This blog is a collection of a young woman's random thoughts, many tangents, and occasional
short stories and novel excerpts. Stay tuned for plenty of bull and brief moments of brilliance.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Post Grad Life Thus Far

Almost two weeks ago, I graduated from University of Iowa. I wasn't nearly as excited as I hoped I would be for a day that has been building since I first began schooling at the age of four. My entire life was supposed to follow a certain path, all leading to higher education and a Bachelor's Degree at the very least. A couple Saturdays ago I got that degree and I don't feel like I wish I would.

The actual day my sister and I forgot to set my alarm the night before; thank God she naturally woke up at 7:50am and thank God my boyfriend was awake to come pick us up and run us to the ceremony. The car ride there I was trying to wipe the smudges of mascara from under my eyes and comb out my hair with my fingers. I didn't look as nice as I wished I would.

Once there, I ran for the Carver Hawkeye Arena and waited to be seated. After a couple minutes, I saw Luke from the corner of my eye. He had broken away from my family for a minute to come wish me good luck. That kiss on the forehead was what I needed. My dad and stepmom emerged minutes later with one of the twins (who are getting huge by the way) to cheer me on.

The only time I became even slightly teary eyed was walking down into the arena to "Pomp and Circumstance," but besides that I was bored. The speakers were dry and uninspiring and their advice was either cliched or fucking stupid. After I got my diploma, I got up from my seat, pushed my way through some other students, and ran up the steps of Carver and out of the auditorium. Hell no was I sitting through another hour of this shit. I felt a little peeved that after four years at the university I didn't even get to shake Sally Mason's hand.

I got a couple bouquets of roses, wine from Luke (thanks dear), money from family (greatly appreciated), and hugs. My parents were gone within two hours and I felt alone. Luke hung out with me for a bit but still, I felt suddenly, horribly lonely and unfulfilled. I walked through the Ped Mall in a blue tuxedo tee I stole from a guy on New Year's Eve and saw everyone with their families and was filled with jealousy.

My parents were exhausted, had a huge drive before them, and two babies who were sick of being on their best behavior after so long; I do not blame them for getting the hell outta Dodge as quickly as they did, but I was sad they were gone. The next day I didn't have work or any real responsibilities, so I decided to deposit that glorious cash and do a little shopping. After ten minutes in CVS, I burst into tears at the sight of chocolate bars completely unprovoked. Here I was, 22, an adult, sobbing over chocolate for no goddamn reason. And all because I was sad college was over.

Since graduation I've been working like crazy with little "me" time to speak of and I realize now how insane and difficult it is to have two jobs. LongHorn has been great about training me, but the serving world is hectic and terrifying. I know I'll get the hang of it but in the meantime with all the menu tests, acronyms for teamwork I have to memorize (R.U.L.E.S., C.P.R., C.S.S., C.A.R.E., etc.), and trying to remember each step of the alley in the kitchen, I feel like I'm going to pass out. Also it turns out I'm a wimp when it comes to carrying hot plates...so I kinda chose the wrong profession.

The other day Luke picked me up from LongHorn at 11:30pm and I burst into tears almost instantly once in the car. I was stressed and exhausted. We talked later about my writing and I mentioned my plans for a trilogy I want to write soon. He asked when the first book would be done by and I felt dumbfounded. No longer did I have the crutch of school as an excuse to my laziness and lack of productivity when it came to my fiction work. Now I was just a sad excuse of a failed writer if I didn't pony-up. I told him Mystieks would be finished by Christmas. Granted, he isn't going to yell at me if I don't, but this is the first time I've verbally shared a concrete writing goal with someone else...and it's terrifying.

Today is my first day off in a week and it should feel better than it does. Instead, I'm depressed, moping around the house, wondering when I'll have to go back to work (tomorrow). I've finally found a place to live next year, but I feel like I still have a million and one things to do to get my life on track. I'm jealous of everyone I see with nice "real" jobs where they get to wear business suit sets and get coffee breaks and have an actual five day week rather than balancing two jobs over seven days. To have a weekend is a luxury I already forget.

I'm trying not to break down and completely freak out, but I can feel it coming. I've had freakouts before and this feels like it'll be a big one. It's weighing on me and threatening to explode at the slightest misstep in my life, whether it's taking on an extra shift or nighttime plans falling through. The tiniest things are pissing me off and sending me off the rails. An employee was forty minutes late last weekend and I sent her to work upstairs because I was worried I would punch her in the face. This is not okay.

Nothing is peaking my interest, not the four books I could read or my Pinterest page I haven't checked since before finals. I'm clean out of energy to do much of anything that isn't going to earn me some money. When I hang out with friends I find myself spacing out, unable to create interesting or engaging conversation. I'm feeling like a burden.

I'm worried I'll annoy the shit out of my boyfriend with my complaining, or worse yet scare him off with my inevitable meltdown. He hasn't had to see my anxious, depressive side yet. I'm always worried that's what destroys my relationships: the darker parts of me I try to keep at bay early on. He's so good to me and hell if I'll let him get away. He takes my crazy and is sweet and encouraging. But whenever I have anything going well for me all I can think about is when and how I will lose what I care about. I think I have my mom to thank for that one.

I didn't intend for this post to be nearly as sad as it has turned out, but not writing in a while is making my fingers itch and my wrists ache with need. It's strange how something so tedious which is, in fact, not that fun, can make you insane if you stay away from it for too long. Anyone who tells you writing is a blast is a bold-faced fuck. It sucks. It's solitary and draining and makes the voices in your head suddenly appear on paper and become real. But not to write is far worse than the writing itself.

Maybe writing, even bullshit, self-indulgent nonsense like this will sate this beast laying on my chest. Maybe that will take the edge of off this hysteria and stress that alcohol cannot seem to fix.
Me with Maisey and Soren on graduation day

Michelle and I have a graduation photo shoot

My grad party

Training booklets and long hours with few customers



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