I've always been somewhat of a free spirit. In fact, my mother has often told me that my first grade teacher used to call me "the little blue bird" because I was always fluttering around, doing my own thing and enjoying my freedom whenever I had it.
I couldn't sit still. Ever.
One of the most perfect quotes I read recently said this: "I hope that I may never forget what it feels like to be this free. To decide and to do. To miss a place, but not go back. I don't need much--just an empty book and a clear view of the horizon. It's simple really. Once you sort through your heartbreak, well, there is nothing left to break your heart."
This quote has been resounding with me so strongly lately, especially with everything happening in my very near future.
I graduate from college in 20 days.
I still cannot fully process that. It feels like I just started college yesterday, but it also feels like an eternity ago. I feel like I'm not old enough to be a college graduate, and yet I feel much older than so many students still in school. I am excited and terrified and hopeful and doubtful and every other feeling all at once.
I have felt for so long that I am ready to leave this place. I feel like my time has come to move on from it, and I don't think that's a bad thing. I've always known somewhere deep down inside whenever I need to walk away from a place, or a person, or a situation, and I feel that way very strongly now.
With that being said, I am sure that once I'm gone from here, I'll miss it. I know that; it's all but inevitable.
I'm trying to prepare myself for that sense of loss as much as I can beforehand, but I realize that it's not something anyone can ever be fully ready for.
But, I think, it's not so much the place I will miss. I could do without the subzero winter weather and the small, ultra-conservative towns, trust me. It'll be nice to go somewhere new after this, wherever that may actually be.
It's just that I have so many memories here. So many friends that have loved me and supported me and laughed and cried with me over the years...just gone. That's a sad thought to me. Although most of them have moved on already themselves, there will be traces of our lives forever left here.
I have lived and learned and grown here, in more ways than I can fully express. I have changed. I have loved and I have lost. I have had moments of pure happiness, smiling like an idiot as I thought about good friends or new romances or powerful memories. I have also had moments when I felt like the world was crashing down around me--driving as far as I could go to nowhere really at all, with the music blasting the speakers into oblivion as tears streaked my face.
That's what college is all about though, isn't it? It's not just about the classes and the grades and the diplomas--although those are all good things. College is about the experience. It's about growing up, and trying to figure out what you're going to do with the rest of your life. It's not about knowing all the answers. It's about learning, earnestly, and finding the answers as you go along.
If I've learned anything from college, it's this: I can do hard things.
I've gotten through every hurdle that life has thrown at me these past four years, and I have become better because of them. I think knowing that will help me as I go out into the world now. Because no matter what happens, I know that everything is going to be all right.
I have experience behind me now to prove it.
So here's to living my life. Here's to the big wide world ahead of me.
As I put on my cap and gown in 20 days, I can walk forward knowing that life has amazing things in store for me. No matter where I go, no matter what I do, I am going to make this life worth it. Because I have that power--I can choose my own path. And I choose joy.
I choose adventure, and love, and growth, and goodness.
I am going to continue being that little blue bird that longs for freedom, and doesn't stop flying until she's found her happiness. There are big things ahead of me, I can feel it, and I am so ready for my real life to begin. I'm ready for my next big adventure.
World, here I come.