When our identities evolve, we grow apart from those once closest to us; we drop our friends and they drop us. It's nothing personal, just a case of our identities no longer merging. Sometimes we evolve together and manage, for awhile, to fight off the claws of time and experience that pull us all in different directions. Eventually, though, every relationship's pulse grows weaker.
Nearly five years ago, I arrived in St. John's. Now I'm almost done my degree. Maybe it's cliche, but I am not the same person who stepped off the plane into this windy Canadian city. That person makes up a part of me, as does my nine-year-old self watching the school library flood as another typhoon soaks the red sandbar that is Cotonou; my eleven-year-old self watching the new millenium come in on a dirt street darkened by a power outage; my thirteen-year-old self flinging the words to a depressed poem onto my desk; my fifteen-year-old self blushing at the surprise birthday party put together by my sister and our dance group; my seventeen-year-old self watching anime with my bilingual friends in my mom's apartment while she's away in Belgium; my twenty-year-old self starting a new relationship in the pounding Texas sun.
As I sit with Stabilo's "Rain Awhile" crackling from my laptop, my mood slips from its recent state of fierce contentment to that more familiar sense of dissatisfaction. I think of movies: "1776", "Freedom Writers", "Pray the Devil Back to Hell". I search for the deeper meaning, the balance of life that leads to happiness and fulfillment. How much must I embrace this socially constructed reality in order to find meaning? Is my cause within or without it?
I pull the blankets (really a sleeping bag and some spare parts from the thrift store) up around my chest and put my hood up over my fuzzy head to warm up my ears. I'm going to a party tonight. The past few weeks have left me over-socialized. I'm hungry and cold.
Tomorrow I can sleep in.