With all of the stuff that was going on this last week, I only just realized--a few moments ago--that I have been a grown-up college graduate for a whole year. (+ a day).
366 days since I filed into the I-Center--right behind Naomi, right in front of Kiara--and listened to the commencement addresses from the front row. 366 days since I walked across the Snow theater stage and got my (empty) diploma case. 366 days since tassels and robes and pictures and tears and complete disbelieving joy. 366 days since my college life ended.
I don't really even think I have anything big or significant to say about it.
It's just weird to think about how much can happen or change in 366 days. Because SO much has happened and so many things have changed so completely. I'm in an utterly different setting, with brand new characters, and imaginative new plot twists. And it's all become normal.
I moved to Vegas. As in, Las Vegas, City of Sin. And I fell in love with it. I loved it so much, I decided that it was the place I was going to call home for a while.
I learned how to teach. And I learned it well, from one of the best. And then I fell in love with it; the way a student's face will light up when they finally get something right, the way these sweet little souls decide to trust you with their every drama and worry and joy, the way you get to be a small part of their life, to watch them grow and become real people.
I live in a condo. I pay monthly rent and bills. I have health insurance. I have paydays. I will live in this place for longer than 4 months. I don't think I've done that since high school. I, like, …live here.
I've had major dental work all by myself (I know, that doesn't sound like much, but words cannot describe how much I ABHOR the dentist). Had my first car accident. Went to my first bar. Took my first solo flight. Tried Vietnamese food. Saw a show on the Strip. I got my first real, big kid job. My first credit card. My first anxiety attack.
I've been pushed so hard. I've never been so exhausted. I've never had so many nights of tear-soaked absolute worry or isolation. Never said so many desperate prayers.
I've learned so much (maybe too much?) and have been stretched to the point of snapping. I've grown and I know why I'm here. Most of the time.
But it wasn't until I sat down and really thought about it that I realized just how perfectly different my life is now than it was a year ago. I'm not in the same place, I'm not doing the same thing, I'm not surrounded by the same people, and even though it's hard, I'm not the same person I was 366 days ago, so, in the end…everything evens out.
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