I don’t remember what it was like not to do this.
I used to think that life was like a movie. That we were all the heroes of our own story. And in a way, it is. Life has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Things build, or they fall apart. And at the end, the movie is over. Like life.
But I was wrong to think that. A movie can be watched over and over. You can fast forward and more importantly, rewind.
You can’t do that with life.
If I could rewind my movie back to September 2016, to see what possessed me to go to a Heights information session, I would. In a heartbeat. Because that’s the pivotal moment I can’t remember. I remember being there, laughing at Chris’ jokes, thinking “What section could I write for?” I walked up to the Arts & Review editors, talked to Caleb and Hannah, and I signed up to get emails.
I don’t remember what possessed me to attend that first weekly meeting. I do remember being there, and volunteering for two articles, and having no idea how I would do this. And I sat, on Sept. 24, 2016, my 19th birthday, writing those two articles, and my FLIP application, in the basement of Fitzpatrick.
And since then, I’ve tried so hard to commit every moment of this to memory, to find a button and hit “Record.” I got to write about one of the things I loved most—movies—and they printed it.
I thought that I could never be an editor. There was no way I had written enough—I was only a freshman. But when I asked Caleb, he told me that he thought I should run—that I might even win.
As soon as they told me I was the new assistant arts & Review editor, I knew I wanted to do this for as long as I could. I wanted to play this all in slow-motion. I wrote off going abroad for a semester, because it meant that I couldn’t have three years on the board.
But there’s no speed I could play this movie that would be slow enough. And I didn’t want to pause either.
After the first semester, the board told us that we wouldn’t be printing twice a week. I had grown used to coming in for too many hours on Sunday and Wednesday. I had become accustomed to seeing these people who made me so happy for so much time every week. It was a lot less work, but I missed it.
I still can’t believe we used to do this twice a week.
When the year drew to a close, I was ready to become head arts editor (it was called the Scene section that semester). But I dreaded it. It meant that so many who I had grown so close to were leaving. I wouldn’t see them every Sunday anymore. They wouldn’t spend their free time in McElroy 113 anymore.
And in their place would be new people. I was convinced that things wouldn’t be the same as they had been. I would have two new editors in the arts section, but there would be new editors all around the newsroom. The familiar faces I had grown to love weren’t faces I would see anymore.
It wouldn’t be the same. It never is. But I found it was great in a different way. The new editors, especially the two who liked arts enough to work with me, made my days bright—just as bright as they had been before. It’s like I can see two arts sections in my head. The one that I had with Caleb and Isabella. And the one I have now with Kaylie and Emily.
And I spent so much time teaching them and watching them grow, as writers and as editors and as friends. And now I find myself, in my head and aloud in discussion with them, nervous about the changes that are coming.
No longer will I be the arts editor, and no longer will they work with me. I’ll have two new editors, in an entirely different section, and they will have someone new too. It can’t be as good as it was right?
And I’m reminded again—it will be good. Just different.
But no matter how much I continue to write for that section, it will never be like it was. It is not mine anymore, and no longer do I belong to it.
We can’t rewind, but I’d give a lot just to press pause for a while.
Featured Image by Celine Lim / Photo Editor