She left this morning. 6:40. I drove her up to her grandparents' house and left her there last night so they could take her up to the airport. She's gone, and for a whole year.
Stick with me here. I have a point to this besides the whining you might expect from me.
I'm finding myself in a period of major change in my life, and it's coming a year earlier than I thought it would. It's come as a big surprise to me. I didn't think all of my friends would be disappearing and the like until I actually left town and went out to seek my fortune in the lone and dreary world. It turns out this process has started this summer, albeit slowly. I have to admit that I should have seen this coming. I knew my friends would slowly disappear on me when the summer started. One of my roommates left for Washington, D.C. after fall semester. Another left for Chicago after winter term. Robert Poste left for an internship after spring term. And now Petra's gone off to Indonesia. Looking into the future, I see that a lot of the people I associate with now are going to be leaving within a month.
Here's why this is such a worrisome thing for me. I came back to Provo last summer because the girl I was dating at the time was coming back from a program in Nauvoo and I preferred being with her to working at home. Unforseen to me, though, we broke up about a week before I left to come back to Provo. My reason for coming back now gone, I set about creating a new reason for me to be in Provo in the summer. A friend of mine had introduced me to the 100 Hour Board in March, and so I decided to take another look at it. I enjoyed it so much (it being one of the few things that I did at the time) that I decided to read the entire archives until I found how to become a writer. I did, and I succeeded. Once accepted as a writer, I decided that this coming year would be the Year of the Board for me.
It has been the Year of the Board. Most of the people I closely associate with are people that I met through the Board (or its cousin, Blue Beta). I don't spend all of my spare time answering questions like I used to, but I do spend a great deal of my spare time with the people. There were a lot of new people to deal with at first, which worried me. I have a hard time with new people, since I'm terrified of making a poor first impression. (In my defense, I'm startlingly good at making a poor first impression. I'm amazed people stick with me sometimes.) However, slowly but surely, I found a crowd of people that I fit in well with. Strangely enough, a lot of them belong to what I had dubbed the "poetry crowd," whom I thought I would never have anything to do with. Go figure.
The group I really like spending time with are mostly what you might call intellectuals. I can make jokes about John Updike with them and not have to provide background explanation. It's really nice, and I really like being with them. The only snag is that nearly all of them are graduating or have already graduated and are going back to grad school in the fall. That's a drag for me, since I've worked so hard to build up this new corps of friends, most of whom will be abandoning me within a month, have they not left already.
Mind you, I don't have all that much to complain about. My roommates are coming back in September. I still have people here in Provo that I like being with. Perhaps most of all, I'm still living in a country where people speak my language and share my culture (sorry, dear Petra). Still, I wasn't expecting this paradigm shift to come for another year. If this year is like this, I can't even begin to imagine what next year is going to be like.
Life is change, though. Pity I didn't know that when I signed up. I hate change, good for me though it may be.