Monday, August 23, 2010 what?

After driving 9 hours on 2 hours of sleep with an entire summer of non-stop child-caring-adventure behind me, I'm back in Wisconsin. When I pulled into the driveway, Mom came out to tell me there was spaghetti on the stove, Dad came out to tell me my room was the one on the left at the end of the hall, and then they went back inside and I carried all my stuff in while my brother watched football and said hello to me every time I walked passed the room. Welcome home.

Classes started today, and for the first time in four years, I wasn't sitting in a white classroom looking at pastel sheets of paper with the next 4 months of my life printed on them. Graduating is an odd thing. I didn’t ask to graduate. I didn’t really particularly want to graduate. It’s as if you’re sitting down to dinner one day, and some strange person walks into your kitchen and takes the plate of delicious food away from you, and then says, “Congratulations!” And then he walks away, and you’re left sitting there staring at the blank table in front of you, thinking, “Oh. Well…thank you?”

Sometimes I feel kind of numb, sort of frozen, like those dreams that you wake up from and have to figure out whether they were real or not. And when you realize you aren’t really pregnant or your teeth haven’t really fallen out, you feel such a sense of relief and thankfulness that you’re willing to devote your life to playing with children or something else humane in sheer gratefulness for being alive with teeth. Sometimes I think I’m going to wake up and realize it was all a dream, and I still have two years left, and I will be flooded with that relief and thankfulness. But I’ve woken up in the morning several dozen times since May 8th, and I have yet to discover it was a dream. And so I try to figure out how to leave something I never really wanted to end, and live a completely different life, when I really loved the one I had.

I don’t really know how to do that.

I know college is just a chapter, and if the entirety of The Hobbit was one long chapter of Bilbo making tea in Bag End, not only would that be boring and a waste of paper, but then the volumes of adventure to follow never would have been written. The hard part is turning that last page of The Two Towers before the chapter titled, "The Breaking of the Fellowship." I don't know how to face it. And frankly, I feel very much like that giant stone man in The Never Ending Story, who stares down at his empty hands after the huge wind storm carries away the kids he was holding and says, "They slipped right through my fingers." And I don't know how to move on from here.


Anonymous said...

This was a good post.

The Neverending Story always creeped me out. Did it you?

I love your parents.


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