September 1, 2015

DAY 73


with•draw•al                                                                                                                                                                                                        noun
: an act of moving something away or taking something away

: an act of ending your involvement in something

: the act of taking money out of the bank

There are a lot of things people tell you about leaving college. In the days leading up to graduation you hear, enjoy it while it lasts, these are the best years of your life (!), don’t rush getting a job! And then there are a lot of things that people say after you graduate: don’t worry, you’ll find something, you’re a smart girl any company would be lucky to have you (!!!), and things only get better from here.

It’s not that you don’t believe that all of the above are genuine sentiments. Perhaps the nurse at your pediatrician’s office, after telling you that you’re too old to be there anymore, really does think that you’ll find something and that your life will turn out as perfectly as  you’ve imagined it. And yet, something falls flat each time your unemployed ears receive those stock signals.

Because, what about the withdrawal? Why doesn’t anyone say anything about that?

It could be that most people that you’re coming into contact with are too far removed to remember to say the other important things that should follow the niceties, like acknowledging that graduates have just ended our involvement in something that defined us and shaped us and made us grow and shrink and cut our hair and fall in and out of friendships and love with people and the place that we called home for 4 years.

In some moments this act of moving away feels like it could crush you, because it feels much more like moving backwards than just away. There are times at 2:30 pm on a Tuesday when you’re sitting home alone because most everyone is working (including your little sister) that the crushing feeling turns into this intense need to sit on the horrible Ikea couch from your first semi-real apartment eating chocolate pudding with your best friend just like you did (too much) when you were back at school.

And sometimes, when waiting for the yay/nay response from a company that you’d kill to work at is reaching the ominous you did not get the job timing territory, you feel like the only correct thing to do is get in the car and drive south on 95, pretending that there aren’t new people living in your apartment and that most of your friends don’t live in Chinatown or New York or Philly, anywhere besides the place that brought you together.

You feel weird about having these feelings because no one told you that all of this missing could affect your mood or your day. You’ve never felt directionless in your life and you’re unaccustomed to the unmoored thing that suggests floating and flitting and maybe going a little stir crazy that no one wants you to dock your boat alongside their’s. You wonder if you will ever make enough money to cover what you withdrew during a post-grad-denial romp in New York. You think that someone should at least tell you, at more than one point during this whole thing, that you’ll miss the comfort of all the old things. You hope that some time soon something exciting and new falls into place and it forces you to grow and fall in love and cut your hair and learn things that you couldn’t back when you were the old you.

And then you think that you may want to stop feeling bad for yourself because maybe the negative mojo is effecting your  job applications.

Feature image was taken by Cam Lancaster, check out his stuff here.

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