so far, senior year has been a list of staggered endings: the last fall, the last first snow, the last time i register for classes, the last of lasts of lasts. today, was once again about endings, we arrived at full circle and i, as usual, didnt know where to go from there.
every year, people at mac come together for the macalester cultural show, in which cultural orgs and other groups on campus put on an epic performance for the larger mac community. tonight, i took part in my last show ever, and thus ended something i began four years ago as a different person, in what seems like another lifetime.
freshman year, i remember being nervous and unsure of myself. mongistan and i, along with the rest of the freshman south asian crew, were subjected to the drama and ego of a senior girl that was on a power trip, with us being the victims. freshman year, we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t be that girl, we would make our dances inclusive and fun to be involved in. we would not make people stay still three thirty in the morning practicing dance steps that they resented doing, we would choose better songs and most importantly, we would not be mean to the freshman. i remember bitching about the fact that no pakistani/bengali/sri lankan songs/dances had been picked, and that we had no say over what songs were chosen and who our dance partners were. i wore a super flashy pink and gold number, i did my hair and my eyes and even dared the cold in traditional slippers instead of sneakers. when we went on stage, i danced as well as i possibly could.
tonight, i wore jeans and thick socks, with an unironed cotton shirt on top. mongistan and i decided to forgo makeup and jewelery and we spent no time on our hair. we were the kids who didnt know the dance, and had come the night of the show to learn parts of it- much to the joy of our choreographer. when we arrived at the stage, i was antisocial and sat with two other people while the group bonded over oh-my-god-im-so-nervous and oh-my-god-what-if-i-forget-all-the-moves-when-i-go-on. when our turn to go came, i didnt feel nervous nor excited. we got on stage, our dance began, and i forgot all the stuff i had been taught that night. there was one part where i just kinda gave up, burst into laughter, looked over at mongistan and did that whole thing when two best buddies have conversations through knowing looks and awkward shrugs. to give our action words, this is what our looks conveyed:
n: im messing up so bad dude
m: me too dude
n: whatever though, its done
and so the dances ended, and i kinda sucked, and the world didnt end. the audience still clapped and before we knew it it was all over and as usual i got that post performance feeling of: damn, we spent so much time putting this stuff together and its over before you know it.
my full circles are never perfect round bouncy circles. they are always oddly shaped and inconsistent and unexpected in their finality. so we didnt end this tradition with the best-performance-ever, we still danced to only indian music, and i have only met one south asian freshman so far this semester. my endings are never what i envision at my beginnings.
though all said and done- i wouldnt have it any other way.