What’s Up With You?

I expected my graduation (June 2016) to bring a rush of relief and new-found invigoration to my life.

Instead I wallowed. The last class finished and I had a nerve-wracking week where not passing was a real threat looming over my life. But I passed. I have my diploma, I can put Drexel University on my resume (despite having never set foot on campus).

And while I thought I would suddenly have free time, I’ve been just as stressed as ever. The job search is leading nowhere, I can’t seem to keep up with things at home, I’m exhausted, I started working out regularly (which sucks up a lot of time and makes me feel like trash), and I’m still working two jobs.

And I miss writing so much.

I have a dedicated writers’ group which gives me some much-needed fiction time and also a low-key social outlet. Unfortunately, life has gotten in the way of many meetings.

And that just seems to be the theme here: life gets me down, I get exhausted, I put off the things I enjoy in an order to siphon energy to the things you need to do. I’m not going to use Spoonie terminology because none of this is from a chronic illness, but the analogy of  “just not enough” is resonating with me. And maybe it’s depression but if it is it feels so different from the other times I can’t recognize it as such.

I’ve got some good shit coming up though. This week I’m traveling to NYC to see Hamilton; early in November I’m going to Germany and Iceland! So there’s stuff to look forward too, even though a jam packed schedule gives me some anxiety. I’ll sleep eventually!

But there should be some blog posts forthcoming. I’ve done a fair amount of travel in 2016- a lot more than in previous years. I’ve hit up Myrtle Beach and Atlanta in addition to the upcoming trips. I plan to do little write-ups about those places in what I hope is the not too distant future, though admittedly everything may have to wait until Mid-November when I’m back from Europe.

But here I am, I’m alive, this blog is not truly abandon, stay tuned for updates!

 

Back to School

Move in day has happened! The campus I work on is now populated by both confused looking freshman as well as more confident upper-classmen. I’m frequently mistaken for a student worker (met with questions about my major and year), and have certainly confused many people with the fact that I am neither a current student nor an alum (While the school does have its staff heavily stocked with alumni, it is by no means a pre-requisite for employment).

My time at a small, liberal arts college has been the best four years of my life to date, hands down and no competition. I had hoped to recreate that magic at graduate school, but we all know how much that failed. College was perfect for me. I made real friends, friends I actually wanted to spend time with, for the first time in my life. I got out of the toxic environment at my parents’ house and moved six hours away. I thrived on the structured independence and it felt good take interesting classes and excelling academically (which is not to say that I didn’t have my challenges, frustrations, and baffling D’s). I’m quite jealous of all the students starting college right now, because I know I will never be able to recreate what I had during that time. I know it was good because I actually appreciated all these things while they were happening, it’s not merely nostalgia. I knew I had a good thing going while I was enrolled, I just didn’t know how tough and unsatisfying the outside world would end up being.

I’ve been out of school for four years now, which is as long as I was an actual student. Three of those years have been completely miserable, to the point where I knew that if things didn’t improve I couldn’t sustain what I had going. This year… I can’t say this year has been better, what with losing my grandparents, but in terms of a happy professional life it has taken an upswing.

And mid-month, I too will go back to school. I don’t know what to expect from online-only classes, but I know that there is no hope of them recreating my undergrad experience. Perhaps that’s for the best and I need to move no from my nostalgia. Hopefully it is the force that really pushes this upswing and allows me to live a life I am actually happy with. I won’t know until I finish and begin applying for higher-level jobs and that’s at least two years away.

I’m certainly occupying a strange space right now: working at an undergraduate institution, registering and purchasing materials for my own classes, working with students to help meet their academic needs and remembering what my mindset was when I was in there position.

Ah, to return to the good old days.