pre-commencement

I’m going to preface this by saying that my thought process was interrupted by the sounds of the street sweeper going by. Of course, he has to navigate around my car. Damn it. I literally had no idea we were engaging in street sweeping today.
Oh, third sweep, it’s like rubbing salt in a wound. Do they seriously need to sweep the street three times? It rained for like six hours last night.
Well I guess I know why I’m babysitting tonight.
Fourth sweep. Can you hear it? It’s like the sound of bank account grim reaper, wet dollar bills rustling beneath its wiry cloak, driving onward and away.
This is getting ridiculous. Fifth sweep. Stop! The street is fine! I’m not moving my car!

Instead of doing the cleaning I was supposed to do all week, I’m going to think back.
Four years ago, I was all ready to graduate from Mullen. We were so excited; we felt like we owned the world. Nobody had any idea what lay in store for us.
Flash forward to now. We’re joyous, as you’d expect, but terrified. No one has a plan, or a job, or anything set for the future. Some are going to grad school. But everything is changing. We’re all going home, or somewhere new, across the country.
I’ve got a tentative plan, but who doesn’t?
I’ve learned a lot in four years, as one might have expected. I’ve learned a lot about people, and the human condition. I’ve learned a lot about love. Two serious relationships have taught me what I don’t want. One of those left me with a best friend, the other, an angry ex. I’ve had some friends, gained some friends, lost some friends, met some great people, been entertained, angered, exhilarated. I’ve found myself, maybe.
I’ve begun my romance novel and seen it crash to the ground after 20 pages of mess. Perhaps I’ll pick it up some day and begin all over again.
I’ve failed. I’ve excelled. I’ve learned how to fend for myself. I’ve learned about different cultures, different races, and why some people will never know tolerance.
I’ve learned some English and some other stuff. I’ve learned I should have tried harder, that I should have been more involved. I’ve learned a lot. If i could re-do college right now with all I’ve learned, I’d do it a lot differently.
I’ve moved back to Denver with the intent of staying there. I’ve found myself unable to stay and so I came back here. Now I’m worried I won’t want to be there anymore. What if I can’t get settled? What if I don’t re-acclimate well? What if I never make friends? What if I never succeed? At finding a job? At life?
These are juvenile fears, but part of what I’m realizing is that everything you thought you’d be is all a lie and everything you worry about now only magnifies with time. It’s not that as an adult you’re capable; it’s that’s you have to pretend you’re fine.
We’ve survived cancer scares, surgeries, kidneys, trouble. I’ve grown more seriously able to handle situations no one can ever be prepared for.
In this time, I want to travel. Mike and I have been looking at going off to volunteer now for awhile, and last night, a friend of mine offered the same thing. I’m thinking the three of us should go and live and be in a different place, long before we have significant others, jobs, lives, hopes, etc.
The only thing each of us would leave behind is a loved one; between the three of we have three pets: a yellow lab, a black cat and a gray rabbit. Something tells me you’re not allowed to bring a cat to Africa, although I’m sure Cat would be over the moon with excitement.
But I want to go. I’m seriously debating it. Why not spend four months (and an ungodly sum of money I don’t have) doing something crazy in another place? Two internships. Human rights and business. Two countries. Four months. Sounds wonderful. Sounds like my resume would be a little bigger at the end of that experience. Graduate schools want stuff like that. I want the experience. Why not get it in India? or Ghana? or Nepal? (I just really want to go to Nepal but they don’t have either of the internships I’m interested in. Lame. But maybe I’ll go anyway, just to meditate.)

See what I just did? That was successful adult thinking. Switch from something to something else. Shift from the past to the future.
We’ve survived tears (buckets of them) to reach the point where I can leave home without anyone crying. (This started a couple years ago, don’t think it was like April when I stopped crying)
We’ll survive this, too.

I’m excited to see everyone who’s making the journey out to see me. I hope you guys are excited too. In all honesty, though, I’m dreading the ceremony (no rehearsal) but I’m graduating in bejeweled-knock-off-Birkenstocks, so that will be fun. (That was officially a run-on sentence. I have no desire to change it.)

I will tell you that some things haven’t changed. I was at a friend’s house the other night and out of nowhere, he asked me what was the matter.
“What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” I responded. “Why?”
“You stopped talking.”
Pause.
“Not that it’s a bad thing.”
Pause.
“I mean, not like that…” and then there was the hurried explanation that of course he likes it when I talk, etc. etc.
But it made me laugh.

I’m going to go move my car. This is getting ridiculous.

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