It’s a weird feeling sitting alone in my empty house, teetering at the end of a memory. I watched the new tenants move in, looking around with the same excited anticipation I did when I first walked in. Each room is a thousand waiting memories. Though the furniture is gone, the house still seems so full. I walk into the living room, shrouded in boxes and empty bottles, and see nights spent drinking wine, surrounded by board games, birthday cake, and best friends. I walk up to the bathroom, full of dust and empty toilet paper rolls, and remember the nights we forgot. The ones covered in beer, puke, laughter and dazed perfection. My room hurts the most. I cried into my blanket last night looking up at ticket stubs, photos, wristbands and receipts pinned up above me. These walls hold so much; the hurt, the laughter, the mess of growing up.

Those days saw it all. They broke me down, moulding me into the mess I’ve become. I’m leaving them just as confused as I was going in, but that’s the beauty of it. Because above all, these days taught me to revel in the chaos of not having it figured out. To dance my ass off even though I have an essay due tomorrow. To kiss the guy, eat the fries, take the shot, and skip the class. To let go and live, because life’s short but these days are shorter.

These were the days I let myself go and made mistakes — drank too much, slept too little. Followed temptation and longing and the urge to do, even though I knew better. I left nothing unsaid, nothing undone, nothing unlived. I was too much, and too soon, and I don’t regret a fucked-up, glorious minute of it.

Despite the stress and the due dates, the fights and hangovers and fumbled confusion that marked the years we spent finding ourselves, it was perfect. It was laughing until we cried, road trips to nowhere and everywhere. It was potlucks and breakups, Netflix and coffee and playing music too loud. It was a loss of innocence and an intoxication off of life itself. It was a beautiful chaos, like nothing I thought I’d ever come to know.

I knew these were the days as I lived them, holding on to every moment as it came, knowing it would be over too soon. Well, too soon is here now, and these days have turned into those.

I can’t properly explain what this feels like, and I’m too afraid to dig deep enough to try. So I’m just sitting here, looking back with a sweet stinging in my heart for how devastatingly beautiful it all was. TC mark


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