It’s been too long and there’s no real good reason for it.
Lately, I’ve been feeling like things are actually coming together. I met with my department’s graduate coordinator today and got the “okay” to graduate (once I finish next semester’s coursework), and even though I was expecting my meeting with him to go smoothly, actually hearing the words “you’re all set” made it feel real for the first time. Five months from now, I will have finished school, probably forever. Now it’s time to start thinking about next steps.
When I finished my undergrad. degree, next steps were terrifying to think about. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to stay in Ypsi but I also wasn’t quite ready to move and wouldn’t have known where to go anyway. I wasn’t happy with the person I was with but it was still like pulling teeth to finally let go of that. Basically, I panicked at the thought of making some real long term decisions, and that’s probably exactly how I ended up in grad. school.
In hindsight, it’s worked out for the best. I’ve enjoyed my program; I’ve learned a lot, and being in school for a couple more years has given me the chance to figure out what I actually want to do with these $25,000 pieces of paper. I can’t say with any certainty that it’s what I’ll want to do forever, but that’s okay. It really is.
Lately, I’ve been using pretty much all of my free time listening to live recordings of Mountain Goats stuff. Today, I was reflecting on all this stuff about graduating and moving and hopefully starting a career, and I came across this gem from JD and it gave me goosebumps:
You fall in love with the places that you’re from. But then you grow older, and maybe you spend some time in a place that you don’t like. For all I know, you’re there right now. If you were, you wouldn’t tell anybody, because that’s not hip. If you run down where you live, then you’re a dick.
But at the same time, you’re not gonna love every place you live, and you’re dishonest — which is worse than being a dick — if you say, “Oh, yeah, I love every place I’ve lived.” No, you don’t. Sometimes you go someplace, and you feel that the air and the trees and the people and the streets, they’re all coming up against you, they’re all sort of like snakes, winding themselves around your ankles, trying to keep you in a place that’s neither nourishing your spirit nor feeding your heart.
And you think to yourself, “I have to get out of here,” and every time you think that, it’s like the snakes coil themselves a little tighter around your ankle. “Jesus Christ, I need a drink. I have to have a drink. I have to get out of this marriage. I can’t stand this anymore.”
And then the other person says, “You know you’re saying that shit out loud?
This is my relationship with Ypsilanti, and maybe Michigan in general. I’m not scared or unsure anymore. I’m just ready to go. To be in motion. And this is my motivation to do what I need to do in the next few months so I can finally start my life.