Have you ever missed something, so much that you cry?
I cried today, for a chapter in my life that’s long gone; Southampton chapter.
I’d been doing so well all this time. I avoided playing songs that I used to listen in my Southampton era, and I put all photos in a folder that I kept safe, untouched. I’d buried everything about Southampton, since the day I left it.
But yesterday, I saw a photo of a friend graduating on my Facebook timeline. He isn’t a close friend, but we spent a good amount of time when I was there, and inevitably, we shared stories and experiences. Then today I watched some bits of the graduation ceremony in Turner Sims Hall (thank goodness for live streaming), and suddenly, my heart ached. I didn’t expect to see familiar faces, it’s been 1.5 years since I left. But to my surprise, I saw 2 people I knew back then, whom I used to hang out with. Somehow, all the emotions and memories came rushing back to me. When I looked at their graduation photos, I felt a pang of sadness. I’ve always associated them with Southampton, along with memories attached to each person. And now, as their Southampton chapter is ending, I feel lost. It’s a nasty jab when I realized, if someday I come back to Southampton, everything will be different. I might not know anyone there, and I might feel alienated in a place that was utterly familiar to me. In a way, I guess it’s worse than moving to a completely new place, where you don’t have pieces of dormant memories tucked in every corner of the city, ready to be awoken at any moment.
Southampton means a lot to me. It was the place where I met some of the most incredible people in my life. It was the place where I found my true self, and the courage to be that self. It was the place where I fell in love, got heartbroken, and recovered in a way that made me not just stronger, but also wiser and richer.
Southampton introduced me to the best version of myself I hadn’t known before, and for that reason alone, it holds a special place in my heart.
Usually, I distract myself before I get too emotional. Today, I let myself cry.
I hope I can see you again, Southampton. :’)