My cousin, who graduated a year before me, gave me advice on what to expect from my post-grad life. One of the elements she stressed heavily was the sense of purposelessness that seems to come out of nowhere. For decades getting an education has been my main focus and passing to the next level my ultimate goal. And for those who are going straight to grad school or some other higher education; that goal orientated life probably won’t change. But as for me, and my cousin, our goals are little vaguer. I think this purposelessness is what some people call post-grad depression. No longer can I hide under the guise of “oh, I’m still in school” or “I have time to figure it out”. I have officially run out of time to figure it out and people are expecting me to have answers or to do SOMETHING. All of this accompanied with moving back home, not being surrounded by friends and seeing everyone else seemingly move on with life can definitely bring on some pretty heavy self-doubt. Knowing this, my cousin gave me this advice. 1. Be intentional about making new friends and making time for old ones. And 2. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. If you see old classmates going to law school and getting married, that’s great and be happy for them. But also realize that doing yoga or traveling or just going back home is just as great and maybe just what YOU need.
Officially I have 15 days until I graduate from undergrad. I honestly cannot believe how quickly those four years came and went. I am so excited to start my career, live on my own and have complete autonomy over myself and my life (their house their rules). And though all of this sounds like everything I have been dreaming of since about sixteen years old; now that it’s here I am starting to feel like freedom is actually a huge scam. Adulthood and freedom have always sounded like so much fun because I could do what I want when I want and exactly how I want. But during my years in undergrad, little by little I’ve been given more and more of the responsibilities surrounding my life. This started with like having to pay for my own gas and tune-ups for my car, Esteban. Next, I got a job and started having to panic around tax time. And the more time passed the more responsibility and “bills” I had to deal with on my own. Recently, with all of the excitement graduation is bringing, major anxiety has tagged along as well. I am now thinking about if I should go to Grad school, if I should move out of my family’s home, where I would live if I did move out, inheriting bills that my parents will have to take up for my younger brother who is entering college in the fall. And the list never ends of the things I will soon be responsible for and if they fall through it’s completely on me. Honestly, doesn’t that sound like a scam? Adulthood is hyped up for so long in our young minds and when it’s finally here it’s completely overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time. In no shape or form do I feel ready for what is ahead, but I do know that God has a plan for my life and all I have to do is walk in it.
Self-evaluation is something that I have recently tried to get better at. This blog is one of the ways I try to audit myself and take account for how close or far I am to reaching my goals. One of the people that always keeps me down to earth and in constant re-evaluation is my mother. I wanted to make a post about her for national women’s month in March, but it was so hard forming the words to encompass all the eans to me. She is very supportive and yet very truthful about things I need to work on. She gives me encouragement while at the same time telling me I am not perfect and there are so many things that I need to take note of and do the inner work to fix. She is definitely my daily auditor. I believe everyone needs at least one person in their life that tells them the truth no matter what. Growth is something that we must constantly do, for the good or for the evil you will grow. When you have supportive people around you they can keep you in check and help you grow in the right direction. Don’t forget, its all about progress over perfection! #PoP
I am not a naturally creative person. It takes a lot of effort, patience and forced deadlines to push me to produce something creative. I like strict rules and a detailed syllabus that outlines what someone expects of me. Because of this, I have to expel my creativity in “creative” ways (pun intended). For one, I have plants in my home. I spend time taking care of them and making sure they are getting all of the nutrients that they need. I also play the ukulele. I am not very good, but it makes me so happy when I am able to play a song and sing along to it. Another thing I do is read a lot. I love fiction novels and currently, I am trying to read some classics, starting with Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I really love losing myself in a plot and feeling as if I am apart of the story. Lastly, I love to travel. Traveling sparks my creativity because I am able to learn about different cultures, visit places I never thought I’d get the opportunity to see and eat different kinds of food. Creativity doesn’t have to be a painting or some song lyrics. Creativity can be simply surrounding yourself with things that make you feel alive. #POP
I was never very interested in poetry. I’m more of a long, intricate, overlapping storylines, and a plot twist in the end type of person. I like to be emotionally and sometimes physically immobilized by a plot for weeks at a time and then devastated when the journey comes to an end. However, there are a few poems that drag me along on a similar adventure. The poems that I like either grab my attention by their creative political statements or by their exuberant imagery. The poem I will be sharing today is an example of both.
Justice by Langston Hughes:
That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise:
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes.
This poem speaks to the injustice toward the black race. He brings to the consciousness that maybe those bandages don’t represent unbiased judgment and instead are hiding the ugly truth that is a Justice system that preys black people. The creative way he uses the American symbol of unbiased judgment to show the racial bias that built the system is powerful.
I just wanted to share this and begin a dialogue on poetry, what is your favorite poem and why?
One of the biggest reasons I am drawn to minimalism is because the practice calls for you to search your soul and see where your values lie. And if something does not add value to your life, to get rid of it. A lot of people interpret this to mean that people should get rid of excess and in a sense that’s true. But more important, adapting minimalism into ones life forces them to contemplate why they own the things that they do. Do you own those clothes because they make you happy or because it’s what society is telling you is “in” right now? Do you own this big house so you can fill it with friends and family or because it’s a status symbol? I am not here to bash anyone’s reasoning for owning the things they do, and I don’t believe minimalism is either. All minimalism and I are asking you to do is ask yourself why and if you cannot come up with a good enough reason, let it go. During this process of change in my life, I have had to let go of items that I initially thought brought me happiness and added value to my life. However, when I searched my motives for keeping them, I realized they were steeped in what others thought of me and or a false representation of myself. So, although letting those things go was hard and felt like I was abandoning parts of myself, change is good and necessary for survival. So, do some self inventory and ask why you value the things around you.