You heard it here first: working full-time is nothing like college life.
At the risk of sounding hopelessly lazy, it has been a serious adjustment for me to wake up everyday at 7:00am, drive to
work, sit for 8 hours, drive home from work, eat a bowl of cereal, go to sleep, wake up at 7:00am... Lather, Rinse, and Repeat. (It's necessary.) I'm a twenty-three year old child who has never had a traditional full-time job and wah wah wahhh, I'm tired! I keep thinking that any day now summer vacation will be over and it'll be back to the books. And yet, the days keep flying
by at an alarming rate and it is almost
October, one of my favorite college months. As I sit here in my absolutely wonderful bed, on a Friday night, with my wet hair wrapped up in a towel, with a Shape magazine next to me telling me exactly how to lose those pesky 5 pounds I've been despising for weeks but managed to do nothing about, I am suddenly very aware of something. I miss Utah.
I miss planning the elaborate Halloween parties that we never hosted. I miss spending all my time in class online looking up costume ideas. I miss (and yes, I did this. More than once.) planning out several weeks of nightly Halloweenish activities (on paper even) that I would use to persuade anyone who would listen that their participation was vital.
I miss the Haunted Houses. I miss knowing that on Halloween night I would undoubtedly see more exposed flesh than I ever thought possible, even in Utah, as the Mean Girls mantra consistently rings true. I miss walking across campus when there's a slight breeze and a bite on my cheeks of the impending winter chill that was
right around the corner. I miss boots. I miss pretending to study. I miss my friends.
As I was talking with a new friend the other nig
ht, I had one of those "aha!" moments that really shouldn't be an "aha!" moment because it isn't necessarily exciting or epitome-ish or any sort of pioneering thought. "aha!"
I realized, despite the inherent irony of the statement, that change is one of the few constants that exist in this often crazy world. You can count on change, and despite your best efforts to fight like hell when change rears its unfortunate/okay-maybe-kind-of-fortunate head, you will never win. So, unless you're a master debater who strangely needs to go against the grain, perhaps it would be best for all if we just went with it this time.
At this point I've accepted but not quite
embraced the recent changes in my life, and therein lies my goal for the upcoming weeks: I will embrace my surroundings, my good fortune, my family, my friends, and all things currently in my strange new setting. I will grab change by the horns, then jump on and ride bareback (what?) and perhaps have a better view (since I'll be higher up on the back and all) of the wonderful places life has taken and will take me.
One of my favorites poems has long-since been "Invictus" by William Ernest Henle
y. A beautifully defiant, courageous take on making your life truly your own, Henley manages to inspire the champion in all of us with the last line: "I am the Master of my fate, I am the Captain of my Soul." My fate is not solely dependent upon the experiences of my life thus far- it is every bit as dependent on the shape my life will take from this day forward. And rather than sit back and dwell on the 7am wake-ups and occasional slow day at the office, I will become the captain of my soul and approach each new morning gratefully. (And if not, I'll stop at a gas station on the way to work and get a 32 oz. Diet Coke. That'll get me good and grateful.)
I am lucky, I am blessed, I am loved, and I am happy.
And as luck would have it, I get to embrace my change by the ocean, in one of those chairs if I really wanted to.