PostGrad Post ~ Entry #1

Prologue

It’s taken me a long time to write this post due to lack of motivation, fear, and exhaustion. I thought I’d have my writing act together by now, but I’m accepting that keeping up with a blog is a bigger process than just slapping words onto paper and hoping they make sense. I wanted the following thoughts to be clear, so I’ve had to take more time to really think, plan, write, and edit this. All that to say, I’m sorry for the delay, but it was totally necessary.

When I got to Tybee Island, my grandpa gave me an idea to write about post-grad life, including my experiences, what I’m learning, and how I’m using what I learned in college in the new world of “adulting.” I thought it was a great idea, and that, since I was out of school for good, I’d get on writing that right away.

But a lot of things started happening once life on Tybee started for the summer. Some were good, some were bad, and this whole idea of writing about post-grad life fell through the cracks.

Now, it’s the middle of the summer. I’m about to go through a big transition i.e. my best friend is flying out to California this Thursday to live and work in San Martin for a year. You may be thinking, Okay, suck it up. You both have been fortunate to spend all 4 years of high school and college together. Which is true, I’ve been blessed to have my best friend by my side through all these major years of life, and a year will go by quicker than I think it will right now.

With this new transition coming up though, I have a lot to assess. But here are three main things that have been on my mind lately…

1. I’m Scared.

There ya go. I said it. I am scared.

Right now, there’s a ton of uncertainty for my future. My plans for the fall, which included moving back to Chattanooga, living with a couple of really good friends, and working some sort of job, are no longer in play. When I try to think about what my life might look like past August, tons of worry and fear rush into my mind because I literally have no idea what it will look like. At all.

This fear I have partially roots in the fact that I assumed that, at this stage in my life, I’d have some concrete plans of what I’d be doing for the next couple of years of my life. Ha. Haha.

“A” is for “Assumptions.”

{That up there says “assumptions,” by the way. I know, the font is kinda hard to read… but it’s still pretty, yeah?}

I’ve been talking to a few people about the assumptions and expectations that are made of college graduates. And I’m not pointing fingers here; I have made these assumptions as a freshman in college, and I made these assumptions until, well, now, as I sit in this pool of uncertainty.

As a freshman in college, this is what I thought: Seniors in college look so put together. Sure, they have senior thesis papers to stress out about, but they totally still have time to figure out what they’re going to do for the rest of their lives. All they have to do is get through their last year, and things will fall into place.

And these thoughts slowly transformed as I finished my freshman, sophomore, and junior years of college.

As a senior in college, this is what I thought: Seniors in college may look put together, but I don’t feel like that at all. Yes, I have a senior thesis paper to stress out about. No, I don’t feel like I have time to figure out what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. I just want to get through this last year, and pray that something will fall into place.

By God’s grace, I did finish that senior thesis. I did graduate. I did have plans for the summer, and I actually had plans for the fall. Were these plans as cool/official/legit/lit as I thought they’d be? Oh no. Not at all. What I’m currently doing now is far from what I ever thought I’d be doing after I graduated college.

2. I’m Sick of Talking about Myself.

Post-grads get all the questions: What are you doing for the summer? What was your major? What are you going to do with that?

Thankfully, the conversations have died down as the summer has continued. You’re probably wondering why I dread such talk, and it’s because just as I assumed great planning and organization would be a part of my senior year, and great plans would be produced by such flawless activity, I feel that others assume for me to have great plans for my future, especially since I have my degree. So these conversations leave me feeling a ton of shame.

“Shame, Shame, Shame. I don’t wanna say my post-grad plans no more, more more.”

I feel ashamed because when I have one of these conversations, I always fumble my answers about being a writer. I express my interests, and vague descriptions of what I want to do, but on the whole I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO. And here’s where another assumption that was planted in my brain didn’t come in handy: I assumed that at this point in my life, I’d know exactly what I wanted to do. I know I love writing, and I want to do it. But specifically? My thoughts are all over the place. I have TONS of ideas I’ve jotted down, put into my Notes app on my phone, expressed out loud to friends, but I cannot pinpoint what type of career any of those thoughts combined can create. It’s not a desk job…or is it? SEE, I DON’T KNOW.

And because I don’t know, I am ashamed. I’m ashamed to talk to anyone about my future plans, and what I want to do, and how I’m going to get there because I JUST DON’T KNOW. And I assumed that I would know by now.

3. I Suck at Listening.

I raise my white flag, and in doing so, I’m not saying I’m going to be perfect at listening any better than I have been. But I’m going to try.

Have you ever not listened to someone on purpose? Have you heard what someone’s telling you, but you chose to ignore them? I know I can’t be the only one who does this.

I’ll admit it – because I’m out of college, a part of me feels like I’ve got certain portions of life figured out. Not everything, mind you; I know that I am not an expert on a ton of things. But sometimes when a specific topic comes up, and someone tries to give me advice on how I should approach something, or tell me what I should do next, or how to handle a certain situation, I don’t want to listen. And it’s a pride issue for sure. For me, personally, I think it goes back to feeling ashamed that I even need advice on a specific topic. Especially when it comes to what I want to do with my life.

While it’s nice of people to give me advice on helping me figure out what to do with my life, because I personally don’t know what I want to do, I’m scared that I’m going to commit to something that I’m going to regret, or that I really don’t want to do because I have a problem saying “no.”

