Monday, May 21, 2007

Well.... a week ago, on May 12th, 2007 I graduated college.
Done. finished. the end.

Like all big events I needed some time to process things before I could attack it here. I haven't necessarily had any big epiphany or big life changing revelation, but I've had a lot of time to think, and everything IS different. It's all about change. And how willing you are to accept it, or go with it.

On our big day, there is nothing in those envelopes (surprise! we psyched you out!) but in our choosing to wear those silly hats and walk with our friends over that stage to take that folder, we are making the decision to accept the change that is leaving UMF. We've done our time, taken what we will from it, and are ready to move on. After that, everything really is in our hands. Like someone very important to me said tonight, "I think that is a good way to look at it, though... we got what we could from school, and now it's time to move on to what's next, except this time, it's life, not more school."

That is the absolute truth. After we cross that stage, our life is in our own hands, and it all comes down to choice, and taking risks. We can take that job that's a little outside our comfort zone, or sit at home and wait for something in our home town to fall in our laps. We can be a little scared, or feel perfectly safe and miss out on who knows what.
But in that sense, it's exactly like college. We can not kiss that boy, cause we're afraid of what might come next, or we can close our eyes and go for it...because really, who DOES know what's ever coming next?

Things had begun to change even before that last day. As hard as I tried to fight it. I got emotionally attached. I needed to make the most of my remaining time with people I might never see again...and everything else...seemed petty.
I learned to live for Farmington nights, laughing and drinking on the patio of the granary. I fell in love with every single writer in my Senior seminar class, and I learned their stories, and I had grown with them. and they grew with me. When I made the choice to read the piece I knew I had to read at my senior reading, they knew why I was crying at the end. And they hugged me for it. I fell in love with the entire class of 2007. From dressing in togas and talking on the porch, to belting out Livin' on a Prayer as a last night out, from the massive standing ovation I got from them when the president recognized me during graduation, I felt like my heart was going to burst with affection and adoration for every single one of them. They had noticed. They did know how hard it was for me to do this. but they shared in my excitement that I DID IT. We all did it. It isn't fair that we have to leave when we're really just getting to know each other.

But that's another choice we have. To keep in touch. Maybe we will...maybe we won't. Some memories we'll hold onto forever, and choose to go on and make more together. Some we'll file in the "lesson learned" pile, and call it a day. But no matter what we do, it happened, and we learned, and we did it together. And we'll always have that.

And so here we are. I'm free, and independent, and adult, and HAPPY. I'm happier than I've ever been, and it's so different from last year at this time (good lord, when I wasn't even 21).
It's going to be a different summer. But it'll be good, I can feel it!
With all the things that change, some things don't. There will always be that friend who just knows when you need to hear their voice, there will always be a welcoming bed with a cuddly kitty, and there will always be the friends and family who will stand by you no matter what, and when there is nothing else.... there is all of that.
But right now, there is that, AND everything else. I have a speaking gig at camp, and internship awaiting me, a job waiting for me, AND A BOOK TO WRITE! And I'm ready to take it all on, head first!

So class of 2007, and all of my UMF loves. Thank you. For everything.
Thanks for the memories. :-) and to all of my friends here, and everything yet to come. Well, the rest is still unwritten. So let's live it. Cheers to a beautiful summer of 07!!!!!

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