The ride: Someday, it stops. Then what?

It was spring quarter 2012, when I first washed up on Bellevue College campus. I had just met some new friends after coming down from Bellingham and flunking out of WCC. While up north I worked endless hours at a smelly old gunshop, located in the middle of no where; Alger, WA. The ceiling leaked, rats defecated on my keyboard and the running water that enabled the toilet to flush came from the small creek outside. Ergo, when it rained, it poured and the creek filled up to the point where employees had the “sheer luxurious experience” of using the Honey Bucket, (courtesy of the shop owners) or a bush, (courtesy of Mother Nature.)

When I first started classes here on campus, I was eary, shy and just overall naïve when it came to understanding the cynicism of dating and relationships. I constantly  tried to make friends and getting emotional validity from those around me. I suppose, at the time (and sometimes still) I yearn for. But when I look back at all the time, effort, more time and more effort put into any relationship friendship that I endured just a few years ago, that has evaporated like drops of water on a windshield in the blazing heat, I felt like all of it was all a huge waste of bitter, emotional strain. Or was there a reason for it all?

Just as I began my long journey to BC from Bellingham, I had met some people up at Western who I thought were going to be “good friends”—I was wrong. Most were just any other person that came and went, who only liked being around you when they get something out of it.  But then I met a guy. This person was different—he was special, or so I believed. He attended Western and was ending his junior year of college and I was just getting my head out of my ass and trying to figure out what I supposed to do with my life.

Although our paths had crossed at a weird time when I was about to move back home, we made it work. Every weekend I drove up to B-ham to see him and it was wonderful. Every date, every party, every sip taken from a glass, every walk around the lake and movie we sat holding hands together, watching in the dark theater, was more magical and chessy than a Nickolas Sparks novel. And I could not get enough.

With all the love I ever thought I could need, I joined the newspaper with full optimism. It is funny when as soon as you start becoming more successful and academically in tune with school, relationships start to change, and like the great Pangaea, drift apart.

Then, as if I were only slightly buckled into a roller coaster, my world quickly was up and down, zooming this way and that, and I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Now the coaster has stopped, and I’ve gotten off the ride. Looking back is painful, and I sometimes wish I could just stay and ride that ride for forever. I guess it ran its course. Two years have passed and the guy I met in Bellingham, that guy and girl who our mutual friends would say, “you two are like magnets,” is gone. The guy who helped me pursue my dreams of being a writer, and encouraged me to apply to the Watchdog, even when I did not think it was worth applying, is gone. He lives a new comfortable life in Seattle, working for a small software company. My friends from quarters ago have all transferred or dropped out of BC, and with only one quarter left the future never looked so bright.

So many things I thought I knew, whether it is an old boyfriend, or a good friend I met in English during that first spring quarter who now doesn’t have “time” to say hello to me—it is all different. I never thought I would be heading east to go to WSU to finish my dream of being a journalist. Just like I never thought I would be a part of a college paper. But one thing I knew for sure was  that I refused to sit at a desk in Alger, watching the snow melt from the roof and drip down into a garbage can sitting next to my computer and answering calls from customers who asked me the same questions over and over, “I wanna’ kill some badgers, what kind of gun should I get?” Life is too short for that shit.