[Written by Morgan Laing – Deputy Editor]
[Illustration by Julia Rosner]
Last week, during a spontaneous road trip with my best friends (HI, AM I IN AN AMERICAN COMING-OF-AGE FILM??), I experienced what can only be described as a “moment”. A “moment” is one of those occasions where the sky seems unbelievable and the music is right and you all of a sudden sense – in your heart and in your bones – that everything is going to turn out exactly as you dreamed it would, when you were a child building the perfect world in your mind.
My moment happened when we were cruising along the road, flanked by rolling hills and a setting sun and a glimmering loch that I’d never seen before with my own two eyes, despite living in this country for twenty years. I was drinking in the beauty of Scotland and laughing with my two favourite people while listening to Michelle Branch’s ‘Breathe’. I had all the ingredients for a feel-good teen movie, basically, except for maybe Timothée Chalamet. Everything was perfect.
Then, in the blue light of the evening, I started thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow I have to pack for uni, I said to myself. I won’t have a moment like this, tomorrow. The idea of tossing my life back into a suitcase got me wondering about all the tomorrows still to come. I’m going into my final year of university now, and you know what? I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I’M GOING. It’s like someone has plonked me down on a mountaintop without a map and told to find my way back home (tbh I probably couldn’t work my out of that situation even if I had a map, or a compass. How do you even use a compass? WHICH WAY IS NORTH, GUYS???).
I think about tomorrow, i.e. the future, a lot. I have an idea of what I want to do professionally post-uni, but I have no idea where I’m going to do all the professional stuff. And that’s what this is about.
I chose to study in Glasgow because I wanted to live in a thriving metropolis. I liked the time-related certainty of my situation. I’ll be here for four years. That’s for definite. Now those four years are nearly up, and I don’t know where I’ll be next year. I adore Glasgow, but I know that jobs and circumstances have a habit of leading people to new destinations. I haven’t outgrown the city, but that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to living elsewhere. I worked in a different part of the country over the summer and it was… nice. I could live here, I kept repeating to myself after my shifts. Alternatively, I could move even further afield. London? Perhaps. Five thousand miles away, there is another city I have been visiting frequently since I was a little kid; a city that took me in and held onto my heart and refused to let go. Maybe, if the circumstances are right, I could drop everything and go there for a while. Probably not (because it can be hella expensive and because I should probably get better at Pilates before I commit to spending a lot of time there. It’s LA, okay?), although it’s a sweet idea.
The point is, after my “moment”, that car journey with my best friends was bittersweet. As we swept through those hills, I realised that this doesn’t last forever. There will come a day when we are not in the same country at the same time. There will come a day when we have to make huge decisions about what we’re going to do, and where we’re going to live. About which country, which city, which suburb. 200 or 500 or 5000 miles from where we started. In the thousands of tomorrows that hopefully await us, we’ll make choices that will lead us away from the place we grew up in, and away from each other. That is scary. That is natural. That is part of the process.
The thought of tomorrow is, at its core, exciting. None of us know for certain where we’re going to end up. All I know is that I will always have my friends. And no matter where I go, I will always have my moments.