I have lived in Laporte, CO, a bustling town of 2,000 people for 18 years. Oddly, I don't even know the entire 3 square miles. I've been going off on adventures lately, off on the dirt roads behind the restaurant/bakery/tackle store, Vern's Place. I am impressed by the views back there, and I believe it's where I'd like to live someday. But if I don't even know my entire minuscule town, I know there is no chance of knowing the entire world. That's comforting, in a way. I'm here for a reason, but it's a small reason. No one is meant to do everything.
Ever since before graduation, I've felt the weight of all those impending goodbyes. I'm not moving into Fort Collins, or to another city, or even to another state. I am crossing the Atlantic Ocean. I know I won't be alone, as I have Emily, Lydia, Anne Elise, and Jenneni, and all the other YESers, in spirit. But I feel quite alone. I don't know anyone taking else taking such a big step right out of high school. I have been so nervous to part with my loved ones. But as my friends settle into their dorm rooms or pack their bags, as my teacher parents and teenage brothers return to school, I am ready. I'm ready to say that terrible word beginning with g, because saying it is far better than waiting to say it. In the next week, I will probably shed tears, give hugs, and make promises. But I am ready. This agony of prolongs farewell cannot last forever.
I know during my eighteen years in Laporte (and Fort Collins), I've done my share. I've loved, I've lost, and I've touched lives. I am leaving a dreaming girl. I will return a grown woman ready to give my life direction.