This I Believe

Maria - Fair Haven, New Jersey
Entered on April 19, 2006

I believe that the hardest thing in the world to do is to let go. It is something I have always struggled with and probably always will. I hate saying goodbye. I dread the realization that this time is the last time. I dread knowing that things will never be the same. I believe the day I get into my car and drive off to college on August 25th will be one of the hardest days of my life, not because I am scared of where I am going, but because I am terrified of what I am leaving. In my life, there have been people who have been there for me no matter what; knowing that this soon will change, I feel my heart sink.

Last night after a busy day of school, teaching, and orchestra rehearsals, I picked up my friend Sam who I have known my entire life. With her head down, she slowly made her way towards my car, opened the squeaky door and as she slammed it shut, she shakily exhaled and said, “Everything needs to slow down.” And it does. The past 17 years of my life have been filled with memories good and bad, but more importantly, they have been filled with people, people that I know I would not be who I am today without.

On August 25th, I will get in my car, drive away, and I will leave everything and everyone that I have ever known. Everything that is so important to me now, will no longer be. And as I drive further away, I will look out my window and see everything and everyone that ever mattered to me become blurry until all of a sudden, I will have gone too far, and they will be gone. And I will think to myself, “Everything needs to slow down.”

There are so many people and places that have made me who I am, and leaving them is inevitably going to change me, and I am not ready to change. The truth is that I don’t think anyone is ever ready to change or to leave or to let go. The truth is that when I leave, life will not stop for me or for the people or places that I will leave. Life will go on, and the people and that places that I leave behind will change too. My life as I know it, with each day, is ending. I just wish I didn’t know about it.

We wait for things for so long; for love, for college acceptances, for graduation, for opportunity. But when we finally reach our door of opportunity, our insides make us lose our nerve and convince us to turn away before we dare knock. As for me, I am going to walk as slowly and steadily as I can towards my door, look back, simply because not to would be a crime, and I will walk until I am all of a sudden, inside.