June 17th, 2018. I wake up to my 9 AM alarm, tired as all get-out. I didn’t sleep well because I kept wondering why my boyfriend wanted me to up so early. I mean, I thought, “Maybe he’s going to propose!” but it had been almost a week since I came up for a visit to the mountains and nothing had happened. Technically, if he was going to ask, he only had that Tuesday to do so; we had a barbecue planned for the next day to celebrate the engagement (you know, the one that hadn’t happened yet). I knew he had asked my parents’ permission when he came to pick me up the week before, but the When, Where, and How he’d ask me were all up in the air. It didn’t help that he had been keeping me in suspense throughout my visit, kept me wondering when I would experience that wonderful moment.
This is a post borne out of frustrating daily job searches, articles that talk about how to pick yourself up and keep going, as well as people who think that saying they’ve been in your position will magic away the depression of it all. In places, it may seem harsh. However, I feel the need to write about what goes on in my head so people can understand what I’m going through, and perhaps dispel a couple of myths along the way.
Family and friends ESPECIALLY: This is for you.
In my last post, I talked about an upcoming commencement ceremony at my university, the one where I would turn my tassel and formally celebrate my Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Now, I’m going to tell you how it went.
I’ve said it in much the same way to anyone who will listen for months on end: Although it took eight years, three schools, and one change in my major, I am FINALLY graduating with a bachelor’s degree!
Those numbers are worth noting (and repeating) because it’s so drastically different from my original plan. I graduated from high school in 2010 with the expectation that I’d have a bachelor’s degree in music from the university I’d enrolled in, within three or four years. I anticipated a life fulfilling my purpose as a musician, but Life had a few things to say about that. As a result, I’ve gone back and forth, trudging through and taking successes where I could get them, all to get to Thursday, May 24th, 2018. That is when I will be walking in Commencement with my fellow graduates, with my family, friends, and loved ones watching on. It wasn’t an easy path, but I got there.
I need to write about it because I feel physically ill when I’m excited or anticipating some Great Big Thing, like this upcoming ceremony. I’ll chalk it up to nerves because saying happiness is making me feel sick sounds strange to some. I’m not worried about anything…at least, nothing I can come up with at the moment. As weird as it sounds, I’m looking forward to the ceremony too much. The hyped-up energy is building in me and I have no way to let it out, save for going through Commencement and putting a nice proverbial bow on the whole event. Writing provides some solace, though.
Back in #6, I wrote about feeling physically ill when I’m happy about something. Now, I’m going to let you in on another way my brain sucks: it makes me miserable just ahead of something that already sucks.
Allow me to explain.
In a post from last year, titled “I Should Be Happy,” I talked about finishing my undergraduate education and not feeling the familiar giddiness of reaching a goal–of a job well done. I’m here to tell you that feeling has not gone away.
In fact, it’s only gotten worse.
Tuesday marked my last day of undergraduate classes. I am on track to graduate this month, and to walk in commencement next May. After seven years, three schools, and two majors, I’m finally going to get a bachelor’s degree. This is something I’ve been waiting for, something I didn’t think would happen since I had to drop out of the first university I went to. When I felt like a failure, I didn’t think I’d ever be in this position, much less in the wake of all the changes I’ve made since then.
And yet…I’m not happy.