At 2 a.m., things go incredibly wrong, or incredibly right.
At 2 a.m., you think about all the things you could have done differently, all the words you misspoke, and the people you forgot to hug.
At 2 a.m., I found it both funny and sad, the way goodbyes are, because growing up isn’t necessarily a goodbye, but you are technically letting go of all that was once what you called life.
At 2 a.m., it finally hit me.
After a year, I realized my family will never have everyone sleeping in the same house again.
It took me a while, but I realized I never wanted it to end. For years, I have yearned to be a grown-up and live on my own, despite the fear of the unknown. No parents, no siblings, no one to look after me; just me, depending on myself and focusing on creating the best possible future I can have.
Yet, for two consecutive days, I texted my sister crying because I no longer had an older sister’s presence in our home.
I know it’s inevitable to grow up, I just never stopped to think about what growing up meant. Simple acts such as leaving your childhood behind, the memories, love and laughter, and everything that came with it. The house. The friends. The life. All of it is left in the past because you are creating space for the future.
At 2 am, I thought about how, it’s true, that when I move out, I will miss my parents and home, but I don’t think I’ll ever miss anything as much as I miss the banter I’ve shared with my siblings for 16 years of my life.
At 2 am, I realized I had gone over a month without hearing my sister’s voice.
While all siblings are close, there is something special about the connection sisters share. I can tell her everything or nothing at all, and either way, she will understand exactly how I am feeling.
As a kid, I never appreciated nor agreed with my parent’s decision to make us share a bedroom. Their reason for it was, “It will bring you closer.” Being 6 years old, you don’t comprehend how that works exactly. As the days pass, you don’t stop to think, “Am I closer to my sister today than I was yesterday?” But ultimately, as the quote says, “You never know what you have until it’s gone.”
Now, I miss the late nights when my sister and I would argue with each other about whose wall was the coldest, even though it was the same wall, and she was just in the bunk bed above me. The way she would convince me to give her massages because she swore after she would give them to me too, but every single time, she would fall asleep. I miss the sneaking around at 2 a.m. to the kitchen for a midnight snack, which turned out to be a whole meal. I miss filming every single second of our lives to keep them with me and not share them with anyone else. I miss those days. And now I realize I don’t know what to do without them.
At 2 a.m., I thought about how easily relationships can break all because of time and how we forgot to reach out to those who were once a constant presence in our lives. The thought of it simply shatters my heart, because it is so easy to maintain relationships when you see those people every week, if not every day, and when you move away you don’t anymore. If you don’t reach out, if you don’t call, if you don’t ask, how do you expect to stay in contact with someone?
I am not afraid to forget. I know I will reach out, but once you graduate, you have other priorities. So, what if they forget? What if they don’t answer?
There is always that one person in your life that impacts you more than you care to think, more than you can imagine. It’s not just what they say or what they do. It is simply just their presence, their essence, themselves.
In a loud house, they are your quiet place. In a green field, they are your sunflower. In the dried desert, they are the water.
For me, that’s my sister. But now all I can hear is noise, all I can see is green, and all I can taste is bitterness.
So now, I lay late at night alone, and at 2:01 a.m., I realized the house I call home doesn’t really feel like it without her.