This may be possibly one of my most favorite videos that I have come across.
Makes me think a lot about graduation. Despite the mixed bag of responses, that post-grad life still holds the best yet to come is undoubtedly true. How could it not be with so many great things that have happened so far.
When I was five, I remember mastering how to ride a bike. It was painful. We had this great big mailbox at the end of our driveway on the left corner if you’re facing the street. The post was stained the color of rust and constructed of cut pieces of 2 x 4 that my dad had put together. It is what I would always manage to hit when going back and forth along the street in front of my house. I kid you not, every time. Smack! and down on the ground. I am sure that it made my dad laugh quite a bit watching his five-year-old continually crash into the mailbox.
I turned ten the year 2000. I had my birthday party at Pizza Hut with my friends, and we had contests to see who could eat more of the red pepper flakes. I put down $5 in quarters playing Marvel vs. Capcom and bought a large “2000” sticker from a machine that I slapped onto the front of my helmet. Everytime I went biking again around my neighborhood, people would know what year it was. It was a public service thing. That year was also my first year of middle school. Fifth grade. I remember winning a big hat like Dr. Seuss for having been so successful at selling magazines to my neighbors. I was ten, but looked like I was still five, and lived in an affluent area. It wasn’t that hard.
At fifteen, I still hadn’t gotten my permit (that came at 18), but, I had the world’s coolest bike, I can guarantee you that. The mark was called Myata; I called her Emma, and she was a beautiful, tan road bike from the 90’s that I bought red handlebar tape for and a new, official road bike seat from Gear West that was more than painful to sit on, in particular the gooch region. That is the technical term, I believe, but forgive my spelling. I will fetch my medical dictionary to verify later. I remember going on a lot of good rides at fifteen, out in the country, at night, around Lake Minnetonka.
Twenty, my first year at Concordia. One of the best years of my life. In love with a beautiful, curly-haired girl, had a pair of really good friends with whom I went on random adventures with, going to Perkins at 1am to stuff our faces with buy-three-get-three cinnamon rolls, caramel rolls, and muffins, spending $2 every now and then at the Safari cheap theater to watch older-released movies. If you ever do go there, pay attention to the sticky floors, and the sticky plastic cup holders, and the scuffed seat backings. I’m not pointing this out because I am some pretentious movie-goer, but because I love those sticky floors and worn chairs. The place has character.
Twenty-one, trying to think of something clever to say about my first legal drink, O yeah, I went on a one-on-one date with one of my friend’s mom. As funny as this may sound, I enjoyed it very much, and am grateful to have gotten so close to my friend and her family. That is also the year that I learned my dad has been misleading me all these years by drinking White Zinfandel as if it a completely normal thing to do. Ordered a glass of White Zin in an Irish pub with some friends. “That’s an old lady drink,” they told me, in good humor of course. I have since grown out of the pink stuff, but man, many a great night with a glass of White Zinfandel in hand. I also used to blow-dry my hair until fifth grade and sponge-clean my delicate 4.5 ft figure with my mom’s purple luffa. Makes you think about gender norms and conditioning. As my friend Eddie says that scents, such as perfume, are neither feminine nor masculine, there is no such thing as a masculine or feminine hairdryer and luffa either.
Twenty-two. I’m here, sitting on my couch on a Sunday night, the eve of my Student Scholarship presentation on a paper that I have written on the role of food in Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood as well as a rather poorly developed paper on feminism for my French course. C’est la vie. There are beans cooking on the stove top, and I have made some fresh bread today with green tea and sunflower seeds. Thanks J. Hermerding for the idea. So many good things have happened this year, working at Lac du Bois, spending three weeks on a ranch in Montana with one of my good friends, J, and spending four incredible months in France. And now, graduation. Excited and scared, to be honest.
“The scared is scared of things you like.”
I am afraid of change. I am excited for change. An unrealistic fear that what I like will not be accessible after graduation, my family, my friends, time to sit down like this and write knowing that I am moving toward graduation, that I have a strong community of support here at Concordia.
“Yeah, that’s good advice. That’s why I need to just think of things I like when I am scared.”