Monday, December 28, 2009

Being "spit out" into the world...

I have recently come to the conclusion that graduating from college does something horrible to one's life. Yes, sure college is supposed to better us all. Making us amazing benefactors of knowledge in whatever thrilling field we decided to dominate. And yet, I can not help but feel more pathetic now than I have ever felt...even before college. Shall I elaborate? Pull up a chair.

All these years devoting my time to a college education, jumping through the hoops that my professors erected, writing paper after paper....after paper. All this culminates to one defining moment where you walk across a stage quite briskly in a static-cling filled gown of sorts, shake a hand or two, and walk off the stage.

Descending off that college stage must concoct a time warp. Before one performed that symbolic act they were considered a student, now we are "alumni". It becomes an identity crisis of sorts. Do I claim to have loved spending hours into the night working on projects? Of course not. Do I assert that not thinking about Christmas until a week before is normal? Never. But, what I am suggesting is that there seems to be little room in this failing economy for "fresh off the college stage.... alumni" looking for a job.

Just so this post does not turn bitter, I am shifting gears slightly from economy to example. Before one graduates from college there is little job expectation. Working at a local pizza joint that requires you to wear khaki pants every day is completely normal. Even respectable. Making insanely rich people smoothies on a daily basis? That is quite admirable. But once those glossy doors of the school shut behind all changes. Grease and plastic cups have no value now. And so the waiting game begins.Unlike most people I have a 24 hour recovery rate and I am now ready for break time to be over. But, it seems far from finished.

Day 1 as a jobless graduate looked something like this:

11:30 a.m. : rolled out of my fleecy cocoon.

11:40 a.m: finished grape fruit. yum.

12:45 p.m.: chatted with husband on his lunch break.

1:00 p.m.: tried to run a mile...stopped running.

1:05 p.m: walked a mile.

2:00 p.m: hung out with the Siamese

2:39 p.m.: still hanging out with the Siamese

3:00-4:00 p.m.: channel surfing

4:30 p.m.: shower time

5:00-9:00 p.m.: dinner/grocery shopping/mindless hours on the couch/pondering of existence

now: writing this blasted entry.

Gratefully, I get to repeat this cycle until employment is found. Maybe I will switch it up tomorrow and add in a little closet organizing.

Friday, December 25, 2009

"It's Coming On Christmas..."

...a quote from my favorite movie. Sometimes I find those words running into my head at odd times during the Christmas season. It just seems to fit the moods that I shift in and out of around this time. One can simply fill in the blanks: "It's coming on Christmas..." and insert whatever thoughtful blurb pops into one's head. Mine mostly consist of thoughts of how I am not ready for this splendid day to be upon me quite yet. Maybe being "ready" for Christmas consists more of a mental exercise than an exercise in spending money on presents, and baking batches upon batches of cookies.

Everyone has those Christmas memories that we try to live up to every year. Mine mostly consist from chilhood when life was "simpler" but I wouldn't have recoginized that during the current crisis of that time. I spend every Christmas season trying to prepare myself mentally for all the joy and thoughtful moments I should be having as I drink hot chocolate and watch snow flakes sky dive to the ground. Instead, I have found that the last few years I have fallen short of that mental preparation. All the presents get purchased, baked goods are created, and the various jolly greetings are sent out....but something seems amiss.

I remind myself that there is "always next year" and surely I will have everything organized by then to make my Christmas beyond memorable. I am not sure that it ever comes into bloom though. So, I am left to assume one of two things: as I age my ability to retain the innocent joy of Christmas dims, or I am too busy comparing Christmas present to Christmas past that I forget to acknowledge the new within the old. Both are quite possible.

One needs to recognize that all this mental exercise does not need to consist of multiple epiphanies for each Christmas thought. The innocence of Christmas past could be summed up in being consumed by the joy of every little ritual and each quite moment that the season brings.
It's coming on Christmas and I can't think of many epiphanies that I've had this year but I'm choosing to pass on this thought for the experience.
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