Normally when people graduate they upload hundreds smiley cap and gown photos. So where are mine? No, they aren’t hiding on my memory card waiting to be imported. And, no, it doesn’t mean I’ll be walking in the summer.
You haven’t seen any because there aren’t any.
Technically, I’ve graduated. At least, that’s what I tell myself every time I check my school’s website to see if I’ve actually graduated. Credits still need to be transferred and blah blah blah, but I put a lot of hard work into making sure I could study abroad my final semester and still graduate on time.
That still doesn’t quite explain why there won’t be any photos of me. Even if you have a summer graduation date, can’t you walk in the spring? Well, yes, imaginary question-asker. But there won’t be any graduation photos for two reasons: first, my flight arrived two days after graduation and second, I couldn’t even order a cap and gown to flop around in because they require you to physically pick it up with your school ID. And you know what the crazy thing is?
I knew I wouldn’t be able to walk for graduation long before my flight to Denmark.
I talked about all of this in my first pre-departure post and, really, nothing has changed. Do I regret, as I originally wrote, giving up a walk to see the world? No. Regretting that would mean regretting something I had dreamed of for years.
I cannot begin to describe the things I learned by placing myself in unfamiliar and awe-inspiring new places with new friends but I do know that it was worth more than just a walk. If you have the chance to go, do, see anything, anytime, anywhere then just do it. I don’t mean to quote Nike, but it’s true! Some people never get the opportunity to leave their hometown, so if you could why wouldn’t you? The world is such a vast and beautiful place, so go.
So where am I now? I like to think of it as a state of flux. I’m set for the summer, but after that? I could be anywhere. London. New York. Seattle. Who knows! I used to think that not having an ultimate goal – to get my Master’s or become a lawyer – was going to hold me back. Sure, it’s one hell of a scary place to be but it also leaves so many doors open. I could get my Master’s. Or become a lawyer. Or make photography more than just a hobby. Or leave everything and sell seashells by the sea! The possibilities are endless; Now all I have to do is choose.
And it’s the choosing part that has proven to be the most difficult.
I’m fairly certain that I’ve been indecisive my entire life. When I was younger my dream wasn’t to be a vet or a princess or a circus performer. No, I wanted to be Dodger from Oliver and Company. That’s right folks: I wanted to be a singing, bandana wearing dog. I was dreaming big, I tell ya.
So maybe I still haven’t figured it out, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have goals and dreams somewhere squirreled away in my head. And I’d like to think that I’m headed in the right direction – whatever that may be – and that I’m just taking a little longer to get there.
I find comfort in the knowing that it took my dad a few years after college and that my mom still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. Everyone moves at their own pace.
Sometimes you just have to have courage and trust in yourself.
Have you ever been in a situation that posed too many options? How did you figure it out?