And so it begins.
Life after college.
The canvas of normalcy yesterday morning, woven with waking covers stumbling coffee toothbrush, was collaged over with an array of emotions cut from every medium I own;
the strangeness of the realization that the title “graduate” is now permanently embroidered on my identity, stitched for all to see, for all to assume, to expect, to judge;
the freedom from the lurking looming pressing in and down pressure of “The Thesis”… finally released with the placement of a CD in the tray next to the paper with my name still incorrect;
the feeling of subtle panic bubbling as I search for a way to turn down the heat so the full boil won’t erupt into lost wandering and existential crisis; the anxious need for a plan a schedule a checklist a map so that I can at least pretend that I am not “wasting my time” (whatever that means), so that I can make something of myself (whatever that means), so that I won’t disappoint my parents my friends my relatives my professors my husband myself God (whatever that means);
the excitement of getting to start a new adventure, a continued search for “who I am” and “what I am passionate about,”
the desire to begin life-giving, healthy habits now before I accidentally get into routines that are unproductive, unfulfilling, selfish, lazy, ignorant… the fear of mental, physical, emotional, spiritual decay starting the minute I walked across that stage… the fear that I will waste that paper, experience, five year period that cost tens of thousands of dollars, that I won’t “make something of myself,” that I’ll be a failure;
the peace of knowing that life doesn’t have a rulebook, that other people aren’t the judges, that I am married to someone supportive, that I have come to realize the things I value, that I am not expected to have all the answers yet, that I have been provided for, that I have jobs lined up that I am excited for, that this isn’t an end and it isn’t a beginning either… this is life and I am still here to live it.
. . .
In conclusion, in the first quiet moments after the graduation chaos died down, I was filled with peace and anxiety and fear and excitement and panic and freedom and desire. I made goals and lists and plans, not wanting to be neglectful, but also open to those things changing. I hope to stay mentally and physically active, I hope to start a small business, I hope to find places to volunteer and ways to contribute to the world beyond myself, I hope to make more friends and deepen/maintain existing relationships, I hope to learn more about kiddos and grow in patience and love.
Sooo…I began my life as a graduate (after coffee and list-making) with a nannying job for a sweet 2 year old boy (including a trip to Kroger, a car seat in my car, and time at the playground), a nap, working on a collage for my Etsy shop, and another childcare job watching 13 kids in a basement during a church small group. I am excited for all the little ones I get to love on and care for in the coming months. Kids keep me looking out, they keep me moving and learning, they keep me on my toes. I am a different person with children. I laugh more, I smile more, I feel like anything is possible.
Maybe it is.
. . .
And just as a final addition, here is writing from someone who so often verbalizes the exact things I have once thought or felt:
Written by Jacob Ibrag]
Questioning my inquiring process.
Am I seeking the right answers? Are
these thoughts original? If not, where
did they come from? Looking into
the mirror, witnessing fragments of
all the people that touched my psyche
take shape to form the face I see in
front of me. A hybrid. Better. Worse.
More of the same. Recycled. Carbon
copy cluster of garbage. I become
them. Part of the whole system.
Politically correct human.