I feel lonely and nostalgic during finals. I miss hanging out with my friends. I mostly study, eat and practice yoga in my empty apartment. I laugh less. Hug less. Complain more.
Last night, huddled in my bed, I closed my kindle and started reflecting on love-filled memories from other days of long hours studying and limited human contact.
My mind landed on my bedroom wall, two years ago, at 1501 16th street, in apartment 202.
During Spring semester of my first year of law school I had five finals in 10 days. Five finals. Ten days. It was insane.
The mere act of taking that number of exams in that short a period is enough to just about kill a regular person. Ask any law student how they think they would handle it. Listen as they tell you, “I need a drink.”
I slept at my mom’s house the night before the first one. The madness had barely begun and I was already feeling strung out and overwhelmed. When I stumbled into my room to grab my belongings, I glanced up at the wall above my dresser. There, on an ordinary yellow post-it, in her giant, less-than-elegant, but very distinctive handwriting my roommate had written:
You Can Do It.
I breathed it in. I held my breath to soak it up.
Yes I can.
Over the next ten days, I took a careful, deliberate moment to look at that post-it every time I was in my bedroom. I breathed it in. I held my breath to soak it up. I could feel my roommate squeeze me and look me in the eyes. She believed in me. It felt like she was holding me up.
It was a small act of love, but, even in my reflection, I feel the strength of it.
Four months after my last final we moved out of that apartment. The post-it was the last thing to leave my bedroom. I was plagued by feelings of loss and fear and sadness for the end of two incredible years living with my best friend. I’d been crying for almost five hours straight. As I peeled it off the wall I paused. I breathed it in. I held my breath to soak it up.
You Can Do It.