[Seniors Speak] A Blank Page

Written by Karen Olowu

It’s 6:45. I’m climbing down the stairs of my apartment building grinning like a fool because, for once, I’m not racing to catch the train.

The train station is just a few meters up the street from my apartment and I’m half way there when I’m struck by the thought that this is the last time I will be leaving my home for IMSA.

As my brain processes this thought, I fell this most oppressive ache settle into my chest.  Waiting for the train in the chilly May air, I search for the reason behind what I could only describe as heartache.

After all, there was so much to be excited about. Prom would be that Friday.  Prom, a day I had fantasized about since sophomore year. I was graduating in a matter of weeks. Soon I would be free from the burden of projects and due dates, if only for a while. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t giddy with the prospect of my eminent freedom.

Then I realized it wasn’t only the thought of leaving IMSA weighing me down.  It was fear as well.  I was about to embark on the beginning of my adult life and…I was afraid. Curiously, it wasn’t fear of inadequacy or incompetency. It was a fear of the big, blank page that had suddenly presented itself.

As the train rolled past Naperville I decided that I didn’t have to be afraid of the blank page. That page was an opportunity. I could fill it with whatever I pleased. And the page didn’t stand alone; it was part of a book. And yeah, what I was going to name this new chapter was going to be a big decision, but it was only one of many other big decisions I would have to make. Plus, who said anything had to be permanent? If the pages of my life were to be written in ink, I could always cross things out.

I’m a writer; I live for the thrill of filling blank pages with the right words.  And my story is going to be bloody fantastic.

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