The Things I Carry

Journal entry topic via The Things They Carried: What things did you carry when you entered high school vs. what things do you carry as you exit high school?

When I entered high school, I carried a light blue iPod nano by which I maintained my sanity on long bus rides to and from school. His name was Fabiola but he was stolen during the cross country season. I carried The Strokes and Dan Hunter. I carried a mourning for the loss of my friends, Hannah, Schuyler, and Slater who, because of the military, had moved away only months before. I carried my trusty Asics which in turn carried me over hundreds of miles of gravel and asphalt. I carried fear of this big, new school in which I was just a tiny freshman. I carried stable caution mingled into my every action. I carried fear, lots of fear, for my family’s upcoming move to Georgia. Dread. I carried my rented electric bass for jazz band and I carried the music to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Feelin’ Groovy.” I carried the cross necklace that I got for my confirmation the prior spring. I carried doodles from geometry class and also a journal, which would accompany me through high school.I carried a sense of unbreakable ritual and routine derived from past experiences and promises and friends.

Now, as I am about to leave high school, my load has shifted somewhat. Now, I carry a Columbus High School id around my neck, as well as a drivers license. I carry at lease thirty books; signs of all that I have learned and all that I have yet to learn. I carry my claddagh ring-a symbol of my past friendships and of the future’s potential. I carry an awesome banjo. I carry a new iPod, this time filled not with The Little ones and PlayRadioPlay!, but with weekly podcasts of “This American Life.” I carry six athletic letters, a 4.1 GPA, and an acceptance from the University of Georgia. I carry a Buddhist mala that my father made for me. I carry the question “Why?” that I am able to ask now, and I carry the solution “How” that I know now I can carry out. I carry a peace inside that comes with realizing that there’s more to look forward to than the past, if you can just decide to look ahead. I still carry fear of the unknown future, and of possible instability.

And I still carry The Strokes. I love you, Albert Hammond, Jr.


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