Thursday, July 30, 2009

Man on the Moon

I was watching the History Channel, my trusted companion during summer vacations, and saw something rather unsettling. It was talking about stars, and how they can accumulate little satellites over time, things that orbit around their pull of gravity.

They orbit that star and make up it's own little universe, a microcosm of the infinite nothingness (or everything-ness?) around it. But they have a little timer in their core, a pre-destined date of expiration, and on that day suddenly the gasses just implode on themselves and can't sustain the little star anymore.

The satellites, things like meteors and such orbiting around the star, just shoot off into space. Some are destroyed, some just find another pull of gravity to rotate around. That's it, bah, the star is gone and everything is redistributed.


The looming college experience has been sending me off into random moods lately. I get very cranky sometimes, snappy for no reason. Then I tell myself I have only a few weeks left to enjoy truly being an inhabitant of this town, and I should enjoy it. I feel better for a while, then I get very, very depressed. I start to push away the people I care about so I can be alone. Then I tell myself I'm only an hour and a half away and really it's not that big of a deal.

Had I accepted my admission letter to Duke University, well yes, things would change because I would be a plane ride away. Yet, nothing is settling me. I'm distraught, and very unstable for some reason still.

I really shouldn't be that attached to Lawton. What has Lawton done for me lately? I'll drive through it and just see the million and one markers of memories around town.

'There goes that Catholic school which I despised attending.'

'There goes my middle school that I despised attending.'

'There goes my high school which I loved and hated all at the same time.'

'There goes the mall where I had my first kiss with my then girlfriend.'

'There goes my best friend's house.'

'There goes the Mexican restaurant I worked at.'

'There it all goes....'

Lawton, though I never really cherished it, really is an integral part of me. I may have had a whole lot of bad times, and generally cursed the population of the place, but... here it was, it was me. From torturous bullies to good times with friends, from nuns to hick teachers, from the awful years to the good ones, it was all me.

I guess now that I'm about to more or less remove myself from it, I never noticed how much like one of those stars on History Channel I was. I had my own little pull of gravity, I had things revolving around me that made up my world. Some good, some bad. Some I wish I could get rid of, some I desperately want to keep. And I guess I'm about to reach that pre-destined expiration date where I explode in a torrent of hot gas and solar flares and everything around me either explodes with me or just shoots off to join some other star, some other pull of gravity, something that's not... me.

I guess that's what I'm most afraid of. That I'm just like one of those stars on the History Channel, and I'll just go bah, and it will be like I was never there.

I'm only an hour and a half away, I'm only an hour and a half away, though sometimes I feel like I'm going to the moon.


YayaOrchid said...

Don't obsess over it too much. It's normal pre-separation jitters. It's probably sinking in that you'll be all on your own, taking care of yourself, making decisions on your own. That can be a little scary. It also shows you're made of good stock. You care about your roots. Not too many young people these days are like that. I hate to admit it, but I think my two Sons were a wee bit too eager to leave home for college. I'd have loved it if they had just stayed in town at the local JC.

Besides, you've got some educating to do beyond your comfort zone. Remember that thing about race relations? And you know what? Duke would probably be a great place to really dig your writing teeth into and saturate that time zone with your intellect. America needs people like you to make things better.

glorv1 said...

Hi Juan Pablo. It's late and I was getting ready to go to bed, but I thought I would make a few more stops. Ayeeee ay ay. Sounds like you are analyzing every part of your being. Who you are, where you are, where you will be and I think that it is a good think that you are taking the time to do that. It's all part of you taking your place in this world with an open mind and an energy that will touch people. Don't worry too much, just take each day as it comes and breath a sigh of relief that you are here and ready to explore. You'll be fine. You know my son who is now deceased, was stationed at Lawton base. You go Juan Pablo, go get em. Take care.

Valerie said...

I was ecstatic to leave the town I lived in! It wasn't till recently (getting married thinking about starting a family...) that I really miss it.
But I know that when we go through big changes in our lives its easy to regress a little, so cherish your last days, don't be too hard on yourself, and enjoy your new experience!

Sandy said...

Change is never easy. You move out of a town you have spent a lot of time in, away from friends and family and the fear that your footprints won't last long are bound to grip you. We all want to be remembered, to have made a difference. People move on, places change. Sometimes it seems we never existed. But rest assured that the people who held you close to their heart will always remember and miss you.
Hope this cheers you up a bit.
Take care. :)

Mr. Charleston said...

Juan Pablo... You're embarking on life my friend. Enjoy every minute of it. When I was your age I was suffering the same anticipation only I was going into the military. Talk about culture shock. You arrive with a bus full of strangers in the middle of the night to someone screaming at you.
I've worked at a couple of colleges, the move-in day is a lot of fun with positive excitement.

Come over to my place an look up an old post I did named, Dr. J.H. Christ, SOG, I don't know if I can hyperlink it or not, but here it is.
I think you'll enjoy it.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

You know, I felt the same way when I left home for the first time for college. Apprehensive. But you adjust really fast. And home's always there if you need it! It won't forget you so long as you don't forget it. It'll be exciting, even though it seems daunting now. It's the start of something awesome. It's sort of like that whole Universe thing - back where life began with a soup of rock, chemicals and gases on the outer reaches of the Universe - it was about new beginnings. Just like this is for you!

There I got space in there somewhere! :)

YayaOrchid said...

I just realized I forgot to give you the link for the font:

Simon said...

It might have been better to phrase that sentence ‘There goes the mall where I had my first kiss with my then girlfriend.’ rather than ‘my ex girlfriend’ – unless there’s a story of rekindled love behind that.

javierandres said...

Well I can't give any advice :S
I mean last September I started my first year of magnet high school and it was STRESSFUL, and you could say I felt the same way you did. All the classes were way over advanced the grade level, and no one was quite prepared.
I mean hey, at least you don't have to take the bus 2 hours a day to go somewhere you love and hate so much at the same time.

Peggy said...

Ah, so you are about to leave the nest. That means your folks will be empty nesters like me. Well, my youngest just flew off and I think she felt much like you did - only she doesn't have the creative writing outlet like you do. (Loved your justaposition about the stars.)

She can hardly wait to come home for a visit next week! Maybe. Now that she decided to come home for a few days, she started getting interviews.

Every road has a bend in it. You do not see what is around the bend, but usually the best is. And most roads lead back home for visits!

Life is a journey! Prepare to enjoy it.