So, because I don’t take advice, I do things my way, they fail, and then I do them the advised way, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but I feel like most of the time the advised way actually works. And I’m left looking like the fool because if I had just listened to the person trying to help me, I wouldn’t have had to fail the first time.

This is mostly seen in parent-child relationships. Shoutout to all four of my parents for being patient enough to have me not listen over and over again, and when I need help, repeat the advice to help me out. The love of a parent is truly something special, y’all. I don’t know how they do it.

There are moments when I sit there frustrated with where I am, and with how things are going, and I think, “No one told me it would be like this.”

But maybe I was told, and I just didn’t listen…

 

So, those have been some thoughts I’ve been having. How about some encouraging things God has been revealing to me while I’m still going through this?

1. “But you are not alone. I am here with you.” – Michael Jackson.

While MJ is actually no longer with us, there are people who are with me who understand what I’m going through. Like my parents, some fellow post-grad friends (and even pre-grad friends) of mine, GOD.

I think one of the bigger mistakes I’ve made as a post-grad was thinking that I’m the only one feeling the way I feel. Not saying that my friends feel the exact same way, or that they’re in the same position as me, but it’s been encouraging to talk to them and see that I’m not the only one who’s a little freaked out about how life is going.

Doesn’t mean we should sit in our freak out; it just means we can recognize the freak out in each other, and encourage each other in the Lord toward working through it. Talking things out with people who know how you’re feeling puts things into perspective, and it makes you feel like you’re not going crazy for feeling the way you do. Assurance rocks.

A couple of weekends ago at church, we went through Psalm 23, which you’d probably think would be a flop sermon because, come on, how many times we gotta hear a sermon on Psalm 23 before it gets old?

It never gets old, my friends. We’re in constant need of being reminded. And that Sunday, I was reminded that, in the midst of my worry and fear of the unknown future, the Lord is my Shepherd, and that I should not want or lack anything.

He knows my soul is in need of restoring.

He is with me as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (which, in my case, would be the fear and uncertainty of the future).

He comforts me in His guidance, and prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

I am His anointed, and my cup overflows.

Knowing these things, whenever a bit of worry or fear about where I am now, or what the future holds creeps up, I think of this Psalm, and I try to rest in the Lord’s peace that passes all understanding.

2. I Don’t Have to Have it All Together.

Unfortunately, society tells us all that we need to have everything together, even though we all know that we don’t. But we try our best to fake it through social media, through the way we interact with others, and even tricking ourselves into thinking, “We got this; we don’t need anyone else to help us.”

This summer, the Lord is definitely showing me my flaws, and how I alone cannot accomplish what I need to, or even have the motivation I want to have without relying on Him for it.

Lately, my thoughts have always been I FEEL LIKE THERE’S NO STABILITY IN MY LIFE. Yet, when I really think about it, there’s plenty of stability in my life right now.

It may not be the stability that I thought I would have, and it may not be stability in the eyes of others or of the world, but truthfully, my life is pretty stable. I have a place to live. I never have to worry about whether I’m going to eat every day. I have a loving family who supports me, and what I want to do with my life. Although Cupcake (my car) has some rough patches, it’s pretty reliable with a full tank of gas and a few oil checks every once in a while. I have a job, and am making steady income.

All of these things scream stability, yet I am longing to have the stability of other things. Which overall isn’t a bad thing, but I need to learn to appreciate the stability I have in my current surroundings in order for me to strive toward and appreciate other stable things later.

3. It’s Not Too Late to Start Listening.

I may not have listened in middle school. Or high school. Or in college. Or even last week. But nothing/no one is stopping me from starting a habit of being a better listener right now except for me. It won’t be easy, but I’m willing to strive to drop the pride of acting like I have it all together, and embrace the humility of learning from those who are older and wiser, and who want to see me succeed.

To all those who tried to get advice through my hard head, I apologize. I’m still learning, still growing, but I know I can’t do it alone. I appreciate anyone who’s been patient enough with me to advise me, watch me fail, and still had their arms open for me to come back to when I needed them.

Seriously, thank you. I love you guys.

There are some great Bible verses in Proverbs 15 that convicted me of how horrible of a listener I’ve been, and encourage me to be a better listener.

“A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.” – Proverbs 15:5

“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” – Proverbs 15:22

“The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” – Proverbs 15:31-33

Lemme say that last part of that last Scripture passage again…

“The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and HUMILITY COMES BEFORE HONOR.”

Okay, I think that was totally for me.

 

Epilogue

So yeah, that concludes the first official post-grad post. Nothing but honest feelings out here. I may be out of school, but every day I’m learning something new.

Maybe my next post will be about how I’ve applied what I learned in college to where I currently am. It may take a bit – as I said in the prologue, I’m learning that writing blog posts is something that takes time. As much as I would love to write a post a day, I would rather have a sporadic post schedule, and speak clearly and honestly than post once a day, and spew out random stuff that doesn’t makes sense.

 

To all you post-grads out there – know that you are not alone, and that if you’re scared, so am I, and we should totally talk about it, and I’d love to pray for you.

Some of you may have my number – seriously, hit me up.

Don’t have my digits? I’m all over social media as @mishy_127

Not much of a social media wiz? Send me an email at mishruss94@gmail.com.

Let’s not live alone in this post-grad, adulting hustle anymore, yeah? Cool.

Have a great rest of your week, luvvies!

Mishy ❤

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