on places

There are so many places and people that mean very little to me at this moment in time. Next week, next month, next year, my world will change, mirroring my own personal evolution.

For the last almost 18 years of my life, I have, in many ways, been stuck in a cocoon. Of course, my priorities and goals have changed over those years, but as a whole, my life has remained a mundane comfort filled with familiar places and a relatively stable group of friends and family. In retrospect, there were pockets of breakthroughs into unexplored territories, both literally and metaphorically, all of which have played a role in shaping my current perspective. However, I can readily admit that I am rather ignorant of most of the world.

Currently, I am in a waiting period that has created paradoxes out of my wants and heightened my ever-present indecisiveness. I was accepted to my early decision school, the University of Richmond, but I can’t help but ask myself: “What now?” I am stuck in a state of eagerly awaiting the next chapter of my life and feeling as though I should somehow be doing more to hold onto my current world before it disappears forever. However, as I venture into places I have never been, I realize that both my relationship with my city and my relationships with my friends and family will undoubtedly evolve. Most importantly, the earth will not stop spinning for my trivial desires, and lives without me in them will go on.

Richmond is currently nothing more than a place I haphazardly visited for a day, but otherwise know only through other people’s observations. A year from now, that will change. The city that was once nothing more than a capital I memorized for a seventh grade geography quiz will hold new firsts and new experiences, giving the name on paper tangible meaning to me. New acquaintances will alter my life, just as I might change theirs. Perspectives are meant to evolve, thus we cannot traverse life and remain the same.

The realization I have come to is that no matter how deliberately I tighten my grip on my current world, it is just one place and one period of time that will inevitably pass — a layover. I suppose part of me chose a school 3,000 miles east as a way to retaliate against the familiarity that has been so constant all my life. I crave the unknown — and yes, that includes seasons. I want to pair experiences with locations I have only heard of, and to put meaning to people and places that are already functioning independent of me right now.

Maybe someday I will find new people and a new place to comprise another home — another cocoon. But as of now, I see a whole world to conquer.

by Savannah Kelly