You know what this week means? Well, this week is actually 6 years (if I remember correctly, I mean, if it isn’t this week, it’s the next ha-ha) since I graduated from college UGH I AM OLD. No, seriously, though…sometimes, you just get these bursts of memories and you tend to reflect on how much you have changed since then.
I’m not going to lie: back then, I thought I knew everything already. I thought it was going to be easy—or at least, easier than I thought. If you knew me back then, you’d say I actually have it all figured out. My yearbook even says that I’m going to be the next Pia Guanio (I know, I know)! I kind of was excited for what life could bring. I thought I’d easily be okay.
Here’s the thing: I took broadcasting in college, but before that I stopped studying the year after High School ended because (hmm, you probably know by now) of Depression. That was 2005, and come 2006, I thought I was already fine (conventional family; these things should end—just.like.that.), so I went back to school and well, college was pretty good to me. It was my comfort zone. I had friends everywhere. I was even President of our org once, was part of the Honors Society, the student council, was hosting our in-school radio show, organized benefit concerts and car shows—in short, I was acing both my academics and my social life, so I was pretty fine (except for times when my heart was broken! HA!)
But then, on my junior year, I had this internship at a TV Network and it made me feel like, “waiiiiit…this probably isn’t the right thing for me to do”. I remember my friend and I even had a conversation with one of the network’s directors once and she said that we should ask ourselves if it was really what we wanted. But well, I’m kind of the queen of lying to myself then so I thought, the feelings of confusion are going to pass. I wanted to shift at that point, but I thought it was too late, so I continued, and soon, I was already about to graduate.
Before that, though, I remember my friends and I had this conversation about our expectations after college, and one of them said she was scared. She was scared of starting again—of finding her place in the world. Well, I was kind of the mother hen of the group, too, so I said, we’ll all be okay and we’ll find our places in the world.
So, fast forward to what happened after graduation: I can still remember how 2 weeks after grad, I was already being pressured to find work—and it was then that I realized how easy the generations before us had it: how they easily found work—how it was just “easy”, period.
Anyway, I was still one of the first ones in our batch who found work, but well…it just didn’t work for me. I felt like crying in the office each day, wanting to go home when I’m done with my responsibilities for the day. I felt like I could not fit in, so I resigned, and of course, my parents were disappointed. Who wouldn’t be? To them, I was this High School Salutatorian and College Dean’s Lister WHO COULD NOT MAKE UP HER MIND. And it was wrong. And I understood, but the thing was…I just could not fit in. I just could not be myself. And that was hard.
So, well, I was jobless for months—and my god, I couldn’t even begin to tell you how depressed I was back then; how the words really pierced my soul and made me feel like I was worthless.
I then went from job to job but long story short: I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give my best. I always got sick. I literally felt like killing myself to the point that I became such a liar. I lied about going to work, even when I didn’t. I lied, I lied, I lied—and my life become literally a toxic lie.
And when those things happen, you really have to make tough decisions—and really take control of your life.
All I’m saying is…life after graduation? It isn’t as easy as it seems. Maybe, some would have it easy—and that’s good. But it doesn’t happen for everyone. Getting what you want takes time, and you really do have to have tough skin for it. You have to help yourself. You have to make your own decisions. You have to fall down to the pits so you could rise up again. You have to—as cheesy as this sounds—hold on to your passion. You have to give yourself the chance to dream new dreams—and work for the ones you really believe in. You just have to do something with your life, whatever that means.
Do I like the person I’ve become? Well, to be honest, there are times when I don’t, but mostly, I do. Because I know that I worked hard for what I have now—and I am working hard for what I could still have. I may not be the same girl in those pictures anymore, but I guess, that’s good. You change as you grow. You change as you go.
“I love the woman I’ve become. I fought hard to become her.” –Kaci Diane