The Good.

"Congratulations!" they say.

"You must be so excited to be done!" they say.

"Good luck with your move!" they say.

And I say, "Thank you," with a half forced, half sincere smile. Because they don't know that I got 3 hours of sleep before presenting my senior design project at 7:45am (on a Saturday!). They don't know that I feel like I'm losing my self and my identity because I can't work out my frustrations by pounding pavement. They don't know that I cried today driving through town because it's all happening so fast and I didn't even really get a chance to say goodbye. They don't know that I haven't been on a regular schedule or had a normal weekend in months, or the toll that's taken on my physical and emotional well-being. They don't know that my mind is flooded with, among a million other things, worries about not getting to study for and take the professional exam I wanted to take before graduation, or not liking my new job or my new city, or not being able to properly train for my longest endurance event ever that's happening on Saturday. 


And they don't know how bittersweet this is, how heavily leaving weighs on my heart. They don't know that last night, my last night here, I sat on the steps just outside my apartment and stared out at the fields and campus just beyond it, paralyzed. They don't know how much growth I've experience here in the last two years. They don't know that I first came here 11 years ago and after 4 years couldn't have gotten out fast enough, but that this time I've dragged my heels. They don't know that this place has been my life's greatest stepping stone. They don't know that this was my launch pad. 

They don't know. And I don't tell them.

I smile and say, "Thank you," because my momma raised me right, but what I really want to ask is this: Where are these celebratory moments everyone is expecting me to have right now? I've driven over 1300 miles in 3 different states in the last 8 days and I still haven't found them. I've counted my blessings a hundred times and while I've run out of fingers and toes doing so, that still hasn't made me feel totally better. 

I feel guilty for not being able to celebrate all the good right now - and there is so much of it, there really is - but sometimes it takes a while for the good to be good. I don't think it's possible for anything to be that good on 3 hours of sleep. Or in the middle of an endless day of moving. Or when the first person you talk to in your new city is your new neighbor who goes from 0 to totally unnecessary freak out mode in 2 seconds (over something so stupid you'd explain it further but you don't want to waste any more energy on that asshole than you already have). Or when you've moved but you have to make the 4-hour trip back to school for your final presentation and you spend the whole drive working in AutoCAD (but at least you can realize and appreciate the blessing that is having a spouse who will do all the driving after the traumatic experiences of driving a 26' Uhaul the day before). 

I haven't found the moments yet but I know they are there. It's been a long, difficult, challenging few months getting to the finish line, and these last few days have been some of the hardest I've ever had. It took a while, a lot longer than I wanted and longer than I needed sometimes, but at noon today, when I leave campus for the last time (which I already thought I did 7 years ago but really I mean it this time!), the good will finally become good.

8 comments :

  1. Sometimes, I feel like we are so, so similar. On the one hand, I'm not experiencing ANY of these things right now, but at the same time, so many of your words reminded me of my feelings when I first finished with my undergrad and was moving on to other things. It was a good thing, but I was also completely terrified. Such a big change can be incredibly overwhelming, and if you're anything like me, I grow so attached to the way things are.

    I'm so excited to see what the future holds for you, and I'm exciting for you to actually have a normal schedule in the near future. I look forward to the good being good for you.

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  2. I think that sometimes, no matter how much you prepare, the finish line is always a mad dash/complete mess and when you cross it... it's just relief that it's over. Sometimes it's hard to look past all of the insanity at the end of something to be in the moment and celebrate and see all of the good things. But hopefully, life will slow down a little bit for you soon and you'll get to celebrate properly :)

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  3. Change is always bittersweet, and a little scary. Or a lot scary sometimes. It's ok to not be like "OMG I AM SO EXCITED I CANNOT WAIT BLASAOIUFPSDA!@!!". One step at a time.

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  4. I totally get what you are saying about it taking time for the good to be good. You should 100% be proud of yourself and your accomplishments though!!! It will all sink in when you are settled. Change can moving on to the next chapter of life can be bittersweet. You were comfortable where you are and even though you have this amazing opportunity, it is still scary. I wish you the best and know that it will all be ok :) Also, good luck on Saturday!

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  5. Oh, friend. I love you and am virtually hugging you SO. HARD. I know this swirling tailspin of emotions you're feeling and I empathize so much. No internet comment will radically change things (but a good night's sleep honestly might). Just know that it's all FOR SOMETHING. It's all worth something so good—you taking the next step. A good next step.
    "but sometimes it takes a while for the good to be good." -- I feel like this is a really accurate characterization of a few different points in the past year or so for us both and I get it so hard. Trust, like I know you'd advise me to do, that the good will become good in the right time. You've got everything you need to have all the good you deserve. Not just add time and trust.
    Good luck this weekend :)

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  6. I can relate to there being good but also hard and feeling bad for not truly celebrating the good! That's part of life. It sounds like you have a lot going on and a lot that is on your mind! That's okay :) but really. Congratulations on all you've accomplished! You've worked hard and done an awesome job juggling everything.. Excited to see what your next adventure looks like!

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  7. 'sometimes it takes a while for the good to be good' - preach. so freaking true. all the nails on all the heads. seriously though. i've never really sat down and thought about it, but a huge change like this - looking back on similar experiences, they never feel 100% right or good. it's a mess and there's always a million things to do and a million things to worry about and everything that makes life easier to get through - pounding the pavement, relaxing, whatever - gets pushed to the side because you don't have time. i wish i had something helpful to say, but i hope the good gets here soon and i really hope your neighbour was just having a bad day!

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  8. Girl, I so get it, so, so, so much. Although my big thing before a move wasn't as stressful as what you have dealt with, our trip to the unknown was stressful just getting there. And now, it's chaos, but chaos we chose so complaining doesn't seem right. But there is no normal, there is no routine, there is no I KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON! I hope you are able to find the release that helps since you can't pound the pavement. Sending hugs and <3! and a way bummer you are moving closer to me and I'm moving away.

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