They say that when a story is about to end, we are always reminded of its beginning.

It’s the “shall we go” that hit my eardrums before my suitemate rushed into my room, dressed to the nines for commencement events. I glanced at the mirror and was almost certain I saw my freshman year-self, in shorts unlike everyone else who were in pants, readying for Camp Yale. Or it’s how well I slept on that Metro North ride after months of suppressing my feelings to scramble together my senior theses. The slumber was matched only by that bus ride four years ago, after a week of physical exhaustion in the New Hampshire mountains on the First-year Outdoor Orientation Trip. There was so much I didn’t know then, in the beginning of it all.

To be fair, I do enjoy knowing. Even if I'm no longer intellectually curious, I think I will always remain gossip-hungry. But increasingly, I’m coming to realize how much I appreciate not knowing.

The impetus was a post on Red, or Chinese Instagram, that I saw last summer. The OP accidentally heard from a mutual friend that her first love died of cancer a year ago. She wonders, wouldn’t it be nice if she never asked “how’s he been?” Then he would’ve lived on, young and bright and lively as she had known. In her memory. Forever. Instead, she was forced into a reality with him permanently, consciously erased.

People will forever live in your head, just as how you last met, if you never hear of them again. I kind of love the eternity in that, both the eternal separation and the eternal presence. While you are physically separated, as long as you don’t know, you can hold onto their impression, no matter how faint, as a permanent mental companion. Not knowing allows for the illusion that your first love might show up in your life again, that things can still happen. I’d like to believe that they still can.

That’s why there is never a full goodbye, not according to me. There are no definitive endings as long as I don’t know. Call me immature but I don't think my friendships fade because a part of them is already in me. There is no goodbye because I’ll always be spiritually with them. Or perhaps, them with me.

The gift of not knowing is hope. Thinking back to the moment when I got shivers while listening to Long Live in my bunk bed in suburban Los Angeles just after coming to America — I didn’t know what was ahead of me then — but I can feel the hope that filled my iPod, my bedroom, the little bits of that immigrant heart.

I didn’t grow up the way my elementary school-self imagined, otherwise I’d graduate from Wuhan University and be designing tunnels. Nor the way my middle school-self planned, as I didn’t end up on a campus of the University of California. And while I’m happy with where I am, I’m glad I didn’t know. Because then, you can convince yourself that you’re capable of anything and able to meet anyone, linger in moments that you never thought you’d have, and indulge in the surprise when the unexpected come to life.

On my college apps, I mentioned that I don’t want to come out of college knowing what exactly to do with my life. Indeed, those are the shoes I’m in now. The amount of unknown that looms ahead is anxiety-inducing: apartment-hunting, making friends in the workplace, cooking and living on my own. But what comforts me is that I know, someday, looking back, I will appreciate this moment, and the hope that fills it.

That’s why, for as much as I find it amusing that a psychic once told my mom that I’d marry and divorce four times, I don't believe in fortunes. An uncertain future is the most interesting of futures. One in which anything is possible, with infinite paths ahead of us.

So are there now. Infinite paths, waiting for our next move. For the past weeks, I’ve been wondering what I’ll pen down, about the end of it all. On move-out day, my gaze caught a patch of scratches on the granite tiles in the Timothy Dwight College foyer, accentuated by the shadows casted on it by a setting sun. I never noticed those marks before. I don’t know why but it made me think, for the first time (because I’ve been shitting on New Haven for so long), am I really ready to leave this place?

I know I will hold on to these bright college years dearly. Yes, even you, Yale Hospitality. I want to thank everyone around me for putting up with my delirium these past four years, but I also want you to know that I meant everything I said.

To those who I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye, there is no need. I’m always here. Take it slow. There is still a lot I haven’t put into words yet.