I took this title & idea from my beautiful friend (and often inspiration) Mattie. (I also took one of her names, now that I think about it, but that was wholly by coincidence)
What was I doing last year? Who was I? What were my struggles and goals and aspirations and terrors?
I had just finished a beautiful summer, I remember that. An aching, beautiful summer. I was coming off of the high of having just been the principle director of two artistic endeavours. Plays, I may as well say. I directed them. One was a children’s play, and it was rough and stretching and exhausting mentally, artistically, physically. Though the children were not singers, dancers, or actors, it was a warm time of fun and glowing experiments. I was so proud of them. And of the rolling sets. They were my babies.
I had also just directed a play with my own peer-group theatre guild, which is still breathtaking and stunning to me when I watch video footage from the performances. I am highly biased, obviously, but I think it was top notch in so many ways.
I had also just fallen in love. That’s where last year started, really: me being in love with my David. He had persistently wooed me over the summer and he (and my mother) had finally convinced me to start officially dating him and not wait around til Christmastime.
A year ago today I was almost a month in to my senior year of college. That was….mm. It’s not difficult to talk about anymore, but it’s difficult to think about. I moved back into the dorms knowing something was afoot. My foursome from last year was disintegrating.
Boy #1 was going through some kind of personality crisis and had ceased to pursue friendship (or even speak civilly) with either Roommate or myself. Boy #2 (one suit-mate of Boy #1) was burying himself in school work and trying to ignore everyone else’s drama. He barely made any time for us. Roommate, devastated by the abandonment of our Boys and holding detailed and unrealistic expectations of what this upcoming year would look like, melted into a fragile hurricane. She needed more space (we lived in a studio). She needed more friends (our closest friends from last year were falling by the wayside). She needed her family (they were six hours north). Most of all, she needed a roommate who needed her and, especially, one without the distraction of a blossoming romance.
Of course, I was not able to give her anything she needed. So that turned into a murky, tearful, aching, bitter mess. A mess which improved in the spring, but was not dealt with until my last night on campus as a student. A mess which I’m still healing from, in my own confused way.
But on September 18th of last year, I had no idea how bad things were going to be. I was going out on walks at night with my David. We would hold hands and traipse around the various nooks on campus, noticing other couples taking advantage of the warm nights. We would sit and stare at each other’s faces and talk about our minds and the future. I didn’t let him kiss me, but just tracing his features in the moonlight was the most ecstasy I’d ever experienced.
A year ago today I was probably memorizing the script for the play I acted in that fall. That was the play that taught me that acting was hard; it taught me how to violently weep onstage. It was a play about terrorists and political hostages, and it reminded me that things aren’t simple. It was a good, good part of my life. It also made me irritable and exhausted in the evenings, but it was incredibly fulfilling and absolutely worth it.
But otherwise, last year was when people at school started treating me a little differently because I had a boyfriend. Last year was when I tried to love my Shakespeare class, but just got frustrated most of the time. Last year on September 12th I wrote that I was excited about “Mylo Xyloto,” “Moving back into the Comm Building for two weeks” (for my last stage-crew assignment), “Kisses,” and “A Clean Kitchen.”
What do I want and see for next year? That’s a whole new post.