Back and Forth

The big things are what I notice, but the little ones are what I feel. Yeah, graduation, it’s a big deal. Being a person who stops and thinks about most everything, I continue to think about graduation and what exactly it means. And it’s funny, too, if you look at my past seven days. A week ago tonight I was sleeping on couch cushions on my bedroom floor in Oxford, having sent my bed home with my parents last Friday. Sunday night I drove home and have been sleeping here since, with the exception of Tuesday night and last night, when I was with friends in Columbus.

I’ve been doing a lot of driving between school and home and interviews, and that means plenty of time to think. As much as I try, I can’t get worked up about graduation or the fact that there are a lot of people from school who I’ll never see again. Those are big things. They should, and do, matter. Same goes for job interviews and the realization that when (if?) I find a job, it’s going to be 40-hour weeks from here on out. I know all of this is important, but I just don’t care.

Stupid things are what I care about right now. Possibly as a result of being in this post-college whatever-it-is, I am apathetic about all but the weirdest things. Driving back from Columbus this afternoon, I remembered how unabashedly I love American Hi-Fi‘s self titled CD. Something about the way that first track opens up through the car speakers makes it worth having the window down, even though I’ll have to close it in four minutes when I drive back into the rain. I can’t think of a better vent for dumb frustration over stupid things than a noisy old album from a band that’s now only popular in Japan.

Another one – as I wonder when I’ll be able to schedule a haircut appointment, since I don’t know where I’ll be living this time next week – is my face. I’m not a huge fan of my face, but it does the job. However, the prospect of full-time employment concerns me that I may have to start shaving every day. It’s enough to make me wish I were a real nerd; someone with genius and not just a halfway talented business guy. Then maybe I could get away with stubble. To be honest, I’m going to try and get away with it no matter what, cause the thought of having a naked face all the time is not something I enjoy.

And this is what I’m reduced to. As much as I like taking pointless tangents, I’m starting to think I’ve been avoiding a different subject. So who knows how long it’ll be before I have a coherent train of thought fit for tying to words. On that note… go to Griffin House‘s website and thank God some of us have guts for dealing with more serious things.

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So little is different

…and so much has changed. Graduating from college makes you think, naturally, about when you graduated from high school. I would say “four years ago today..” and make some kind of dramatic theme of it, but that wouldn’t be completely accurate. Four years ago today I was still a senior in high school, a couple weeks from graduation and my 18th birthday. This time my birthday is still a couple weeks off (that’s the thing about birthdays), but I’ve graduated already. I’m done. Again.

It’s easier to think, when you have a graduation-sized landmark to start from, about what has changed from one stop to the next. I still feel like essentially the same guy I was then, with the typical differences forced on a person by four years in college. I’m more comfortable talking in front of people, whether they are important or not and even if there are a bunch of them. I practically look forward to getting lost, since it (or so I tell myself) will improve my sense of direction. And other things too… I can do laundry, manage money, blablabla.

Not to undermine the importance of growing up in general, but that’s not what I’m thinking about right now. I had an interview yesterday, and on the way out I had one of those moments where I remembered that God is, in fact, working to my benefit. Maybe not in ways I expect or will notice immediately, but I realized that throughout the interview I had felt calm. I had not been calm, forcefully persuading myself to handle the interview well. I had felt, without a doubt, that everything would turn out for the best.

I know, I know, this is the way a Christian should always feel. But I rarely used to and oftentimes still don’t, so it’s exciting to notice that progress does, in fact, occur. How much different is the situation now from when I’d just graduated high school? Then, I knew exactly where I was headed and had no idea how I’d handle it. Now, I’m not so sure of either. Then, I’d invested the last few weeks in confessing my feelings for a girl. Now… pretty much the same. Then, as now, I was leaving something comfortable for something likely to be anything but.

The people and circumstances involved today are completely different, to be certain. With my attitude, though, it would be easy for me to treat them the same. For a few hours I knew the same sick hopelessness that chased me so much after high school. Then — nope! Thank God for progress when we try so halfheartedly. Now, I’m going to vacuum the pool and enjoy my unemployment status.

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traction

good thing i hit both stoplights red on the way out. if not, i’d be passing the oxford patrolman doing 70 instead of braking to fall in behind him as he turns in front of me. the average college student applies simple rules of chemistry to feel better about the world. i’ve never liked alcohol, drunks, or averages; my preferred avoidance method relies on physics. i don’t need to slow down my brain, i just need to go fast enough to outpace it. if my car were, for instance, a honda, i probably would have suffered a nervous breakdown months ago.

ask where i’m going, and i’ll say “nowhere.” you’d assume i were being mysterious, unless you knew better. averaging fifteen over the speed limit i’d get to the closest trail inside hueston woods right on time for the park to close at dusk. i don’t want to go for a walk anyway, although i tend to be in favor of fresh air. at the main entrance i use the empty pavement to slide back southward, visiting the park just long enough for my low traction light to come on. i’m burning gas as if i owned the local BP, it’s a waste of money, i don’t care.

far and away the worst thing about realizing something doesn’t matter is how you continue to feel as though it did. work the curves all you want, and your brain stays right on top of things, guiding your hands and your eyes whether you ask it to or not. give your emotions three feet of slack, and they might not catch up with reality for months.

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