the last first day

it doesn’t feel like a school day as you stumble through the hallways, trying to find your classroom, even though you’re smiling wider than you have in days; into strange, small, slightly-scared faces. they light up for a split second when they see your smile, as if the sun has peeped through the clouds and the world is temporarily golden. but though you’d like to linger long enough to really warm them, you suddenly remember what age you’re living in. you bend down and shuffle through your backpack until you find your mask. the one with the giraffes all over it – because you’re still a giraffe. still the tallest girl – the second tallest kid in school. slip it over your nose and mouth and suddenly your senses are full of fog. everything – your own voice, the voices of others – even your eyes. you’ve always been like that, strangely enslaved to your senses.

it doesn’t feel like school in morning assembly, even though your friends are by your side and everyone is praying and rising for their beloved country together. the mask is awkward on your face and you’re already craving the clarity it takes from you.

assembly is over, and you swing your backpack onto your shoulders. it’s so much lighter than last year. everything is lighter than last year, really, except for the heaviest things. but the weight is comfortable on your shoulders now. you find your study hall room and notice how things have changed. only one kid per table, unless you’re with a sibling. your brother (the only kid taller than you) is somewhere outside the door searching for his teacher, until he blushingly realizes that he is actually supposed to be in study hall. he drops into the chair in front of you. you whisper some things to each other, rebelling against the silence of the room.

it doesn’t feel like school when you go looking for your next classroom, and find yourself outside bible history with 5 pairs of blue freshmen eyes waiting for the door to open. one pair is your sister’s, and this will be your only highschool class together. and only because you forgot to take freshmen theology until now. she’s just beginning, and you’re ending. you’re ready to leave, she’s barely even starting. it’s hard to comprehend that. it’s hard to comprehend the fact that there’s a whole bunch of wide-eyed children just peeping into this world you’re soon going to leave behind.

you’re a senior, for goodness’ sakes. get over it. stop thinking so much.

you’re faced with the fact that you must exist, like this – for another year. one more. you must pretend to care for another twelve months. to try and breathe through the fog day after day.

but – maybe it won’t be so hard. maybe you’ll find a passion for government, and of course you’ll enjoy reading ancient literature. (once you’re home and away from the masks).

and – maybe there’ll be time to study the things that you’re suddenly so voraciously interested in. things they don’t teach in schools but are infinitely more important. birds, trees, stars – the things that are small enough that most people don’t think about peering closer into them. you want to learn the most innocent, mossy, pointless knowledge. but not quite pointless, because you know you can find God in anything he’s created.

you snap out of your daydreaming, back into something that still doesn’t feel like school. it drones on until suddenly you’re in the car, turning the keys into the ignition. your parking job from the morning was just as bad as you remembered. you wonder if you’ll ever learn to park right. 3 more kids tumble in and suddenly you’re driving away from the day. your sister says the same thing, it doesn’t feel like the first day of school.

how is summer gone? you’re nested into the corner of the livingroom couch and you’re scrolling through messages and you can hardly believe that you were wearing a school uniform an hour ago. responsibility hasn’t gripped you by the shoulders yet. summer is still lingering like shards of gold hesitating on the edge of a sunset. they die slowly, like embers, being consumed by the night. but you still refuse to acknowledge the night.

you begin some homework, but it feels like a joke. you and your sister are sprawled on your bed, forcing your out-of-shape brains to form cohesive sentences. you barely succeed, and then suddenly it’s time to say night prayers and finish chores and sleep again. will the rest of the year fly by like this day has?

you’re finishing sweeping the kitchen when all of a sudden your dad flies down the stairs with an unusual look in his eyes. embarrassment, maybe? combined with panic?

yes, it has just begun pouring outside and his convertible top is still open.

you fling aside the broom and run for towels. every towel in the garage being frantically grabbed, you find a blanket and throw it into the car on top of your dad who is furiously sopping up every surface in sight.

