When this post goes live it will have been exactly a year since I graduated from college. College, graduating and post-graduation life are things that I've talked about a lot, but I thought that this post could provide a bit more perspective than my previous blog posts have. I guess the best place to start is acknowledging the fact that this past year has been rough, and I think that comes down to two major factors. The first one being that I have always been the person that loved school and for the majority of my life, school was my safety net. So, to be thrown out of my comfort zone and into the work force felt like a major shock to my system. That's not to say I didn't like work, because I absolutely did, but there isn't a clear path set for you finding a career (especially being someone with a liberal arts degree) as there is being in school. The second major factor in my feeling unsettled by this transition was the fact that I moved home after having previously lived completely by myself for the last two years of college. I definitely should make the disclaimer that I am by no means ungrateful about moving home and consider myself incredibly privileged that I have parents who would let me move back and who I have a great relationship with to make a difficult process that much easier. However, when you're so used to creating your own space and having your own routines and ways of doing things, it can be a little bit weird to inhabit someone else's space. Because my boyfriend also moved to San Francisco, I spend a lot of time going back and forth between my parent's house and his apartment, which adds to not feeling fully settled.
I guess a lot of my troubles this year have come down to figuring out a solid direction in my life, and feeling as though I’ve never been fully settled for the past year, which is a feeling I’ve both never really experienced and also am extremely uncomfortable with. I’m someone that sees my life in very black and white terms and I am incredibly hard on myself, so if I’m not doing exactly what I’m passionate about (i.e. creating content and writing) as a job it feels like failure. It’s a trait that I have become more and more aware of over the past year and something that I am trying desperately to work on. Because school was very much my comfort zone and something I was good at, I very rarely felt failure for prolonged periods of time. For most of my academic career I felt like a big fish in a little pond, whereas post-graduation I've definitely been a little fish in a big pond. I've needed to learn how to give myself the space and time to just figure things out and to be more comfortable inhabiting that grey area. After all, I'm only 23, and most people my age have no clue what they want to do or have found a job that is there "dream job".
I don't want this post to be entirely negative, because there have also been some incredibly positive things that have happened this past year, one of which being getting back into blogging on a consistent basis. Even though I don't have nearly enough time to dedicate to blogging and creating content as I'd like, carving out time on my days off and maybe waking up an hour or two early on my working days to just sit down and write has given me a sense of comfort and stability in an otherwise very unstable period. It's also made me realize that this is what I want to dedicate myself to long-term. Whether this becomes my full-fledged career is neither here nor there, but I know that this will always be a creative outlet for me and something I will dedicate time to even if I'm not making money from it.
Another incredibly positive piece of the last year has been building friendships and spending lots of time with my girlfriends. It's something that I wrote an entire blog post about and am extremely grateful for. Not only have I gotten to see some of my oldest friends more, since we are now in the same city again, but I've also been lucky enough to cultivate new friendships with some of my co-workers. I definitely worried a little bit post-graduation about making friends outside of school, simply because making friends and maintaining friendships whilst in school is relatively easy. I was most worried that I'd have trouble meeting new people and making sure I had enough time to spend with friends, despite having a rather packed schedule. I think what it all comes down to is understanding that you might not get to hangout with a certain friend every single week, but to keep the channel of communication clear and stay in contact even if you're too busy to see them in person.
Last, but not least is probably the most positive thing that has come out of this year is that my boyfriend and I found an apartment and will be moving in the next couple of weeks! It was funny timing because we got the place almost a year to the day that we graduated and I'm so incredibly excited not only to have a place that we can call our own and to really settle into, but that it also represents moving on to a new chapter with my best friend. I know moving will be somewhat stressful, but I'm more excited than stressed about the process. I will definitely be sharing aspects of putting our place together on this space.
I know this post has been one hell of a ramble, but it's definitely been therapeutic for me to write. If this helps even one person, I know that spending hours writing this will have been worth it. I want to end things by saying, certain wrinkles from the past year have definitely been ironed out, but I also don't pretend that I've figured out what it means to be an adult fully, and who knows if I ever will (and that's ok!). I've definitely learned more about myself in the last year than I did during my four years in college, and that's mainly down to the fact that I've been thrown out of my comfort zone more than ever and had to face that grey area.