Even though so many of us are going through it right now, life after graduation can be really tough. And you can feel really alone, even if you know deep down you're not.
It's scary to not "belong anywhere" for the first time, ever, in your life. For many of us (who have been fortunate, no doubt) it's been elementary school, middle school, high school…and then college.
For those of us not planning to immediately go to graduate school - what's next? A big, fat, question mark. I've often wished (so badly!) that I could say there's a period instead of a question mark. But there's not. Even for our friends who already have jobs, there really is no period at the end of their sentence, either.
And the world is scary. There's no doubt about it. I tried to think of another time in my life where I've felt this way…sort of alone, frightened, unsure of what's next. And then it hit me. My young teenage years. Insecurity, doubts, and confusion plagued my mind.
That's why I decided, last night, as the rest of my friends head off to school today, that I would crack open my journal from when I was 14. I'm not exactly sure why I'm sharing these tidbits with you, but somehow, they feel appropriate. Some are funny, some are sad, and some of them even lifted my spirits a bit.
On what I hate about myself:
"I hate that I'm fat. I am pushy. I can be bitchy. I can be tiring. I am unorganized, and confused about what I want. I don't like how I get myself into bad situations sometimes - because I'm a bit crazy. I don't like how I dream, but I don't do. I'm worried I'm going to waste my time dreaming."
On what I like about myself:
"I'm creative and unique. I possess *interesting* qualities (like MySpace stalking). I have a genuine love for others. I need to learn to love myself, because that's all I'll have in the end. And I'm a good person who deserves to be loved.
Especially by myself."
On what I'm self-conscious about:
On what's difficult for me:
"I don't ever feel like I can be happy because I always feel like I don't deserve to be happy or that something bad will happen. IDK, it's just like, I can't be happy or accept that I DESERVE to be happy. I don't feel like I can accept anything. I'm constantly in denial."
"Friends are sacred. Work to stay friends with them. You don't want to lose them. Vow to never talk behind a friend's back."
What's the nicest thing you've ever done for an ex-boyfriend?
"After I dumped him, I sent him adult videos."
On what I've learned about love:
"Lust and love are two very different things.
Boys will say anything to 'get some.' Don't buy their sh**.
Being slutty will get you lots of guys, but the WRONG KIND."
On what I would do if a friend I wasn't interested in said they were in love with me:
"I don't know. I think I'd freak out. Probably listen to Clay Aiken."
"Pain ultimately makes us stronger, more appreciative. But pain is so lonely."
On self acceptance:
"To me, total self acceptance is loving yourself even though you know you aren't perfect, and never will be.
Loving yourself when you make a mistake or take a step behind and realizing that it's a normal part of life.
Seeing a zit on your face and saying "Damn!" instead of calling yourself ugly and crying.
Accept every emotion as a part of who you are, and who everyone is. Everyone has feelings. You can't blame yourself for feeling sad.
Don't blame yourself when someone says something bad about you - it isn't and never will be your fault.
Look at yourself in the mirror everyday and say, 'I love you.'"
Oh yeah. And this happened.