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Holy hell what a crazy couple of weeks. But, I have PLURAL DEGREES Y’ALL. As of this moment, I’m essentially all packed up, just playing the waiting game until my friends arrive with the moving truck. Then it’s back home for a short six weeks until I start my new jorb.

With baited breath...
With baited breath…

Graduation was simultaneously as exhilarating and unnerving as I expected it to be. During the ceremony we were rushed on and off stage like a herd of cattle (that’s what you get when you go to a state school, I guess), so any moment of reflection on the accomplishment achieved had to wait until I sat back down again, stars in my eyes from all the forced photo ops. I think back, and of course it seems like it went by really fast… but then of course two years feels like a lifetime ago. I’ve come a long way, for better or worse, and I’m not the same person I was when I went in. I see us all going our separate ways… and I’m sad because I’m going to miss them all so much. These women (and token dude, haha) are smart as hell, and capable, and just plain wonderful. I will be forever grateful for their support and solidarity during something that… is really hard. Graduate school is fucking hard. It demands so much of you. You pour every ounce of your energy into it, which leaves (you do the math, because that was never my subject) barely anything left for the others parts of your life. It is the opposite of work/life balance, and so unfortunately the latter suffers. Sometimes those other parts, that you so desperately want to nurture, have to fall by the wayside. It’s rough, and it’s really hard to explain to someone else unless they’re going through it too. So…. *sigh* I’m going to miss them…

I’ve also resigned myself to the exodus… because duh. This town has nothing to offer us anymore. As much as I tried to keep an open mind about this place, about the people and the culture, I’m disappointed. Unlike my colleagues (who for the most part aren’t from this area) and a few notable exceptions, people from this part of the world have disappointed me. Any connections I fostered were either hard to break or hard to make, and I often felt like a kid invited to play double-dutch, only to be left unceremoniously alone, the ropes held slackly in my hands.

But, in the end, I suppose all those butthurt feelings I harbor don’t matter. In general, life is moving along at a progressive pace: after busting my hump to submit applications in the midst of paper writing hell, I got an interview and an offer to visit a potential employer for a curatorial fellowship at a small, but prestigious, liberal arts college. So this past week I packed up Greta, my ever-reliable lil’ sedan, and off I drove…

Lookie there! Mountains! This was the only decent photo I could manage, as I am girl from the flatlands.
Lookie there! Mountains! This was the only decent photo I could manage. I’m a Florida girl who is not used to driving in the hills.

For some reason, the universe has gifted me with the most amazing friends and family, so I had places to stay en route. I really liked the director of the museum; he seemed to appreciate my energy, and it seems like we would work well together. Plus, the job promises to incorporate everything I’ve been wanting to try my hand at since I decided that I wanted to be a curator: exhibition design, from start to finish. Every lil’ detail.

So, in a few weeks I will peace out of FLA for the Poconos of PA. From beaches to mountains for 1-2 years… Jebus… I can already feel the weight of the impending culture shock. Still, I’m forcing myself to stay positive. It’s a great opportunity, and a definitive step to getting the career that I want. It’s a good thing.

Any moment when the anxiety of change creeps in (like now, incidentally), I find myself glumly wondering why I can’t just be happy at home. Why can’t I be someone who finds contentment in the familiar, because life would be so much simpler, so much easier. If I keep putting myself through these gut busting situations, I’m gonna end up giving myself an ulcer. But, then, I remember how miserable I was, how bored I was, in my last couple of years at home. I grew up a painfully shy and awkward kid, afraid of doing anything on my own, petrified of putting myself out there. But I don’t want to live that way. I always admired fiercely independent people, unabashedly doing, well, whatever the hell they wanted. So…although I hate the interim, I think that putting myself through these things is tantamount to the process of building a life you can look back on and be proud of… because I want to be proud of myself.

Current Jam: “Mess is Mine” Vance Joy

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