Have you ever waited at a window for someone to appear? Sometimes life feels like that. It’s odd, as graduation approaches I figured that my colleagues and I would get closer. I thought we’d huddle together in the face of the future but we haven’t and surprisingly, that’s okay by me. I tend to not spend the majority of my time in the Humanities lounge anymore. If pressed to comment I would acknowledge that I used to be a fixture there but that life now keeps me away. I was often there when everyone else arrived in the morning and I’ve also had the privilege of switching off the lights at the end of the night several times before. I’ve been there when the day started and when it ended. I no longer hold that role though. I’m not even sure who does anymore.
These changes startle me sometimes but all too often now I’m so caught up in doing things that I’m not always able to revel in the beauty that is living. I feel like a train going full speed towards a tunnel and I have no idea what’s on the other side yet it’s still my goal. I would posit that some of my colleagues could empathize with me while others have already pulled into the next train station. Some people are truly checked out because at this stage they just need to pass their classes to get where they’re going. My life plans are a little less solid and I catch myself waving through windows at those who’re moving on to other things.
Life is more about what’s happening to you than what you want to happen. The truth is that we have very little control over what’s going to happen to us but we can make the choice to live. We can make the choice to imbue our lives with meaning that may or may not be present in the world at large. *I’m looking at you Camus* When you stand at a window you’re forced to look out and observe the world around you. Windows, unlike mirrors though, allow the world to look back at you. Windows present an opportunity. Seeing someone in a window waiting for you – there are few things that make you feel as precious or important as that action. Waiting for someone or something implies that what you’re waiting for is worth the wait.
When I used to have 8:30 morning lectures in the Humanities lecture hall I would arrive early, open the curtains, flip on the lights, and look out at the world. I’m not sure what I was looking for but eventually someone else would join me in the lecture hall and the spell of silence would be broken by companionship. I would stop looking out the window and engage with the here and now. Over the years my university colleagues and I have explored fantastical worlds, we’ve grappled with the big questions, we’ve fought the universe, we’ve conquered fears, lost battles, and yet as we approach the end of our time together we don’t see much of each other anymore.
Perhaps though, this is not the insult I supposed it to be; I thought we were simply trying to make way for our new lives that have little room for those we read, wrote, and argued alongside but I don’t think that’s what is happening. Instead, I think we’re closing a chapter on our lives. We will keep those memories of what we learned, what we lost, and what we loved. Those experiences cannot not be so easily erased as I supposed. However, we have a duty to ourselves as well, we have to step out into the world. We are drifting away from each other and back together in these final months because we’re stuck between being the one waving through the window and being the one the other is waiting for and being privy to that time of transformation is an awesome experience.
*The title of this post comes from “Waving Through a Window” from the musical Dear Evan Hansen.