This past semester, I felt locked in a post-you era. Even though, after you said those fateful words — “I’m not looking for a relationship” — I stopped liking you and even stopped hurting for you, I failed to restart, like some stuttering obsolete computer. I felt like I couldn’t, not without some sort of signal to transition. I wanted to flip over the page to the next chapter of my life, but it felt like the same chapter kept going on and on — even though different stuff started happening, even though you stopped being a character. I guess I wanted to look up at the night sky and see the stars aligned in the words: THE END. I wanted a sign.
But now, the semester is over. There is no boundary as definitive as the beginning of sweet summer. I brush the dust of you and my leftover feelings into the container called Freshman Year and seal it off for good.
I’ve been thinking of emotional containers recently: how we compartmentalize our phases of life, how we decide to move on and start new. I like using the pre-existing, nature-found boxes for my cycles of emotions: the container of childhood, of high school, of years. But I know that I can and should make my own containers. Turn over a new leaf on my terms, not on the seasons’.
It’s like how a while ago I realized that one crappy incident shouldn’t “ruin my day.” If I spill my coffee all over my new skirt, I can, just, compartmentalize the spill into that part of the day. And proceed to have an alright one.
Perhaps I can learn from my friend who has a quick rebound period — perhaps, perhaps — I can stop being the person who loves other people for too long.
(Post-script): Summer! This ultimate emotional container is available for a short amount of time, as a special seasonal offer! This 100% organic and paraben-free container has the perfect dimensions — holding a volume of approximately 3 months — and provides the best lighting and temperature all year. People like it so much that they called it the Summer Fling. Hey, I want one of these, too.