I spent some time today at a baby shower with friends I knew in college. We sat around and talked about how I've been at APU for nearly a decade now. It is a thought I've been struck by often lately and was relieved when someone else said it out loud. We all talked about how long ago college seems and how we have become adults now. My friend, Amy, and I discussed this same thing earlier this week, that we are adults and it just sort of happened. You spend so much time in college wondering when you'll finally feel like an adult and without warning, months or years or moments go by, and it hits you that you are, in fact, an adult, just when the thought couldn't be further from your mind.
I had a very full circle kind of experience at the shower today. I was reminded of the good moments I had as an undergraduate. Lately, I have been carrying the heavy load of my time in undergrad. The anxiety and depression I felt. The hypocrisy of those around me. The shallow friendships and lonely days. How many people I went to school with are no longer Christians and no longer value the morals they once so strongly believed in. I've been reminded of the poor choices that leaders made when we were students. I have so much unresolved anger and bitterness toward the people, places, and parts of my undergrad career, so much so, that those three and half years are a ball of negativity for me - some of which were so painful I can't even remember chunks of semesters and experiences, as a way to self-preserve.
But today, I was reminded, simply by being in the presence of former friends, that parts of undergrad were good and crucial to my growth as a woman. I was reminded that some of the friends there today represent literal moments when my life changed course and gained direction. It made the wound of undergrad heal a bit, like a Barbie band-aid over a skinned knee.
Two of those friends were former professors, Karen (the person the shower was for) and Christine. Both of them were bright spots in my undergrad career. They were both mentor figures for me and showed me what strong, Christian, smart, feminist, early-career women looked like. They made me feel loved and intelligent and capable.
(Christine, me, and Karen)
Christine was the person who helped changed the course of my path when I decided to not go directly to grad school to get an MFA the day before I graduated. I told her today how she single-handedly spurred me in the direction my life has taken. She said she still remembers throwing my grad application in the trash and remembers how unhappy I was my senior year. She talked about how happy I seem now and how she and Karen discuss that sometimes, my happiness and contentment with my post-grad life. Christine mentioned that she loved seeing my growth in college, how each season of undergrad I seemed to lock into place of myself, another piece of my identity, like figuring out a new clue of who I was and what I wanted. It was great to hear.
It was especially great to hear because I really am happy and content. Life is so good right now, so seemingly almost perfect. I really couldn't ask for much more (I mean I could, but that would be selfish and greedy somehow). Of course, there are moments punctuated by pain and unhappiness and anger, but that is the minority of my life right now. I think it is so important to remind yourself of when life is good, so that you have hope and reminders when life is so very bad. So that is today. That is this time in my life. It is full of happy moments and for that I am thankful.