Annnd graduation is a wrap. (btw I don’t get the origins of that phrase. Someone please enlighten me.)
Who would have thought that it would be such a fast and furious week of graduation practice, goodbyes, and finally commencement?
Bittersweet isn’t quite the right word for it, neither is sad. It’s a confusing jumble of relief, disappointment, apprehension, fear, excitement. I am happy that graduation is here. I don’t want to have to ask to go to the bathroom anymore or take a pass with me to walk the halls. I’m ready for freedom, but I’m wary of the newness of the freedom.
Change feels uncomfortable.
This school year has been a huge year of change. I was talking to one of my teachers the other day about how frustrating change feels, and sometimes it’s not only frustrating but heartbreaking and stressful too. I didn’t quite know how to describe it, which was even more frustrating for a word nerd like me, but he gave me a word for it (woot). He called it disequilibrium. Basically, that means that things are out of balance. It makes us feel shaky and uncertain and disoriented, but we need to experience disequilibrium if we want to grow.
Sometimes, the growth happens but all we feel are the lingering effects of disequilibrium. We just have to give ourselves time to adjust to the growth, recognize that it is indeed present, and then take time settle down a little before the next wave of growth hits.
I feel like I’m filling in a new skin, a bigger, roomier space. It looks a little foreign, but it’s still me, just a different me.
Probably the biggest takeaway from senior year is that growth doesn’t happen without help from other people. Ultimately, you are the one who decides if “yes” I’m going to embrace this change or “no” I’m going to fight it with every living cell in my body, but still, other people are there to help you through it.
I talked a little about the importance of community a long time ago, but I’m slowly learning just how important it is. It’s humbling though because I hate, hate, hate opening up to people, being vulnerable. I feel safer privatizing my life and neatly boxing up all my insecurities, my shortcomings, even my aspirations, in sealed containers that only I can open. I guess it’s me grasping for some kind of control or safeguard, but life is so much more meaningful when we let other people in.
We’re all messy. We’re all broken. We’re all human, fantastically, wholly human.
I’m trying to adjust right now and take it all in, but I need time. It’s ironic because the topic of my graduation speech was running and how races are a metaphor for life, and at the end, I talked about celebrating the finish. Well, I celebrated the finish on Friday (yippeee I’m done! *cries so so so many happy tears*), but I’m being hit with some serious post-race blues too. I’m ready for high school to be over, very ready. That race is behind me, but it’s still over. We spend twelve years building up to this day, and then we’re done. We have to say goodbye to something that was a significant part of our lives, not always a pleasant part, but nevertheless, a part. It’s tough, for me anyway.
I’m ready for things to settle down and the return of a solid routine. I need respite before the next wave of change, of disequilibrium, moving to college this fall. I know it’ll be a doozy, so I’m hanging on tight to my community. I know I can’t do this by myself.
So tell me…
What are big changes you’ve had to adjust to?
Who encourages you when you’re going through tough seasons of growth?