College graduation is less than a month away.
This week, that realization crashed like a wrecking ball into the happy (and typically messy) little apartment I’ve called home for two years now. I don’t remember being old enough for this season to be coming to a close already.
My people here at college have been nothing short of the perfect community. Looking at us now, we’re an eclectic mix — some of us with rings on fingers & weddings to plan, others of us with instruments in one hand & dreams in the other. A few of us are headed to grad school. Lots of us are headed far away. But we’re all headed somewhere new. Memories tucked in our back pockets, we’re getting ready to wave goodbye, to write new adventures on the years stretching out in front of us.
I’m sure that tears will be everywhere on graduation day. Including running down my face. And I’m not even a crier. But this season hasn’t been sad. I’m sure the unknowns of jobs & houses & relationships that loom over us have weighed down our hearts some days. Adulthood is an adventure, but it’s a hard one to navigate. But this season hasn’t been stressful. When I look back at these last few months, the final days of college life & coffee shop hangouts & Criminal Minds marathons (maybe that one is just me), you know what I remember most? Laughter.
I’ve heard it said that laughter is the salve that keeps reality from scarring. I’ve never been more convinced that it’s true. In the midst of filing taxes & applying for credit cards & looking for houses in neighborhoods I’ve never seen, I’m remembering the importance of driving with the windows down & the music up, of eating way too much ice cream & playing board games, of telling cheesy jokes & embarrassing stories. I’m learning the balance of responsible adult & carefree child at heart. It’s a line I’d like to walk well.
While I was packing, I found a picture of my people from four years ago. We were so young. Eighteen: the year you just know you’ve got life all figured out. But now, at twenty-two, I know that we haven’t figured it out at all. But that’s okay. Because we’ve figured us out. We know who we are. We know what we love. We know the importance of laughing along the way. So we will walk out from this place with heads held high & hearts full to overflowing, because joy has been woven through every one of our stories. We’ve learned to laugh through life. That’s what makes community sweet. And joy is worth carrying in our pockets along with the memories, into new adventures just around the corner.
Good things are coming.
(P.S. My number one hope for this post is that someone recognized my FRIENDS reference in the title. If that someone was you, please tell me immediately so that we can be best friends.)