It’s commencement weekend in my town for the university I both went to and now work for. This weekend means a lot of things: it means I’ll be hearing Pomp and Circumstance a lot. It means all around my house will be a buzz and students walking around in their caps and gowns. It means everyone will be moving out of their dorms and apartments, leaving an eerie quiet in the area for the next few months. It means I get nostalgic for my time in college and my graduation.
This year it means something extra…I miss my grandma. I’m always missing her but this weekend in particular stings. Watching all of the kids walk around with their grandparents. My grandma wasn’t at my actual graduation (and my grandpa passed away while I was away at college) but she was at the lunch we had for me afterward.
When someone close to you passes away, it seems like all of a sudden there are reminders of them everywhere. It feels like I’m seeing way more little girls with their grandmas than I used to but I think I’m likely seeing the same amount…just seeing it through a different lens now.
I keep thinking back to when I was a college student. Not only was my grandma still alive, but I was still naive to what lay ahead of me. College, as challenging as it is, is still a bubble of sorts. A bubble that keeps you from full experiencing the outside world. Nothing can really prepare you for what happens after graduation. For a lot of people it’s moving out on their own and then for the large majority, it’s getting a full time job (especially when you have to start paying off your college loans). And once you start working full time, that’s it. That’ the bulk of your life going forward. You go from having a month off at Christmas and 2-3 month long summer breaks to getting 2 weeks a year and like 6 sick days. No more staying up laughing with your friends in their dorm or having class-free Fridays. Your life often drastically changes. Yes, it’s nice to have your own income and be able to make your own decisions but the stuff that comes with that can be very hard.
I know I sound like the ultimate Debbie Downer. The photo I put up really doesn’t go with the general mood of the post does it? Graduating is a big deal and it’s exciting. I’m just sappy and nostalgic because I’ve been yearning to have those years back. To be younger again when I didn’t have so much responsibility and there weren’t so many giant things to figure out all the time. When I had fun the majority of the time instead of trying to cram it into 2 days every week. I’m wishing for that time even more now because it was a time when my grandma was still alive. When I still had grandparents. When I still had some semblance of being young. I feel like that’s all gone now.
My grandma was ready to go and for that, I’m thankful. But selfishly, I miss her. I wish she was still here everyday. Selfishly, I feel like my childhood was attached to her. To her, to my other grandma, to both of their homes that other people now live in. When all of that was gone, I felt like my childhood went with it…never to be seen again. There’s no carefree anymore. There’s no, my biggest worry is if that boy will like me or if I’m pretty enough. There’s responsibility, there’s duty, there’s bills, there’s doctor’s appointments and car maintenance (and still sometimes, wondering if I’m pretty enough). There’s trying to watch what you eat because your metabolism isn’t what it used to. There’s not having enough time to do the things you really want to sometimes. There’s looking forward to the one trip you can take a year. I have great friends and still have a lot of fun. All of the other stuff just makes life feel like one giant To Do list, and this is coming from me, a person who LOVES lists.
I’m forever wishing I was back at my grandmas, swimming in her pool in the summer, hearing her sing loudly as she walked down the hallway of her house.