Sometimes, in moments of pure off happenstance, you look across a room and you see someone you know. It might take you a few moments to place them, it might not. Be that as it may, you know that person.
You might actually go up to them and say hi, depending on how well you know them, or maybe you’ll offer a small sort of wave. Maybe you don’t say anything at all, you just notice that you saw them, briefly wonder if they noticed you too, and move on with whatever you’re doing.
I experienced the last option about a week ago. And let me tell you: it was weird.
I was sitting in a Starbucks that I knew rather well, and I heard a voice that I recognized. I glanced up, and- lo and behold, there was I girl I used to know. She was a senior when I was a freshman, and we sort of knew each other, probably more by association than anything else. A year ago, I absolutely would have said hi to her, or at least waved and said her name. I might have even asked her about her college before moving on.
Instead, I just glanced at her and acknowledged how much difference one year—half a year, really—can make in a person.
Her hair was shorter, and straighter than I had ever seen it. She wore significantly less makeup. And she was alone. A girl I had never seen not surrounded by a small clique was actually alone, and she seemed perfectly at east that way.
I have no doubt that I look and act differently from the way I did I year ago, too. But I don’t know if the distance between me and the girl I was then are quite as drastic. It seems that being “on your own” in college will do that to you.
It makes me wonder: in a couple of years, when I’m in college, will I be anything like the girl who is sitting here writing this post?
What of me will remain?
What of me will be lost to memory?
Will someone three years younger than me, who knows me mostly by association, glance at me across a Starbucks and realize a difference that I’ll have scarcely noticed?
I have no idea. But something tells me that having no idea is part of the point of it all.
Part of the point of growing up. Of changing. Of learning to be on my own.
And if that’s the case, then I’ll embrace it whole-heartedly.