I never thought it would come to this. I never even really thought about it. I just sort of assumed--a little pridefully, I admit, but without really giving it all that much thought--that when I finished school I'd go off and begin my life as a successful Woman of the World.
In the back of my head (you know that part of the mind where imagination and reality become difficult to separate? It's that place you don't show other people, that idealistic little spot where you truly believe all your dreams can and will come true against all odds, given time and opportunity), I saw myself with my own place, my own car, and an awesome, well-paying job. I was toned, Solenn Heussaff-style. I had a walk-in closet. I was going on a book tour for my internationally-acclaimed novel. I read Kant, Nietzsche, Marx, and other intellectual stuff. I could quote from the best literary works. I was traveling the world.
Call me a dreamer, but come on. Didn't you have those illusions, too?
Hell, don't you still?
And yet here I am, a full year after graduation, and I find that not much has changed at all.
I'm still living in my parents' house. I still read fantasy books, and can barely get past a page or two of philosophy. I haven't written that novel, though I promise myself over and over that I'll get on with it tomorrow (until something else comes up). I sort of have my own car, and I love my job--but those two I already had even before I finished college.
No, I haven't got that walk-in closet. According to Coach Chappy Callanta at 360 Fitness Club where I'm getting regular exercise for the first time in my twenty-two years, I have to get rid of 8% of my body fat to even get a shadow of the abs I want...and as I am incapable of keeping my hands (and my mouth) off sweets, I don't know how that's going to work.
At this point it sounds like I'm feeling sorry for myself. Let me get this through, okay? NO, I'M NOT. In fact, I'm happier with my life as it is right now than I ever was in school.
See, in the year since I graduated, I've accepted the fact that life doesn't work out exactly as planned. We dream and we work and we hope and we pray, but things will happen the way they do anyway, despite what we think we want.
So I don't have all that stuff I thought I would. So what? It's only been a year. I won't even hold it against myself after five years. Because life has presented me with other things--things I didn't know I wanted--for which I'm so completely thankful for.
How about parents who are willing to support whatever I want to do? How about friends who listen, and who give me the best times even when we're doing the stupidest things? How about getting to be one of three faces of a whole new channel? How about making the cover of a magazine? How about getting the chance to write for publications that allow me to be an influence, no matter how small, on young girls?
My point is this: I'm going to work hard to make those things I want happen. I'm going to keep myself motivated. But I'm not going to sweat it if they don't come true right away. Life's too short to mope about what I don't have.
One year later, and I'm still learning, still rising and falling, still happy to be alive. I think those are enough for now, don't you?