Back-to-real-life

Well, it’s that time again.

Blowout sales on backpacks, notebooks, pens and pencils, three-ring binders, and lunch boxes are everywhere.  Oh, and don’t forget the back-to-school clothes.

For the first time ever, these sales don’t mean much to me.  Unless, of course, I have the urge or necessity to purchase some notebooks for myself or save some money on new clothes.  Otherwise, this widely celebrated back-to-school event that occurs annually is not one in which I am directly involved with this year.

I still don’t know if I believe it.

I don’t know if through all of these years I could truly picture myself as a graduate; an adult in the world.  School was all I had ever known and the schedule of the holiday breaks and tests to study for, papers to write, and speeches to prepare for were the norm.  I knew in the back of my mind that eventually I was going to finish high school, go to college, and then graduate.  I knew there was some end result I was working so hard to reach.

Now, I am there.

I have now taken on a new goal: continue to give myself something to work towards and look forward to.

All of these years in school I was always filled with the excitement of looking forward to my Thanksgiving Break, then Christmas Break, Spring Break, then finishing off the year, have a solid two or three months to relax, enjoy the Summer, make some money, catch up with friends and family, and then start all over again.  A new year, new teachers, new classes, and new people.  There was always so much to look forward to.  Despite how much I was enjoying myself and living in the moment, I always loved having a nice break from school to think about and make plans for myself.  I always loved, and was never ashamed to admit, being notified in college when the new class schedules were up so I can choose what classes I wanted to take for the following semester.  I was always eager to learn what teachers I was going to have and who was going to be in my new classes.

Well, none of that necessarily exists any more, at least for the present.  I have new desires, new needs, and new goals I want to work towards.  I haven’t exactly molded them into anything too specific but at least for now, this is what I have come up with:

  1. Become a waitress.
  2. Play my flute in an orchestra.
  3. Adopt a Great Dane.
  4. Get married.
  5. Have a family.
  6. Travel outside the country.
  7. Become more capable of holding a conversation in Spanish.

These goals are not by any means arranged in any order in which I would like to achieve them or their importance to me—they are merely objectives I want to reach.  They need some tweaking for sure and more thorough planning.  For example, I don’t exactly see myself arriving at the ripe age of 85 years old and realizing that I haven’t adopted a Great Dane, do so, and then find myself on the ground due to the giant thing trying to give me a hug.  Then when it comes time for the vet bills and dog food, my retirement fund begins to dwindle and my dream of adopting a Great Dane comes to an end.  Unless I somehow make it big with my orchestra gig.  Never say never, right?  I thank you for the support I know you are sending my way.

I urge all of you out there in the real world, no matter how old you are and what stage of your life you are in—whether you are 18 and just graduated high school, or 70 years old in retirement—continue to create something to look forward to.  Embrace your interests, your love of life, your curiosity, and eagerness to learn something new.  Make the most of life—it is such a beautiful thing!

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