|This is one view I’m going to miss.|
As I sat down on the edge of this precipice and looked out toward the horizon, an old, familiar feeling crept over me: nostalgia. How many times had I come up here in previous years in the evenings or even late at night to just sit down and stare off into the distance? How many times between seventeen and eighteen did I think about jumping or running away? How many times between nineteen and twenty did I come up and think about the latter? Then that feeling crept over me: nostalgia.
Sometimes nostalgia is a good thing. This time, it wasn’t. Because with the nostalgia came a nostalgic feeling: anxiety. It’s the feeling that slowly inches my mind toward flight mode and makes me want to do one thing: leave. Then I look at my calendar and count the days until I can get out of here, trying to think of ways I can shorten that time. Tonight, sitting on that cliff, I found myself thinking about just that.
Today was my last day of work for the summer, which leaves only days before I leave. I don’t attach a number to “days” because though I know when I’m currently planning to leave, I could end up leaving sooner or later. Right now I’m going to say it depends on how long it takes me to take care of a few things and then explore the things which I still want to explore.
Frankly, there are things here I haven’t yet explored. Since I never know if I’m ever coming back, I always try to do something I haven’t just before I leave. If it goes well, then I have a great memory to take with me. If it goes wrong, then at least I’m leaving town soon. Plus, it gives me something positive to think about while I’m driving, instead of the usual down-and-inward spiral my mind tends to take when I don’t have anything else to reflect on.
It’s too easy to get stuck viewing life from behind a steering wheel. I’ve driven cross-country about 20 times now. After a while of seeing past the same steering wheel and out the same windshield, everything around me starts to look the same. Different pictures, same frame. Eventually I start to dread the drive, not because it’s so long, but because it’s so monotonous. Yet after a while of being in one place living monotonously, something in my mind starts itching. That feeling creeps back in.
It’s nights like this when I have to remind myself that I can’t base reality on how I feel and tell myself to just go to sleep because in the morning, I’ll wake up to a new day.