Today is May 13th and a year ago I graduated.
I’m not going to pretend the last year of my life was filled with magical realizations about the nature of life, like most commencement speeches would lead you to believe.
It was filled with largely boring and seemingly banal tasks like hanging curtains in a new apartment, applying for a credit card and going to work everyday.
I didn’t take much time for reflection merely because remembering to pay my bills on time, trying not to use the word “fuck” at my office, and feeding myself have take nearly all of my energy.
I spent the last year calling myself a “baby adult” because I’ve found there is a certain amount of re-parenting you must do to yourself during major life transitions. Taking care of practical affairs is only one part.
These past few weeks, as I contemplated approaching my first birthday as an Adult, I’ve been trying really hard to deal with the other part, the deeper part.
The part that sits up at night wondering,
“Is this really what I want to do with my life?”
“How do I make friends when I work all the time and have a hard time being sober in social situations?”
“Why do I have to go to work every day?”
And I’ve only recently gotten to a point where I don’t overdraw my bank account every month and there are still times I call my mother crying because I can’t handle it all.
So I guess if I had to summarize this last year since graduation into a pretty little package that would fit nicely into a tweet, it’s this:
What’s hard about growing pains this time around is that they’re in my head. And I’m constantly thinking about it happening.
In the physical realm we have tactics to lessen the muscle ache so that we can pipe down & let it happen. When it’s in your brain, your choices are to numb it with substances & put it off until later or be present now knowing that it will hurt a lot before it gets better.
And that is terrifying.
David Foster Wallace says real freedom is choice in how to think, what to believe.
While I have no conclusions about the rest of my life and I feel awkward and afraid more that I feel confident, I have recently decided to make the choice to be present. To stop using self-doubt as a defense. To stop living at arm’s length from myself and being a third-party participant in my own life.
“The moment will end as quickly as it came and so you’ll have to have it back, and so you’ll get it back, no matter what the obstacles. A lofty prediction to be sure, but I flat out guarantee it.” – Aaron Sorkin to my graduating class
Today is May 13th and a year ago I graduated. (And I still ain’t seen nothin’ yet.)