So That Just Happened
Thirteen years ago, a nine year old version of myself sobbed in an apartment in Paris after visiting Monet’s garden, which was something that I had been looking forward to for two whole years (which in my defense was over 20% of my life at that point). When asked why I was so upset I simply answered, “What do I have to look forward to now?” Because the truth of the matter is realizing your dreams is scary because what comes after that? In the movies there is usually uplifting music as the protagonist smiles to themselves or dances in the streets, the camera pans out and then the credits roll, and you as the viewer walk away also with a smile on your face. But in real life the credits don’t just roll, life goes on, and as the moment you were looking forward to is realized there is no momentous music, instead there is just confusion as you think to yourself, “So that just happened.” And I don’t say this to be a downer or point out the unrealistic expectations given to us by the media. Because we all deserve our momentous music and pan out shot (but you can make it happen, that is what iPods are for).
I say this because never has the confusion of reaching your dreams seemed more real than now, as I am 72 days away from graduating college. Because not long after that nine year old version of me wiped away her tears and returned to Minnesota she learned about college. In sixth grade I had a large book listing over 300 different colleges and their statistics. My goal was do well in middle school, so that I could get into honors classes in high school, and then do well in those classes and graduate from high school after getting into a good college. Do well in college, graduate and get a job. This list was long and had many things to check off and it spanned many years, but I am now 72 days away from completing that checklist.
Along the way I have had some, “so that just happened moments.” I got into college, I graduated from high school, I was fortunate enough at the end of last summer to receive a job offer from my internship, which was another large “so that just happened” moment. And I smiled to myself and imagined a pan out shot but part of me felt empty; because who was I if I wasn’t the person working towards having a full time job after college. The answer to that question was a person who still had two more semesters of college to complete. But as that part of my life comes to an end I am forced to face what comes after. Because according to many people I have consulted with life continues after college, many might say that is when it begins.
Because the things that have made up and that I have sought out in my life so far still will exist. An amazing community amongst friends, many of whom I know because of LCM, who make me feel like one of the luckiest human beings even when I am having a horrible week will still be there. I will still seek out success, it will just no longer come in the form of letter grades, which is a very freeing prospect. I’ve learned so much over the past four years about myself and how I want to live my life and be as a person, and I will continue learning even if I am not in school. New dreams will be made, and then will hopefully come true to make room for some new ones.
And hopefully I will have a lot more, “so that just happened” moments to come.