Good Days and Good Byes

End of term means a lot of things for me.  It means that the writing of academic papers winds down, it means that I need to cleana nd pack and eat all of the food in my house, it means that I get a few days of quiet before the stress of finding a summer job sets in, and it means saying good bye to some people.  So far this end of term has been…different, to put it lightly.  Finishing fourth year has not been what I was expecting.

Among many things I’ve been honouring my body to get back on track, I’ve found myself drowning in stress even after classes have finished.  Surrendering to my own meditation and the yoga experience, as well as tea and water over and over again all week.  Call it a theatre-detox, just to make sure I’m not eating too many timbits and avoiding the gym during show weeks.  This has all been good for me, because it forces me to pay attention to myself, to take care of myself, which sometimes gets lost in the shuffling coursework and “social life” (however small) during a semester.  While exiting my undergrad I’ve come to value my summer routine, and hoping that when the time comes to move on whether it be to a masters or to further degrees and courses or even to working that this summer routine becomes my new 365 commitment in a comfortable and healthy environment.

Which brings me to Good Byes.

This evening I had the pleasure of visiting a potluck dinner with my old friends from my first year in residence.  It was a short affair as everyone has many exams in the upcoming weeks and stress levels are in fact the highest for some.  It was incredible to look around the table and hear everyone talk about their plans for the future, drinking glasses of wine and sharing a table of food that we bought and prepared ourselves.  So interesting, becaue four years ago we were drinking flavoured vodkas, crown royals canned beer and talking about where the party was, which room it was in, and how many rounds of kings we could go through before…well before we forgot it was kings.  Four years and we have all maintained a…relatively sparse friendship but friendship none the less, and as we have drifted away from the immediacy of residence-life friendships (aka staying up until 3am watching people play video games, dinner EVERY SINGLE NIGHT together, party weekends sharing pizza and watching Saving Private Ryan and Saw and the neverending binge drinking evenings…etc.) to the adult relationships and friendships that although you would want to spend more time together it only seems to happen once every few months, and this is the reality of life.

It was an odd experience, having a full tummy that was at a table shared by many, it seems as though I was teleported back to my parents’ house where we all meet together at dinner time and share a meal, together, joined efforts and conversations, but this was our “Last Supper” of sorts.  Most of us are splitting off from our usual UoG routines…  A few graduating, a few staying back for a term or two, some elaving for jobs some leaving the province, and it seems as though we had little new to say to eachother.  Conversation hardly left what was happening in our lives, we weren’t speaking of large topics, and I believe that is the nature of the Goodbye.  You remain nostalgic and good humoured, nothing too serious, nothing unfamiliar, and then you leave that relationship preserved as it was, in the molasses of university life and comradery as we have come to appreciate it as.

Tomorrow I face saying goodbye to the program that has nourished and supported me through these past four years into the academic I am today.  Into a strong, fierce playwright who loves performance and theory, who loves a cast and productions, who loves the George Luscombe more than her house, and who devotes evenings upon evenings to a hall full of aespestos.  I am grateful that I was able to be a part of such a vibrant program while I was here, tomorrow is going to be a difficult farewell as well, but it is MOST DEFINITELY a “be seein you” situation, I’m not lettin’ those guys go.

I am not a particular fan of goodbyes, I believe in the “I’ll be seeing you” philosophy, but sometimes I have to take into consideration around this time in my life that I may not be seeing them again.  And so hugs were exchanged, good words, and a good leaving.  I say good as many times as possible to remain positive instead of breaking down and crying all over my UoG sweater post-experience.  I’m a sap and proud of it.

I am wishing all of those whom I have met here at the University of Guelph the best of luck on their finals and the best of luck with the rest of their journeys, as most of them will move on to reach great things, become successful, and live happy and full lives.  It is hard to say Goodbye to Guelph at all, because it has given me such a full and happy time here, I have felt comfortable and challenged and at home all at the same time.

It is time to go, however, I can feel it.



Jess xo


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