Saturday, March 21, 2009

Retail Therapy, or How To Succeed At Shopping Without Really Trying

Sometimes you see changes coming and you have time to prepare. Then there are those times when changes just start coming at you fast, and you just have to sit back and hold on. Apparently, this is one of those times. Graduation is approaching at lightning speed. (This has been the fastest semester in the history of academia.) I ordered my cap and gown this week, and I've been receiving all kinds of info regarding the events of graduation week. It does make it all seem a bit more real. This time two months from now, I'll be a college graduate. It seems like only yesterday (regardless of the cliche) that I was starting at Converse and working full time and wondering if I would ever be able to finish and graduate. Now, here I am. It's all a little surreal. Now, I just have to get through this semester. One more week until spring break, and I can hardly wait.

Of course, I've had four years to prepare for this. It's exciting, but it's the expected result of four years of college - graudation. If I only had graduation to contend with, things would be pretty tame. It isn't just graduation, though. Changes are everywhere. The other day a friend was talking about how things happen in clusters. That rule must include changes. In the past couple of months, I've gone from being an overachieving, overworked, overstressed, super-nerd, reclusive college student with no clear idea of life after graduation to a woman with friends, a life, and a plan. (I'm still an overachieving nerd. No change there.) I've been accepted to the MFA program at Converse, so life after college is going to be, well, more college. I'm so excited about grad school. Two years of hanging out with other writers. It doesn't get much better than that.

School isn't over yet, though, and it has been crazy. We finished the manuscript for Concept (our literary journal) on Thursday. It was such a relief to get it done. Another check mark on my crazy to do list. I also picked up the finalists for the Julia Mood Peterkin Award, and I get to read/judge them over Spring Break. Super fun! I'm going to be in a television commercial on Tuesday for Converse II. That should be interesting. They're going to film me doing my Writing Center/tutoring thing.
The biggest (and best) change in my life right now has been the addition of a new group of friends. Since our move to Holland Park Church of Christ, we've met some really amazing people. Our Sunday night Life Group includes three other young married couples who have taken us in as family. I am amazed daily by their openness and generosity of spirit. As someone who doesn't make friends easily, I have appreciated their patience with me and my innumerable quirks. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am making women friends with whom I can have a close, spiritual relationship. My goal for the future? Try not to mess it up.

Today, I went shopping with one of the girls from Life Group, Terra. She is a kindred spirit and crazy fun. I'm not sure that Mall of Georgia was ready for us. I swear we spent half an hour just looking at the jewelry at Macy's and another at the shoes. A woman after my own heart. It was positively the most normal thing I've done in years, and it felt really wonderful.

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