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Farewell, Future

By Cara Hösterey

I am a fool and the future isn’t owed to us

The ground beneath our feet has dissolved, and we are falling, indefinitely. It is only now that we realized the ground was never there, we just had not been forced to acknowledge that fact yet. It is a comfortable lie, to believe we are standing on solid ground, but there comes a time to adapt to the falling. For me, that time is now, during a global pandemic.

My ground consisted of my plans for this summer, which got me out of bed in the morning and walked me to work. It was prom and dresses to be worn at farewell parties, and it was many things more, and less frivolous things at that.

For you, that ground might have been college classes or family holidays, or it might have been your job.

No matter the idea of what your future was going to be, how severe or insignificant the consequences are, this specific kind of loss calls for specific grieving. We need to learn how to grieve the future because, in our heads, it was real. In my imagination, all those things already happened, I’ve packed my bags a hundred times, I’ve squeezed myself into my prom dress, I celebrated the end of high school with my friends by my side. As so often, reality and imagination are at odds.

No matter how old you are, what you have lost in the last few months, and how much it is going to affect your life going forward, realizing the future you imagined for yourself is nothing but thin air is growing up we all have to do.

I urge you not to reimagine the ground, corona-edition. I myself have been tragically naïve, and it is not a state I want to go back to any time soon. These are growing pains, and it’s a good kind of pain. Because I believe once we get through them, enjoying the small things and living in the present will be more than Tumblr quotes. 

In the meantime, read a book, paint something or watch the vlogbrothers video that initially inspired this piece:

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