“not a blanket, jul!”

you run upstairs and grab another armful of towels and fly back out to the car where the top is now down and closed. you fling the blanket back into the garage and then climb into the passenger seat and spend the next 5 minutes wiping down the entire rear. in the end, no damage, only some minor dampness.

you feel breathlessly happy once you stumble back inside, staggering under two armfuls of wet blankets. raindrops are shivering on your hair and face and suddenly you realize how lovely it is to be home.

another year of school sounds endlessly tiring. especially when you’re ready to bring your intellect and your soul into a higher sphere of knowledge, into a bigger community full of people who you will learn so much from and truly bond with.

but another year of home is lovely. it’s a year of being with the people you love; have loved from the moment you first opened your eyes; watching them grow, living life alongside them. something you probably won’t ever have again.

it’s the last first day of school. there’s so much, too much to think about and shuffle around in your head until it’s ready to combust. you’re hoping that most of the time you’ll be able to capture some of that pent up energy into words before any explosion can happen. like you’re doing right now.

“we destroy a part of us, every time we blink an eye” ~going down

(instead of reading this long messy ramble, listen to that song instead because it’s basically just this post, but with music. how do you know me so well, tyler)

39 thoughts on “the last first day”

  1. You never fail to disappoint, Jul. “small enough that most people don’t think about peering closer into them. you want to learn the most innocent, mossy, pointless knowledge.” I relate to this so hard and I love how you captured it so well. And the phrase, the last first day is so apt. I just listened to the song too and, I absolutely loved the lyrics especially the part ‘To why the day to day will seem to be a melting dream.” Wow.
    Thank you!❤️

    Liked by 2 people

      1. no worries at all D! I actually didn’t even notice until you pointed it out, and then it made me laugh so hard! something is hilarious about such a wonderful positive comment beginning with “You never fail to disappoint!” 😂 (of course you didn’t mean it though!)
        don’t feel bad at all :)) you made my day with your comment! ❤️

        Liked by 3 people

  2. You never disappoint, Jul!! “small enough that most people don’t think about peering closer into them. you want to learn the most innocent, mossy, pointless knowledge.” I relate to this so hard and I love how you captured it so well. And the phrase, the last first day is so apt. I just listened to the song too and, I absolutely loved the lyrics especially the part ‘To why the day to day will seem to be a melting dream.” Wow.
    Thank you!❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you so much D! i’m so happy you found something special in this rambly midnight post 🙂 and it feels so good to know that you relate!! also I’m so glad you like the song!… it’s a song that the singer of twenty one pilots wrote before the band was even formed, and I love it just as much as an official tøp song!
      you are so awesome, thank you for this lovely comment ❤️
      power to the local dreamer ||-//

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh Jul beautiful… yes, yes, and YES. Senior year… what a mess of emotions… and then this wild year! but oh my! how absolutely and wonderfully you ALWAYS express that evasive FEELING … thanks for THIS!
    XOXO
    ~D

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jullllllll
    how can this post be this perfect
    The vibes the vibes the VIBES

    Jul I have always been the tallest girl in my friend group (I’ve noticed that any girl who is taller than me intimidates me because I’m not used to it lol) and I was taller than all the high school guys when I was 12. (5’7″ as a 12 year old was fun heh — all the comments on HOW MUCH YOU’VE GROWN from adults and family members 😂)

    and the fog and the blur and all that I FEEL IT. I’m almost deaf in one ear, so masks make it like 50x more difficult to understand people and I KNOW JUL I KNOW

    “and – maybe there’ll be time to study the things that you’re suddenly so voraciously interested in. things they don’t teach in schools but are infinitely more important. birds, trees, stars – the things that are small enough that most people don’t think about peering closer into them. you want to learn the most innocent, mossy, pointless knowledge. but not quite pointless, because you know you can find God in anything he’s created.”

