It’s the first line of The Hunger Games. There’s something about the very first sentence that is printed in a book. How many authors have had to contemplate this deeply, rewording it and rewording it until it doesn’t look anything like the original. Perhaps some authors know their first sentence before they even know the story. It’s important, presenting the experience of reading the opening line just the way the author intends it for the reader. The first line is the introduction, the kick into the story. Instead of a “Hello, how are you?” You get that very first line.
The Hunger Games is a series that I, along with the rest of America, recently finished. Needless to say, I fell in love. I have a new place in my heart that is reserved for book characters for Katniss Everdeen. And it’s funny that I should choose its first line, because the opposite is true for me.
For the first time in my life, I have a queen-sized bed. It was left behind by the person that lived in this room before Kent did. Not complaining. I also now have a lilac cabinet that miraculously fit nearly all my clothes, despite its petite size. It’s the best thing I’ve ever had in a bedroom. I also no longer live in DC (I might have never had an actual house address while I was a Gallaudet student, but it was home). I moved to San Diego. Not a bad place to kick off your post-college life, eh? Well, there’s still graduate school (if I do actually go), but that’s not exactly college to me. That’s… graduate school. It’s when you’re supposed to get all serious anyway.
So, I’ve been out of college for a month and approximately two weeks now. Playtime is over, real life is here. I don’t know about you, but this is a time that has always been a concept too surreal for me to accept fully. I suppose that’s true for a lot of people.
Gallaudet was just so… safe. I loved the school. Always will. There was nothing scary and everything familiar about the atmosphere, the culture, the lifestyle. I didn’t need to make big decisions. Actually, that’s not true– I made several pretty important decisions for myself throughout my college years, but no matter what, I’d still have Gallaudet. It meant friends, constant companionship, potential love interests, intellectual stimulation, and most importantly, it meant my people. If I’m finished with Gallaudet, then I’m done with the nest.
What they don’t tell you about living on your own is that you’ll need to do chores everyday and even then, your apartment is never completely clean. It doesn’t help that we don’t have a dishwasher. My fingers have come to expect to prune up daily. They don’t tell you how quickly your refrigerator empties. Yes, you’ll have gone to the store only yesterday. Yes, you’ll have to do it again tomorrow.
They also don’t tell you how goddamn good it feels to not have homework. I didn’t realize this, but I’ve actually been looking forward to exactly that ever since fifth grade when I missed a trip to Japan Town because I had forgotten to do my homework for the third time. It happened on the morning of the trip. Quite traumatizing. Let me tell you, it feels really, really good, not having homework. They also don’t tell you that you’ll quickly pick up tips that will make your life easier. Microwave french bread in a ziplock bag drizzled with water to soften it and don’t buy a gallon of milk three days before you’re going out of town.
What they don’t tell you is the way you will miss college. I miss Gallaudet in a completely different way than I’ve missed anyone of anything in my life. I never quite realize it when all my friends are partying because everyday is Friday to me. So, when the realization does eventually arrive, I feel an immediate pang of regret that I am not there to enjoy the fun as well, but the truth is, I feel alright about it. I feel a love for the essence of what makes Gallaudet Gallaudet, and I wasn’t 100% ready to leave– I couldn’t have been– but the thing is, I’ve had all the conversations that I could have had, drank as much as my body could handle, and grew until I couldn’t sprout another inch in me. Going back would simply be a repeat. I got up and was ready to move on.
I’m not sure what will become of this blog. I’ve always said that a journal is proof of your growth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read old entries and thought, “Wow, I said that before? I felt that way once?” It makes life somehow seem more meaningful. So, I guess I’ll simply put down whatever I feel is worth documenting in here. A yummy recipe I tried, my review of a particularly good movie, a new perspective gained… whatever I please. This will be my journal.