I graduated from college on Saturday, and I have entered what I’m officially calling the “post-collegiate mourning period.” This period is a time of spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical detoxification from everything you’ve experienced in your four years as an undergrad. It means simultaneously embracing and letting go of all the people, places, and things that have come to define your existence. Life changes in a matter of a graduation ceremony. The night before, I was with my friends laughing and crying into the wee hours of the morning like there was no tomorrow. Unfortunately, we can’t stop tomorrow from coming, and so the next day, we had to say our goodbyes (at least for now…the acting world is too small to not see each other again relatively sooner than most people who graduate with “normal degrees.”). I’ve now had a few days to start processing just how different my life is going to be, and it’s a strange thing. No one can prepare you to handle not seeing your friends, the people who have become your family, everyday anymore or knowing that you no longer will be returning in August to see everyone else you left behind.
When did it become harder to say goodbye to your friends than your family? (Such a Carrie Bradshaw-ish question, huh? haha.)
So on day 1 of my 365 days of post-graduate actor blogging, what have I done or discovered? For one thing, today is my half-birthday, meaning six months from today (November 11), I will be 23 years old. That, in itself, is a weird thought. No more celebrating birthdays at school. This birthday, I’ll be (fingers crossed and fuller bank account-pending) in New York City. Exciting. I’m such a romantic about New York, dreaming about what it will be like to be there with my closest friends, just living life and being part of the hustle of it all. I’m most excited about being there around the holidays when, like most of the world, it becomes a truly magical place.
Of course, to even MOVE to New York by my birthday, I have to save A LOT of money, so my first goal of the summer is to find summer employment. After applying to 3 Starbucks, a performing arts camp job in Jefferson City, and auditioning for several summer acting jobs all to no avail, I managed to get an interview at a nearby winery, Summit Lake Winery, today. I’ve visited the winery many times with my parents and figured it would be a nice place to work because it sits high on a bluff overlooking the state capitol in Jefferson City. It’s actually quite picturesque. The interview went extremely well, and despite not having any previous server experience, I was hired! ….Well, sort of. They’ll be calling me in to come in for a 4-5 hour trial training shift sometime next week to basically “audition” me to be a permanent server there for the summer. Basically, I think they want to see if I can pick things up quickly and will be friendly. Um, that’s two things I’m really good at, but I’m also REALLY good at knowing wine, drinking it, buying it, and hopefully that will translate into selling it. Actors naturally relate well to others, a fact I brought up in my interview, so I’m hoping to make a good impression on customers and the owners when I go in next week. So instead of whining about being home for a summer instead of out in the world trying to be an actor immediately, I’m now WINE-ing at home (bad pun, I know). The thing I have to remember is that everyone is on their own path; no one’s path is better than another, just different. I’m on a different path than my friends, and while that’s hard because our paths were converged for so long, I know that we have to diverge for a while in order to converge again.
“Simplify, simplify.” — Henry David Thoreau
The other thing no one prepares you for is how much shit you accumulate in your life. I got home on Saturday night and looked around my room and thought, “My GOD I have too much shit.” So I think the biggest lesson I’m learning from graduating is to simplify, simplify, simplify. I don’t need all of this to live my life. My room, like my emotions, needs detox.
- Simplify your life.
- You are on your own path to your own destination.
- You cannot stop tomorrow from coming, so enjoy today.
- There is no such thing as a goodbye in this profession, only “see you later” because eventually, you WILL meet those people again.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” — Robert Frost