I leave things behind but I won’t be left behind. Graduation 2010.

Fall on your knees. It is a line in a song. A line that will never be heard the same after feeling your own knees buckle for the first time, your legs kissing the floor in quiet desperation.

I walked slowly in to the chapel last  night after lapping the campus a few times. I adore this sanctuary when the rest of the world is sleeping. But as I sought to reminisce on my upcoming graduation the next day, I was unexpectedly hit me harder than ever before. So hard that I fell to my knees and began to cry.

“Show me how to leave this place behind,” I asked upward in a desperate duel between tears and words. “Please show me.”

As I picked myself up from the floor and began to weave in and out of the pews that I had come to know so well in the past four years, I found myself drawn to a book in the corner of the chapel.

I had never seen the book before. It originally had been a guest book for visitors to leave a mark. In time it became a place to etch out a prayer onto paper, to ask for forgiveness, to extend a cry up to the heavens.

Each prayer was dated. I was drawn to one prayer in particular from the beginning of May 2009: Please bless my daughter Erin as she begins her freshman year here. Give her all the happiness she deserves and help her to find herself.

Erin. My Answer.

I don’t know Erin, nor do I think I ever will. But reading her mother’s prayer, the night before my own college graduation was all the answer to my own that I could ever need. I needed to leave, needed to graduate today and drive home for good, because others, like Erin, were meant to come in my place. To Fill The Same Spots That Once Filled Me.

But maybe we should all stand still? And Never Move? Find a spot of goodness in our lives and decide to never alter it. Like J.D. Salinger once wrote, “Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.” We could stay in places for the rest of our lives. In College. In A Lover’s Arms. In A Comfortable And Good Paying Job. But if we choose to stand still do we sacrifice moving forward?

When we find ourselves at the end of a road we could very well scrounge for a chance to go back and do it all over again but that would be selfish. Yes, that would be selfish. And I will go out on a limb and guess that we don’t really need that time as much as we claim we do.

Erin, or whomever the person may be, needs the time more than me. Someone needs mailbox number 243 more than me now to get the same good news that might change their lives, like it did mine. Someone needs the dorm rooms that I once occupied more than me now so that they too can see people walk into their room and also their heart. Someone else needs the positions I have held on my campus more than me now so that they can be shaped just as I was. And the possibility of leaving that to someone else is reason enough out and onward willingly.

We cannot hoard away people we loved, experiences we treasured, jobs we adored, in hopes that they will never be tainted or touched by anyone else. Better we give them up, send them out into the world, let someone else feel the same way we once did, accepting that the word “forever” is rarely meant for our reach. And rightfully so.

We are never left with empty arms.

As we make the decision to leave the past behind, we pick up new facets to this lifetime that will help us to grow another part of ourselves. But we must be willing to drop certain things to pick up new ones though. We need to leave some things behind so that we are not left behind instead.

Life is full of picking up and dropping off. Full Arms. Heavy Hearts. But I willingly close a chapter in my life by knowing it is the start for someone else.

May 15, 2010

Assumption College Graduate

Summa Cum Laude

English and Mass Communications & Sociology

27 thoughts on “I leave things behind but I won’t be left behind. Graduation 2010.

  1. Congratulations to you a million times over! You are a star dear Hannah – a big bright one, that leaves us all a little unbalanced at your beauty.

    I’m so excited about your graduation and all the memories and experience you’ve gained from the years you spent in college – they are priceless. And while sometimes it’s hard to imagine it could get better than that, it will, because you want so much more and you will fight for so much more.

    You deserve so much more.

    This is a good life, huh? 🙂

    All my best to you always,

    1. Carolina,

      Your words always hit me to the core. You are one the finest writers , even in comment format! Thank you so much for the congratulations, it is definitely bitter sweet and I am so so excited for the world ahead of me. Thank you for your continued support throughout the past few months, really it has meant the world to me.


      Hannah Katy

  2. I graduated college six years ago now, but I still feel overwhelming nostalgia every time I visit friends in that small town. I’m so grateful to God for those amazing four years, but I also can’t imagine living them over and over again forever.

    This post was perfect. Congratulations. 🙂

    1. Really Kathleen? Well then I guess I will learn to expect this feeling for quite a while longer, but that is perfectly fine. These memories are priceless. And you are right, it is important to praise God for the he gives us in certain places. I am who I am because of these four years. Thank you!


      Hannah Katy

  3. As I dread entering another semester full of classes, I know how ecstatic I’m going to be the time graduation hits.

    But I know nostalgia will come, as I’ll be leaving this familiar, scholarly life for one where I have to be an actual Grown-Up. 😉

    Congratulations on your graduation! You are amazing.

    1. Thank you Stephany! I think when graduation hits you will certainly be ready.. Hey, I am an actual “grown up” now and it really does not feel so different ha ha.


      Hannah Katy

  4. such beautiful writing! and that first picture should be treasured! really captures the essence of the moment. true, these moments are meant to be shared. and that’s why we go on; passing the torch to someone else. good luck to you!

  5. Hannah, this is such a beautiful piece of writing. Assumption has done everything it could have done for us, and I truly believe that all of us are ready for whatever is supposed to come next. If we weren’t ready to move on, we wouldn’t have walked across that stage yesterday. Time to pass it along to someone new and to let the next group feel the same amazing and overwhelming rush of emotions we all had the chance to experience this year. Congratulations and best of luck with everything–New York will be blessed to have you around!
    ❤ Jenn

    1. You are so right Jenn… And I can only hope my hardest that those undergrads take full advantage of the opportunities just as we did. We both know how they can change your life for the better. Keep in touch and keep blogging!


      Hannah Katy

  6. Congratulations. My former roommate graduated Saturday as well. I am older than him and when we first moved in together I thought to myself, this kid is not gonna make it, but by God, he grew by leaps and bounds and did it in 4 years. It was almost like watching a child or sibling walking across that stage.

    1. Congratulations to him as well! You pass that along for me, ok? And it is definitely wild how four years can change a person more than the 18 years prior ever could. Oh college.

      Thank you!


      Hannah Katy

  7. Congratulations beautiful 🙂 “But if we choose to stand still do we sacrifice moving forward?” I think so. I think if we remain where we are, as comfortable as it may be we are denying ourselves of using everything we’ve learned from where we are and putting it out there into the world. You are going to go forward and do amazing things, I just know it 🙂

    1. Thank you Emily! You saying that means so much to me, since I admire and adore you so. I am moving forward, more confident than ever.. And it is great to know that people like you will be on for the ride.


      Hannah Katy

  8. Congratulations, pretty lady! Such a wonderful accomplishment. Soak it all up and enjoy yourself. You definitely deserve it.


  9. Congratulations on graduating! I graduated last year and it’s so weird to think that a year went by! I miss it and I remember being so scared. But everything has it’s time and you’re going to find amazing things ahead of you Hannah!

  10. Congratulations on graduating, Hannah! This is such a huge milestone in your life, and one that should be celebrated thoroughly – which I am sure you are doing and embracing haha. You are about to evoke on the newest and biggest adventure to come your way in life, and I hope you are overwhelmed with excitement for this! I envy your ability to start a new chapter, and know that you will take with you all that you have learned! I look forward to hearing all the new knowledge that you gain, as well as all your amazing experiences that are to come. Enjoy the beginning of the summer, and I will see you in a few weeks! 🙂
    Love always,

    1. You do the same my dear! You are in London as of now, make the most out of your experience. And come back with plenty of stories, lessons learned and numbers of cute English boys for me! Cheerio love.


      Hannah Katy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s