Dave came up to visit me last Friday night, for seriously the first time in nearly 3 years. We went up to Saratoga and went to Ravenous which is always a delight, then froze to death walking on Broadway because it was much colder than I expected.
It was beyond strange to be on-campus. The last time I was on-campus with Jen was a couple years ago, and over half a decade ago with Dave. At those times, I felt totally comfortable on-campus. I was never a top student at Skidmore, I never played any sports or did any kind of activities really, and I never really had friends or anything like that after freshmen year (except Jen, who I’m not counting). But even so, Skidmore always felt like home, since it was the first real home I ever had. I used to feel totally safe and content in every hallway and every step and bench and sidewalk.
This time things were really different, though. The buildings and mailboxes and rooms and everything that used to be my whole world seem really small and insignificant now. And the students… God, they’re dumb. It seems so silly now, all these 18-21 year olds running around campus thinking they’re adults, when they have no clue about the world. None. My words observing the students on campus, and I quote: “These kids don’t know shit.” To be able to see the difference in level between them and myself made me feel like an adult, something I don’t feel very often (at all).
It also shows that I’ve grown, and it’s helping me accept a lot of the mistakes I made in life and in school and in friendship and in judgment when I was a Skidmore kid. At the same time, I can acknowledge those mistakes without regret now. I’m supposed to be a superb speaker, but lately I’m finding others often have a more natural way of phrasing things than I do. So I’m gonna steal this from Dave without his permission. Forgive me, Dave: “It made me really happy as well. I had to agree that our life decisions couldn’t be ‘bad’ up until that night, given the fact that we were there, together, in Saratoga Springs, because of those life decisions. And being there, together, was a beautiful thing. “
But Skidmore isn’t really home anymore. I had a total disconnect from it. It’s part of me and part of my past, but not a place where I feel like I belong now. I might go visit on occasion, but the feeling is gone–it’s just not home.
It feels weird to give up Skidmore, since it was my first home. But I still have Jen, and I still have Dave. It turns out that the most valuable thing I gained from Skidmore was far and away the people. As long as I can keep the people with me who matter, I think I can be okay giving it up…