Last night, I went to watch a scrimmage football game at the high school I attended and graduated from. Usually, I don’t turn out for pre-season games (and rarely for regular season ones), but my brother is the equipment manager. I’m very proud of the new responsibilities that he has taken on, and I was excited to watch him do whatever it is that he does. As it turns out, last night he recorded the game from the top of this scaffold thing at the end zone. When I watched him climb up on the flatbed truck, up the ladder, and onto a plank that was being supported by what looked like toothpicks, I had to hold my breath. For some reason, I always think he’s going to fall and break something. But he didn’t and he did a fine job managing the video equipment.
However, I didn’t spend my $3 admission fee just to watch my brother handle a camera. I paid to watch the game, but mostly the people around me. I do this a lot. If I ever have the chance and I’m sitting still, I’ll watch the people around me do their thing. Last night wasn’t any different, only I realized that I was now living disconnected from the world that once was.
I lived in the same house for 18 years, went to the same county schools, and graduated from the same high school as my parents. My family hasn’t moved much in the past 100 years, we’ve just settled nicely in rural Kentucky. If one was to become disconnected from their surroundings and neighbors in our area, then it was their own fault for not getting out more (I assume). Still, after I moved away to college and today maybe return home twice a month, I feel more and more disconnected from the place I once called home. Not in a bad “Well, she went off to college to get away from here” disconnect, but a “I’ve just moved on” type of disconnection.
Last night while at the game, nothing seemed normal. Since graduating two years ago, there’s a whole new set of students, new teachers, and just a whole new set of everything. I had moved away, time had progressed, and nothing felt normal like I had expected. I didn’t recognize any of the students sitting around me and the only person on the field that I remotely recognized was my brother catching the game on film. Time not only changes things, but causes life to move on.
I’m not saying that I don’t belong where I was raised my whole life, but it’s probably not going to be where I spend the rest of my life after college. In fact, I probably have a better chance of getting hit by a piece of space rock than living out my days in Central Kentucky. Maybe some other part of Kentucky, but not the part I grew up in.
On the flip side, for every connection that we lose, we make new ones. I think saying goodbye to something/someone is one of the hardest things a person can do, and I said goodbye to an area that I appreciated two years ago. No, I haven’t let go of it, but I know that I’m still moving away, disconnecting, and becoming my own person. I’m a work in progress, and sometimes the work calls for a disconnecting of all things familiar and developing attachments to things we don’t quite yet understand.