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a commencement of sorts

written april 2022

this morning while walking my dog, i was a bit stunned by the volume of droppings he released into the world so early on in the day.

while picking up the second pile, i looked at him, ready to move forward, and said,

“i have to throw this out buddy…this is a giant bag of shit.”

my insides leapt at the words. i chuckled and almost cried at what they evoked in me.

i graduate college this week. and well, the existential spiral is strong with this one.

my degree is in psychology. i dream of being an art therapist, of bringing the grounding and connection that comes from expressing what is within us, the comfort in the rhythm of a pencil.

i also dream of hiding away in a cabin that i {somehow} own, waking with the sunrise to write, walking my dog in the woods, returning to the words on the page, and making them the work i share with the world.

the dreams are many and each one of them sends chills up my spine depending on the day.

i can envision so many lives that i would love. and approaching graduation, my mind has been a bit paralyzed by the notion of knowing which next step is the right one.

somehow, the most twisted web of self depreciation, can lead me to believe my love for absolutely everything is a weakness. an unnecessary whimsy. simply not what this world requires.

and so, this morning, when i uttered the words “i have to throw this out…this is a giant bag of shit,” the tired and strong woman inside of me responded “YES. THANK YOU. we have been waiting for you to realize this.”

an overcalculation that undermines the magic of my presence has been running my mind’s operating system.

a misinterpretation of the question at hand posits a five-year-plan as the answer.

the question is “what are you going to do with your life?” and the answer extends far beyond each of our accomplishments, salaries, and possessions.

five years into a smashing career as a therapist, dissatisfied, and flailing wondering what all of this doing is for if i do not feel alive. this is a possible future reality too.

so, how can i “take charge of my future” and “leave the world a better place than i found it?”

this morning it is by taking a few deep breaths and not taking myself so seriously. honoring the truth that if i am engaging with what is inside of me and sharing it with the world meaningfully, it is going to amount to something.

a career, probably.

beautiful experiences, definitely.

people who challenge what i think is possible, god i hope so.

and earning some money along the way, too.

part of me wishes my answer was more satisfying to you.

i know how much comfort we find in credentials and plans.

my college education expanded my mind beyond the limits i thought existed.

yet my own engagement with the wonder that is my life has taught me to trust the resiliency of my limbs. i’ll check back in to let you know which one of these i end up using most these next few years.


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