Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Guest post: Reflections of a recent college graduate

Today I have for you a lovely guest post written my dearest best friend and roommate, Alex. We graduated from college this past Sunday and Alex wrote a beautiful piece about her transition from university to the real world that she wanted to share with you.  Here it is:

I always love reading Brooke’s blog posts - they are full of insight, musings and humor and I find her honest curiosity and sweet thoughts a welcome read! When it was decided that I would write a guest blog,  I wanted to live up the example set before me…so I thought, what oh what should I write about? I could regale you with tales from my recently concluded college career or share my sassy thoughts about sex or boys or love. But instead of all that noise and jazz, I am going to tell you the simple truth and talk about something that I think speaks to everyone at one time or another.
I’m scared and sad. That’s the simple truth. Many a time the last few days Brooke has sat and watched my eyes fill with tears and my voice shake a bit as I explain how all the recent changes (friends leaving, starting a professional fellowship, new environments) and the uncertainty of life after college (what the hell am I actually going to do??) has been like a giant avalanche in the middle of my life. I feel like I am being pushed at the speed of light towards the next part of my life and I don’t know how to brake or steer or even where I am going.
It’s not just the changes that are an issue - change is inevitable so I should probably get used to the concept. It’s more the feeling that I do not recognize my life anymore - I was a student with fantastic roommates and schedule and goals I was working towards…and now I have completed those goals, graduated from college and said goodbye to many of my dear friends, roommates and the life I had known for five years. I don’t feel that same sense of safety or security or understanding that I took for granted.
Before me the next part of my life is waiting - tomorrow I start my fellowship at a fantastic non-profit and start to plan my first summer after college. And I am scared shitless. I don’t know how to begin the journey. But the thing is, I have begun. All the fear and the uncertainty and the crying were still there, but I got up this morning and made plans and showed up! And I think that’s kind of an amazing thing that most people don’t realize they accomplish every day. We are so resilient in the face of that which we are uncertain of and what one might consider simply our routines is actually a conscious decision to show up despite being scared or worried. When I realized this personal accomplishment, I took a moment to be proud of myself and say ‘good job Alex!’ And I challenge you to do the same thing! Realize that even though we will face things that frighten us or cause us worry, we still show up every day for our lives and in that act, we are in fact beginning the journeys that we don’t how to start. So stick to the simple, take the days one at a time and always ALWAYS take the time for personal pride in our resolve to dig deep and find the courage to show up, make plans, stand up and speak, and try even though we don’t always know how. Tomorrow is a big day and I feel this aerobic anxiety building up inside. But I am going to finish this post, find my favorite book, pick out my big-girl outfit for tomorrow and take it one decision and one step at a time. I think that is all we should ask of ourselves - not to be immune to the fear of uncertainty, but simply to never let that fear stop us from living and enjoying our lives and the adventures awaiting us!


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