Graduation (of Others)

My brother graduated today, as did two of my very close friends, another coworker, and some people I used to know in high school. It seemed like a very busy day of watching people move on with their lives.

In May, three of my best friends graduated. It was really hard to watch. Partly because I had just gotten the chance  to befriend them last semester, and partly because I would have been graduating in May if I hadn’t dropped out of college three times to get treatment for my mental illness(es). I had this feeling of being such a failure, I couldn’t stand it. I blamed myself, if you had just pretended to have your shit together you could’ve been done by now. 

Of course, that’s not true. I would’ve been dead, not done with college. The truth is that leaving college so many times taught me how to, and why I wanted to, save my life.

I watched the graduation festivities from my couch today, because I can’t sit on the chairs in the stadium. I took pictures of my screen each time a friend came up, wanting to remember this moment.

I felt a tinge of sadness, but not because I’m not graduating this year. I felt sad because these people that I’ve gotten so close to over the year and a half I’ve been at this school are moving on with their lives. I’m not sure if I’ll hear from them again, and I certainly won’t be able to go sit in their houses and hang out until the very early hours of the morning.

My heart hurts a bit because these people are venturing far and wide. But I am also very excited for them. One of my friends is going to volunteer in Indonesia. One is trying to get a book published. Another is off to graduate school. My brother is still figuring out what he wants to do now, but whatever it is he’ll kill it.

I’m happy that I can move past the fear and self-blame to be happy for the people I know that have worked incredibly hard to get to this point. I didn’t sit and feel sorry for myself today. I went to my brother’s graduation party, and I texted the friends I know that graduated and told them how excited I am for them. I got to decorate the cap that one of my friends wore and it looked awesome and I was so happy that I could give him that.

I will likely graduate in May of 2018, the potential exception being if I take classes next summer. I’ve said, since starting college, that I would do my time and get out. But I recently came across a graduate program I am very interested in looking at. I don’t know yet if I will actually go to graduate school, but I do know that I’m no longer hell-bent on getting out of school as fast as possible. I get to meet people and have experiences that I otherwise would not have had.

I’m not saying I love all parts of college, and I’m not saying I’m fully over the fact that dropping out so many times has put me behind the graduation schedule I was supposed to be on. But I am saying that I love learning and meeting new people, I love getting to do interesting things and learning from my mistakes.

Little points where I can recognize progress, that come out of the blue, are my favorite.

One thought on “Graduation (of Others)

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  1. Life does not have a specific time line. We get to our path when we are ready. You have gotten there and it isn’t a race ‘ it’s a journey of self discovery. The journey is what makes us stronger, it gives us insight, it teaches us how to be the best we can be. You are on an amazing journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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