Lately I’ve felt lost at the thought of leaving St. Andrews. This place has become home. You came all the time. You met my people. I love these people with my whole heart. How can I live without them in my day to day? I know the answer to this because I’ve learned to live without you. Though, this knowledge doesn’t make the thought of leaving any easier. 

Fuck St. Andrews for bringing wonderful people into my life then scattering them across the globe. Little pieces of my heart will forever live internationally. How will these relationships endure the distance? Will we have reunions as often as we promise? Will we all communicate through Facebook messenger forever? I love these people because they lift me up and make me laugh. I love living in a place where my farthest friend here is a couple blocks away. I’m scared to take that away. Damn, I’m gonna need therapy. 

Writing to you in this blog is the most helpful form of therapy I’ve found. I’m also saving Dad a few bucks not having a therapist try and tell me what to do anymore. The blog inspired another wave of people to reach out and share their own Ike stories and explain how you impacted their lives. You have an unsurprisingly large fan club. Hearing from people meant and means more than I can explain on a keyboard. They made me laugh, they made me cry, and they made me appreciate you even more.

The blog inspired people to reach out to me and share their own experiences with loss. It’s a pretty cool club, us survivors. We live for those we lost. We can’t let go of the pain because it would mean letting go of our loved ones. We choose pain like we choose our loved ones, without hesitation. We choose to hold onto the memories. We choose the pain of losing over the emptiness of forgetting. 

Talking to others helped me realize that I am not the only person lost. I am not the only person hurting. I am not the person hurting the most. I’m just the annoying one who went and thought it was normal to publish the inner workings of my mind online. 

I’ve come to realize that the ones who have lost loved ones are not the only people who experience grief. Everyone experiences grief in different ways throughout their lives. Think about it, we lose things all the time. As we move forward, we must leave things behind. We lose the pets we thought would always be around, we become teenagers and lose our youthful friendships or mannerisms, we leave houses, towns, and routines behind, we turn a certain age and realize that childhood is a thing of the past. Burying you does not mean I met grief as you left. I have known grief my entire life, as has anyone who has lived. Grief is intrinsically connected to life and growth. The ones who lose people they love get a unique look at it from the eye of the storm. 

I will grieve St. Andrews when I leave. I will cherish the memories and my friendships but things will never be as they were. I will never forget the people who have impacted my life and I am forever grateful for the feeling I have towards those I was with on nights I can’t remember. Haha, I’m quoting Drake like some basic bitch instagram caption. As I’ve mentioned before, not everyone I’ll lose in my new chapter will be a loss. Some people leave so better ones can take their place. Better is the wrong word. More purposeful or better suited to my current environment is more fitting. Circumstances change so you can embrace the new. Sometimes we’re too myopic to see it. 

Comfort is blinding. The comfort I feel in St. Andrews with my loved ones makes me feel safe. Comfortable. I can’t let comfort keep me from going forward. I will be okay as I lose St. Andrews. I won’t let this loss knock me down but I’ll keep on keeping on.  This chapter wasn’t meant to last forever. More chapters, more people, more life is coming my way. I’m lucky to keep living this roller coaster. I wish your ride hadn’t ended so abruptly. My time in St. Andrews was always limited. I have time to emotionally prepare. I may feel lost, but I’ll be okay as I move forward. Great therapy session. I’m feeling better already. Same time next week?