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graduation

May 11, 2007

I graduate from college tomorrow. I will have a degree in music education. I have eleven hours in which to have tragedy befall me, or for me to be eternally stupid.

I’m gonna get pretty intimate here, because I can. Go with it; it will make more sense later.

The last three months, I’ve felt like I’m waiting on the edge of a cliff, having just dropped a can or rock or the like and watching it flutter and spin all the way to the bottom. But it always, fades from my view before I see it hit. Granted, I never see it hit. I’m sure it does, because this is how things go. You do something, you get it done. You take a major step in your life, and you get through it. You go to college, and then you graduate.

Sure I know that’s not always the case, but its my case. I’m the rock-throwing-wait-til-it-hits-the-bottom type. I’m the kind of person who sees these processes in action and wants them done. Usually, I want them done and over with, but in this case, its more that its done with me.

My original idea for this post was going to be a sports pre-game review in which I detailed the highlights of my college career. I found myself faced with three obstacles:

1. I don’t know enough about sports broadcasting to be at all authentic and I refuse to do that kind of research. Sports = gross.
2. I’ve been having a hard time putting five years of details into words. Hell, I’ve had a problem remembering five years of details.
3. I don’t think I have the gumption to put that sort of thing together and feel good about it. It’s hard to be so flippant, for me.

My initial fears have included the usual. I’ve said how “not ready” I was, or how “sudden” this all seems. But all of that is poppycock, because whether or not I’m ready for graduation to happen, or for Life to take me into this next stage, Life is certainly ready for me. I think this is a good lesson to have learned in this time.

Seriously, its been five years of struggle, and I’ve done a lot of complaining about a lot of things in that time. I’ve made a lot of friends, and a lot. a lot of enemies. I’ve taken to ignoring people that I used to respect, because, in a fit of jealousy, I regretted that I’d fucked up with Jake or Brandon, and these other people were happy, and that’s not fair. I’ve held a knife to my wrist several times, too scared to put on the slightest pressure. I’ve thought about driving off the side of the road. I’ve thought about pills. I’ve thought about drugs. I’ve released myself of morality. I’ve contemplated my own evil nature. I’ve wanted to become the black beast that I never got to be as a child. I had all my hidden issues come to the surface and boil over in the middle of strangers. I’ve been as lost to myself as I’ve been lost to my family. I’ve learned to hide. I’ve laughed. I’ve been a partier. I’ve been the driving force in groups with no motivation. I’ve been the first one to speak his mind. I’ve opened my heart to others when they needed it. I’ve been trusted. I’ve taken hits for people. I’ve taken harsh words from people. I’ve explored myself and touched into inner forces I didn’t think I really had. I’ve taken the longer road and the hike. I’ve made the trek across this state for one day of communion with people I don’t really know, but love regardless. I’ve seen lights in eyes and seen people turn to each other for comfort, or turn to me. I’ve learned how important my writing is and how important I can be. I’ve seen that what’s in my head is the only world I’ve got, and I’ve learned to live there better. I’ve beaten myself down and built myself up. I’ve been my best possible image and my worst possible reflection. I’ve been a liar and a cheater and a thief and a stalker and a worrier and a murderer and a psychotic ex-boyfriend and a musician and a brother and a scholar and a student and a hard worker and a philanthropist and a gentleman and a respectable young man. I suppose that is just a small list to be sure.

Right now, in my bedroom, these are the things that document my progression:

The cap and gown, with tassels and honor cords
The shingle from Kappa Kappa Psi declaring my initiation
My paddle from my Big Brother
The certificate of appreciation from Kappa Kappa Psi’s National Council
The plaque from the Southwest District, in appreciation
The name badge with the “Graduating Senior” ribbon
The copy of my senior recital
The picture of my family from the trip to Utah
A whole lot of writings
My personal saxophone and flute
A staff covered with several years worth of Sabbat ribbons
A massive collection of CDs
A small but diverse closet-full of clothes
Several class notebooks that will be lifetime resources
The full-length mirror marked with endless notes
Stacks of promotional materials from different schools
The certificate of appreciation from the Band
Lots of incense
Lots of books
The same bed that I shared with many lovers
Music in piles
Thank you notes and letters
A broom over my door
A Brigid’s Cross on my wall
A list of requirements for Teacher Certification

The list goes on, of course. Everything in here comes from some stage in my life of some level of significance or another. Even the content of my computer. Even the wrinkles I’m starting to form, or the bags under my eyes that weren’t there a year ago.

I could go on and on about what I’ve learned and what I’ve missed out on and what I’d do differently, and blah blah blah. None of that matters. Nothing of the past goes away after tomorrow. Nothing of right now changes until I finish this next sentence.

Tomorrow, at 10am, I will be moving into the place where I will be commenced and allowed to take the step of this cliff and hope that I actually reach the bottom.

Okay, now I have about ten hours to be really dumb or die. Here’s to a good night’s sleep.

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6 comments

  1. Some days ago, I met a person who grauated not longbefore. I wish you have a good future.


  2. Congratulations, my friend. It seems that you’ve gone through this experience in a far more mindful and present way than most. Being aware of your processes as you move through your life will serve you well; try not to lose that skill, no matter how tired it may make you (or how much you may envy those who seem to stumble through thier lives without a metacognitive cell in their brains).

    You hit it just right when you said that nothing of the past goes away and nothing of now changes. That’s really just another way of saying that this life is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve got everything you need to keep going, and don’t forgeth that there are those of us on your sidelines with power bars and water for your nourishment, cheering you on.

    Congratulations again!


  3. Mm. Power bars. Chili, you are the best! Thank you.


  4. *dances for you* I know, gruesome imagery, but hey.

    I’m glad you’re finally moving on to the next tier of life – avoiding real work as long as possible. Oh wait, that was me. Look at you go!

    Congrats, D.


  5. YES!!!
    F*@K yes!!

    you rock


  6. *hugs* I could have sworn I commented yesterday. Congrats hun! I’m very proud of you!!!



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