Ah, who are we kidding? We went there for the pianos. Some of their choice pieces were "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day and the score from Howl's Moving Castle. I wanted to join in on the fun but couldn't remember any songs I learned except for one, but I couldn't remember how it went. It was a simple song from an exercise book that I learned from my younger brother (he's seven years younger than me), so I couldn't just look it up online. Being the problem solver I am, I asked him via Skype to find the song for me and send me a picture, which he promptly did. That evening I spent some time on Noteflight transcribing the picture into sheet music I could print. [check out the fruits of my labor]
As you can see, we were quite distracted and didn't get as much done as we had hoped, but I don't mind. When I look back on my college years I'm not going to think, "Darn I wish I was more productive that one Sunday," but instead I'll laugh and say, "Remember that time we tried to play the piano? We're actually pretty good now!" Whether or not there is sarcasm behind that last remark I'll let you decide.
This is kind of weird for me to say here because I'm not usually a mushy/sentimental person and I think my friends read my blog occasionally, but I really think that I've found my best friends in these people. I've shared this a few times in person saying, "You guys are, like, my best friends!" Notice how I inserted the "like" to relieve the gravity of that statement, much like how I add "haha" to the end of completely non-funny text messages to ensure that the recipient knows I'm a lighthearted, nice person who knows how to have a good time. Often I get the response, "But you have so many other friends!"
Sometimes I run into people and they're like, "Who are you Audrey? [insert name here] is always talking about you and how you're so [insert positive but bland adjective like 'nice' here]." I guess that's one of the perks of going to a small school; you might not know everyone, but you at least recognize most of them. But I'm honestly so surprised/confused/flattered when I hear this about myself.
I can kind of see where this is coming from though. I see myself as a drifter. I can approach a number of people, they'll be friendly to me, and we'll have a pleasant conversation, but the relationship is very polite and superficial. We'll check up on each other, but we still don't really know each other. From a distance you couldn't tell. So I drift between groups, often welcomed, rarely belonging. My drifter status reminds me of John Smith's first impression of Sarah Hart in Pittacus Lore's I Am Number Four:
As in the case with most high schools, there are crowds of kids hanging around outside. They're divided into their cliques, the jocks and the cheerleaders, the bands carrying instruments, the brains in their glasses with their textbooks and BlackBerries, the stoners off to one side, oblivious to everyone else... I notice a girl taking pictures, moving easily from one group to the next... Everyone seems to know her and says hello to her, and no one objects to her taking their picture.
Except I'm nowhere near as charismatic or as well-known as Sarah Hart seems to be. Although I do like photography. And I slide between groups. You get my point. I drift. But unlike her, I'm lost.
I never had to worry about this in high school. I moved from Los Angeles to Beijing for middle school and was even paired with a buddy. The school ran from pre-K all the way to twelfth grade, so when I graduated from middle school and went on to high school, I was still going to the same school, surrounded by the same people. And then I'm thrown into college without a familiar face in sight.
When you graduate from high school, you're done. Move on. Start your new life in college. Don't live in the past. Some people remember high school as their glory days, but your glory days should be now. So don't look back.
Yet I can't help but wonder if I'll ever be able to build a relationship in college like the ones I had back at home. How am I supposed to build a relationship in four years like the one I had eight years to build?
And that's the problem. You're not supposed to build relationships like the ones you had before. You're supposed to create new ones. Just because you have new friends doesn't mean you can't have the ones you already have. You're not being disloyal or unfaithful or [insert guilt-ridden feeling here]. You're not replacing them. You've simply found more people who you can be you around.
My personal gauge of friendship is what we do when we hang out together. Once I've gotten to the stage where we can hang out and do nothing and not feel obligated to do anything, that's when I know. So today was just another awesome day with my best friends of awesomely not doing anything special. With a little bit of stupid thrown into the mix.
PS: 11. 10. 09. 08. 07. 06. 05. 04. 03. 02. 01.