I’ve been home for four days and I think all I’ve heard is “How does it feel to be a graduate?” Rightfully so. I also think I’ve underwhelmed those who have asked this, because it doesn’t feel like much. No existential change or emotions. If anything, it feels like a sigh of sweet, sweet relief. It feels like the break I’ve needed is finally here.

Between 2016/2017, I’ve been home for only two and a half weeks. I’ve written about this before; While I am so glad I did it and willingly forced myself through almost a year and a half of constant work between internships, taking the LSAT, and applying to law school, the time is needed. The slow-down is deserved. Graduating doesn’t mark the end of an era for me, because I felt like I left that time many months ago. For those of you who know me well, you know the majority of my friends are older than I am, which means they graduated well before I did. I was so busy with the LSAT and applications in the fall semester, that the spring just felt like I was still “there.” I started working more and really coming into my own. I have been “working” and “managing” more than actually doing schoolwork and it was amazing to have that kind of ownership of my time. I really saw myself become independent and in charge of my life, and how I choose to spend my time. Towards the end, I also experienced a really tough heartbreak and learned the art of peacefully, consciously putting things aside in order to enjoy the last few weeks of my time at BU. That’s the first time I’ve done that and I’m really proud of how strong I have been. Despite that, I loved every minute of my last semester and enjoyed meeting new friends on the way, but I’ve been ready to go for a while. Graduating has never been about shutting a door (except for leaving the theatre company I was at – that was a LOT); it’s been more about giving myself a moment to breathe and then continuing on.

So when I think about “how does it feel,” I think about the fact that I am currently sitting at home with a cup of coffee after having just created a beautiful homemade breakfast. I am eagerly awaiting information about my new summer job at the CUTEST café ever, a place within walking distance of my house. I have a few freelance opportunities in my queue and I’m grateful that I have the initiative to do this for myself. I might go take a walk and listen to a podcast once I’m done writing this, and later this weekend I am going to see my grandmother for the first time since Christmas. I also get to join an annual family reunion for the first time in four years, and I get to reconnect with old and new friends before I make what I am calling “the mostly permanent move” to the East Coast. And by the way, I am not ignoring the stress and nerves that are coming with finding an apartment and moving to New York in August, but I am attempting to focus on the good and consciously choose the moments when I allow myself to have my little panics over it. It happens. I’m a perfectionist but I’m also a human.

And to be completely real: I also never asked to be in the Nicholas Sparks film where I classically send myself home to the beach and go on a spiritual journey while working in a small-town café “upon heartbreak”, but it kind of just happened that way and I’m totally okay with it. Book deal, anyone? Library trip?

In any case, being home is good. Being surrounded by people I love is better. Taking charge of my freedom this summer feels pretty amazing. The work I’m doing is things I would do just for fun, so it really doesn’t feel like work. I agree with the phrase, “work hard, play hard,” but I also live by “work hard, rest well.” I have a lot of rest and preparation to do before life changes in August, and I’m excited. This is my time and a continuation. It’s not an end, it’s a beginning.

And all is well. 🙂