    You just put into words an idea that’s been floating in my mind for years and I couldn’t quite pin it down and you did in the most beautiful way

    Thank you 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HOW DID I NEVER REPLY TO THIS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC COMMENT

      you warm my heart so much Emma ahhh, I am so proud you approve the vibes 😭❤️

      YES YOU ARE A TALL GIRL, YOU UNDERSTAND

      oh man, it’s gotta be hard when you can’t hear out of an ear to begin with!! let’s just hope that this mask business ends SOON. *although I hate to admit it but the one redeeming quality about masks is that when it’s cold, it captures your breath and warms your face hahahah I’m gonna miss that*

      :,-)) i’m so happy that little part resonated with you

      ❤️❤️❤️❤️
      you’re the bestest
      power to the local dreamer ||-//

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I apologize for this extremely late response!
      but yes, it sure does feel weird … I really miss seeing smiles too :,-(
      siblings really do rock, no matter how much they annoy you! gaining some new appreciation in this chaotic year
      ❤️❤️❤️
      power to the local dreamer ||-//

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Aw, Jul, I really feel what this post describes – I don’t know, it’s just THAT feeling. Starting school again and summer ending… my life’s just been a blur lately and it’s hard to believe it’s real. But, yeah, time has really flown hasn’t it? And I honestly don’t feel prepared for the future – for autumn, for my upcoming birthday, for winter, or even next year! XD What hit me recently was heading up to my brother’s brand new house after he got the keys last week. I was helping move in some of his belongings and I was like “this can’t be happening. I must be dreaming this… how is my brother already grown up??”. And, really, everything about 2020 has got me thinking that – everyone/everything and even I have changed and grown so much this year (see you: entering your last senior year and DRIVING [whaaa?] and such). 2020 literally feels like some kind of (STRANGE) chapter of life about to end and it’s super, super hard to take in. But! I’m sure we’ll only find ourselves in the next chapter stronger than ever (both physically and mentally) and getting closer to achieving our dreams, goals and God’s great plan for our lives:)

    Gahh, this comment is way too long and I’ve forgotten where I was going with it…oh well. But, your writing was fantastic, descriptive and thought-provoking as always, my friend. Good luck with your senior year and I really hope that things start to feel less weird for you real soon. God bless you, Jul. ❤

    P.S. Haha, I love the giraffe mask (and also the fact that you're the tallest girl all your friends know and I'm literally *quite* the opposite. The only person I've been ever able to outgrow is Mum. Lol.)

    P.S.S Going Down was the greatest song choice for this post. ||-//

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SARAH THIS WENT TO SPAM
      and then I took absolutely FOREVER to reply once I recovered it

      but THANK YOU so much for this wonderful wonderful comment :,-))

      I completely agree with you about how life has been lately … what a crazy ride it has been these past couple of months. and YES Johnny getting his OWN HOUSE and moving out !!! that must be so strange for you!! but then again it opens up so many new adventures for you and your family :))

      and YES! despite the change I’m sure God will give us everything we need to get out of this safely, and even stronger than before. we are so, so secure when we’re in His hands ❤️

      i’m so happy you liked this post! i’ve already adjusted quite a bit to the new pace of life a school year brings, and I’m still wearing my giraffe mask! 😂

      your comment absolutely made my day. thank you so much Sarah ❤️❤️❤️
      power to the local dreamer ||-//

      Like

  6. Can’t believe I’d never heard “going down” before. ❤
    Loved this glimpse into your day! The convertible getting rained on made me smile (I'm glad it turned out ok!).
    Also this: "you wonder if you’ll ever learn to park right." It gets better, but sometimes it still takes me 5 minutes to back in. 😆
    Hope you have a great academic year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I consider this post a complete success if it introduced you to the song “going down!” even though it’s not officially part of the tøp discography, it’s one of my favorite songs :))

      I apologize for the extremely belated response to your comment! it made me happy to know that you smiled, and honestly what you said about learning to park made me feel a lot better about myself 😅 … one day it’ll click and it won’t take me 4 attempts to get within the lines! 😉
      thank you so much for reading and commenting! ❤️❤️❤️
      power to the local dreamer ||-//

      Liked by 1 person

  7. oh kenechi you are so sweet and I am so incredibly privileged to have readers like you! it’s something I’d never even dreamed of having a coupe years ago ❤️ thank you so much for this lovely comment and I apologize for the long time it took me to respond!
    💞
    power to the local dreamer ||-//

    Like

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