Warrior Words: Bookends

Saudade is a Portuguese and Galician word that roughly translates into a feeling of nostalgia for the present. As I sit in reaction to reading my best friend’s college recommendation letter for me, eloquently detailing the span of our relationship from its beginnings in middle school to present day, saudade is the only term that can effectively characterize my emotions.

I like to look at my life as if it were a movie. I don’t necessarily see myself as the revered protagonist whose existence drives the plot forward, the center of cinematic gravity resting on my shoulders. Instead, my story chronicles the more minute interactions that comprise the everyday nature of humanity. Reading her letter, it was as if the last six years of my existence in Wilton, both inadvertent and intentional, had built up to this seminal moment. Yet it was not as grand a picture as a movie may portray; my acne medicine donned, bundled into the burrow of my bed and surrounded by a mountain of ajar notebooks and looseleaf paper, I cried for the bookends of my adolescence. Perhaps the moment was more akin to an indie film than a Hollywood blockbuster. How does one effectively gauge when a montage is over, transcending into the next sequence of events?

Part of me already felt a shifting of tides at the beginning of senior year. For the first three years of high school, I determined that I was punished by time. The majority of my friends were in the grade above, our fate separated by a mere few months. I remember fretting as early as freshmen year, wondering how the once vast world of WHS would dare to beat on in regularity without all of the people I loved so dearly; yet it was so distant, so unfathomable a gap of time to even consider a burden. I never truly considered what an impediment their departure would be until they all left for college, leaving me behind to fester in the anxiety, excitement, and confusion that surrounds the final period before departure.

I try not to revel in the melancholy that seems to constantly root itself at the base of all interactions: my last Halloween at home, my last WHS spirit week, my last fall show, my last etc. Instead, I choose to recognize that while there may be concrete endings to fond memories, a new chapter thus begins. In learning to recognize, and accept, the bookends that encompass my final few months left in Wilton, I am excited to create a blank slate for my future’s next tale.

Already two months into my own senior year, the remaining blank pages rapidly wane. The binding worn from time, the pages overwritten with the fat proof of life, I am beginning to finalize the few chapters left of my childhood. I will turn 18 in less than two months; I will graduate in seven. And as I write this column, I watch the minutes fade past 11:59 on Nov. 1st, the deadline of college applications. Now, all I can do is wait for my last few pages to be filled by the inevitability of fate.

Skyler Addison is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with four classmates.