The places I never been. The people I never met. The times when the future was as frightening as death itself.
I can specifically recall moments in the summer of 2011 when I insanely feared leaving Clarksville. I can recall moments I never wanted to end, and nights I never wanted to sleep just to hold onto each day a little longer. I can recall my feelings of hatred towards time moving forward, and time ceasing to exist. Eventually I did leave. I left for a place I visited every year since I’ve been in eighth grade. Only knowing the things I learned from field trips, and family vacations, I left for college in Chattanooga.
I was angry. I was sad. I was scared. I felt alone.
I left so much in Clarksville. And I felt as if I wasn’t done. But Chattanooga was the ticket to begin a new life. When I finally arrived, the world was different. No more Shawn, John, Kenwood, Kohana, or anything else. I was here in a new place. Unfamiliar with how to even be. The redundant routines I dreaded so much seemed so pleasant. But they weren’t an option. I had to find new redundant routines. After a two hour drive, I finally arrived at Lockmiller. My new place of residence. I lugged all my crap up to my room and was overly friendly to all my roommates, hoping to be the man who broke the awkwardness. After meeting five interesting people, and realizing how pretty my neighbors were. I thought this wouldn’t be so bad.
My first semester was great. The semester started off bonding with all of my roommates by pulling an all-nighter and making our first late night Wal-Mart trip. Afterwards, many memorable adventures embarked my beginning memories of college. We went to every home football game, sang karaoke, made many friends, lit our selves on fire, late night trips, and always did random shit. My first semester was fantastic. Suddenly, winter break approached. And the realization that the year was halfway over became real. I packed my belongings and headed home for a long month. Back in Clarksville, I laid in my full sized bed, staring at my ceiling, wishing for some kind of excitement. Wishing for something to make the days go by faster until I would finally get back to Chattanooga.
I worked, I slept, and I waited.
January finally arrived, and so I finally arrived in Chattanooga. Ecstatic to see my friends again, and ecstatic to have more adventures! I then met fantastic people, and became closer with friends I barely knew. This bunch of friends quickly became my family. We went through so much together. Every night has been an adventure, and every night I grow to love them more. From exploring the wild mountains of Tennessee, saving love, mending heart-ache, spending early mornings at Steak ‘n Shake and late nights at the Yellow Deli, hitting golf-balls off a ridge with a baseball bat, ghost hunting, playing lava, gaining access to new lows and new heights, discovering new perspectives of national parks, finding new views from the mountains to see the city I love rest down below, getting lost on a mountain, going to concerts, creating art, making tables, spontaneously going to Atlanta, acquired doughnuts, watching the sun set with close friends, to watching the sun rise with an amazing girl. The memories I made this year with these people will never compare with anything else.
This year was amazing. I made a hip-hop album, I made a movie, I made best friends, and I made memories. Unforgettable memories. Memories I will forever treasure, tell, and hold deeply within my heart.
Today, I am leaving back for Clarksville for the summer. Not wanting to leave this place. The summer will be long. And the people I care most about will be spread throughout all of Tennessee, and the nation. But I look forward to the new adventures, to the new stories, to the new friends and people, but most of all — I look forward to memories I have yet to make.