool for being the only one laughing. Literally, but also metaphorically.
The Christmas season is one of those very deliberate time-markers that forces us to slow down and take stock of what’s happened in the past year. It’s time spent in celebration of all the life lived in the 365 days since the last Christmas Morning- the let-downs and goodbyes and the fuck-ups, the serendipity and hellos and the achievements.
So before I move out of good ‘ole South Street, I wanted to leave a little something for my people- the ones taking off on their own journeys and the ones sticking around campus. Full disclosure: I’m gonna give myself three strikes for getting too cheesy, and then I’m gonna say F it and keep going ’cause this shit is too important.
To the people I’d go to bat for:
Every so often, we stumble into moments and people and places that change our trajectories. Billy Joel sitting down at a piano. Our very first shots of Rubinoff (or our very first fifth shots of Rubinoff). A homily that changed the way you see the world and your place in it.
Signing the lease for our little apartment in 35 South Street was one of those moments. That place has given us nothing but good vibes. It’s like, reverse-haunted. Really really good people and good things came into our lives when we moved in. This could be because the Universe likes to give great things and then take them away like it’s April Fool’s Day or some shit. Or, it could be because you guys are fucking rays of sunshine and deserve a lifetime supply of good karma.
Should I be swearing less?
I feel like I should be swearing less.
I’m just gonna roll with it.
Someday far far away I’m gonna have a daughter. And when I tell her about these years at BC, I’m gonna tell her unselfconsciously, unapologetically, that The Friends were the love of my college years.
Last week, Father McGowan told a story about the one wedding he’ll never forget. Ironically, it was the only wedding that was cancelled before he presided over it. Weeks before, he got a call from the father of the bride telling him that the wedding had been called off. But the father asked him to come anyways. The reception was still on- they’d already ordered all of the food- and the father said they would need a helping hand. On what should have been the day of the wedding, the family rented five buses, sent them out to the local homeless shelters, and filled them with people. And for a day, the homeless of the city ate Filet Mignon.
How heartbreakingly beautiful- to turn such a broken, bitter thing like lost love into an opportunity of joy. Am I about to draw a comparison between our semester apart and a broken engagement? One hundred percent. Is that super dramatic? Maybe a little bit. But for one thing, I definitely haven’t hit my three-strike limit. And for another, I’m about to make a valid point. Having people around us that are so painful to walk away from is an incredible blessing in itself.
As exciting as the next few months of our lives will be, we’re all feeling a little heartbroken about leaving BC. Right now, it feels like we’ve got something so so good and we’re walking in the opposite direction. And I think we’re all worried that the good things won’t be the same when we get back, that we won’t be the same when we get back. Embrace that hurt, understand the blessing that it is, take the lemons life gives you and make Filet Mignon.
Lesson 3: Life comes with a thousand matches. This semester, we lit quite a few of them. But why not burn as many as possible?
Good things are coming your way. Because you guys are truly good humans. But I have a feeling you’ll have at least one or two moments ahead where you’ll feel heavy with the weight of being anonymous in an unfamiliar place.
In those moments, which will probably catch you off guard while you’re walking down some cobblestone street that’s pretty as hell, know that you’re headed exactly where you’re supposed to be. I have such faith that despite the homesickness, you will still be filled with love- my love for you, the love of The Friends, the love of the people there whom I have never met but whose hearts you will surely touch. You’ll move forward with faith in your next step, faith in the surprises the Universe has in store. And when that fails, here’s one last thing:
The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received, For the Best People I’ve Ever Known:
- It is precisely when you are apart that defines exactly what you have.
- Fear is the greatest gravitational force in the Universe (love is up there, but it’s harder to pay attention to.) Be careful what you let into your heart. Meaning the fear, not the love.
- Then comes gratitude. If you doubt, you are being ungrateful (This sounds harsh, and makes me feel like a cranky Grandma waggling her finger at you. But it’s true. And I actually kind of like that image). The universe can take it all back as fast as it appeared.
- Be present, honest, grateful, open, silly, kind. This is what keeps the heart strings connected.
- Every decision must be made out of strength, not fear. Then and only then is there no regret.
Guys, I love you I love you I love you, so much that sometimes it actually hurts, and my heart is filled with joy when I think about the beauty you are going to experience in these next months.
We’re about to spend half a year quite literally a world apart, but know that at least half of me is still in our South Street apartment, getting wine drunk or Fireball drunk or punch drunk or love drunk, laughing endlessly over some stupid shit with the loves of my life.
Endless hugs and laughter and tears