I can’t seem to escape it. And just when I think I do…it keeps coming back. The fateful inquiry – and sometimes dreaded conversation piece – has resurfaced. You all know it. And it goes a little something like this: “what are your plans for after graduation?”. Oh yes. I said it. I know it’s only January. But I’m already getting emails about May 14th.
Much of my twenty-three years has been focused upon the next step. My parents lovingly and painstakingly instilled in me the ways of proper hygiene, socialization, and literacy in order to prepare me for the fantastic days of kindergarten. I could tie my shoes. I properly identified letters and numbers. I never really got the napping thing down, but that seemed to be acceptable. Exhibits of attendance and performance allowed for the easy passing from each grade to the next. Soon life was full of basketball practices, dance lessons, musical rehearsals, and the typical high school social obligations, and before I knew it, I was donning a mortarboard and saying goodbye to Fredonia High. This marks the first appearance of that fateful question. And I had an answer. I went to college. It seemed like it was the right thing to do. It was expected. It was what logically came next. It satisfied the inquiries. Four years later, the question reappeared like a reluctant bad habit. Many advised me to consider more education or finding a job and taking some time to get my feet under me. Staying true to my decision making skills, I chose both. And here we are, two years later, and I find myself in the same predicament, answering the same question. It never goes away.
This time is a little different…simultaneously harder and easier. The other transitions seemed natural. I had to do something or else I’d be left twiddling my thumbs. This year, I find myself in a position that requires no change. I have a job and a home, and to many, that is enough. There is no pressure for seeking something new, for the old and familiar will continue and suffice. Yet the question still comes, and it still overwhelms me at times. I don’t have my future planned out in exquisite detail. The best I can come up with right now is that I’m taking this semester a day at a time. I’m trying to savor the present-day instead of stressing about the future. I have hope in what is unseen. I know that it’s going to be okay. And for now, that’s my answer.