Broken Pieces

I’m in the middle of packing for college. Well, the beginning. I’m in the beginning of packing for college, and I placed the 3 mugs that I want to take with me into a storage container on top of my bed.

One is the medium blue AFS-Wisconsin mug we got when we dropped off Iida, our foreign exchange student. It represents my love for all things international, for the world, for travel, for languages, for the unknown, for Iida.

The second is the purple mug I made for myself in pottery class last semester. It represents all the things I wish I had, the creative spirit, the need to make, the beauty of being able to make something with your very own hands.

The last was a giant mug that I bought in NYC last January when I went with Iida and my best friend and her family. That’s the one that broke.

I just turned my back for a moment and I heard it tipping. You know how it is in that moment, everything goes into slow motion. You can hear things that you can’t normally. I reached for them, attempting to stop the crash. In that moment, I knew it was my own fault. I shouldn’t have left them there.


My heart raced. I picked up the storage unit and surveyed the mugs. The NYC was broken. I screamed.

My mom suggested glueing it together.

“Don’t you know,” I wanted to say, “That once something is broken, you can never fix it.”

I’m not sure why I’m so upset. It is just a mug. But it was the only thing I bought in NYC. It was the perfect souvenir. It represent that trip and all that it stood for. Me and my best friend’s relationship. My and Iida’s relationship. How the city made me feel at home. How I felt loved by a family that was not my own, but over the years, has become like an extension of me in some ways.

I sat there for moments, trying to force the pieces back together, trying to undo the moment.

But that’s the thing. You can’t undo anything in life, no matter how much you will it. And in that moment, it wasn’t about the mug. It was about how I was sitting on the edge of my bed in the room that has been my sanctuary for the past five years, willing as hard as I could for time to reverse to that moment in New York when I bought the mug. To any moment in New York. To any moment in Florida. To any moment at Convo in November. Even to cross country in the fall.

It was about how in that moment, as I held the broken pieces of my NYC mug in my hand, struggling to shove them into becoming one again, I wanted nothing more than for time to rewind. The shattering of that mug was just another moment in which my mind went, “Shit, I’m leaving in less than a month, and no matter how hard I try to make it, none of my life I’ve already lived is coming back.”

It’s not that I don’t want to go to college. i do. I’m quite excited for it all. It’s that as I said in my last post, it’s impossible to leave the places that change you, because when a place changes you, it becomes you.

But the thing is, as impossible as it is to leave a place that changes you–it’s a million times harder to leave a person who changes you.

And I’m tired of leaving the people I love.


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