Saturday, May 22, 2010

(Un?)Happy Anniversary

Today is my official one-year anniversary as a former student and graduate from Sarah Lawrence College. 365 days have passed since I crossed the stage of Westlands stone deck. They have passed so quickly, and yet, when I look back, a lot has happened. I've taken on jobs, I've left jobs, and had them leave me. True, I have yet to find the holy grail of full-time employment, but there has been a fair amount work of various kind. Even today, I went to work at the mall, but only for a three hour shift, giving me time to enjoy the summer weather which has made it warm enough to actually swim in the pool.

Yesterday was the 2010 commencement, and I don't know what it says about me that I watched it live online. I watched Julianna Margulies' speech and listened as Dean Green read out the names of each undergraduate, as he does so well, making each one sound like the main event. I even recognized a few people, though I have to admit most were strangers to me. You'd think that on a campus of 1400 or so everyone would be recognizable, but a cap and gown might as well be a mustache and glasses as far as my memory goes.

How should one celebrate this kind of anniversary? Balloons and streamers seems wrong, and there's no one to exchange gifts with. I'm thinking just a little nostalgic thinking before bed, and perhaps some tea out of my Sarah Lawrence mug which is in fact the size of a bowl. That sounds about right. Of course, a viewing of '10 Things I Hate About You' wouldn't go amiss either.

I suppose it's the kind of thing that gets forgotten as you get older, unlike birthdays and weddings, it's really only the first few that stick out. Eventually the exact date will give way to 'late May', which will become 'sometime in May', and then perhaps I'll just know it's around the time everyone else graduated, after spring and before summer. But I think I've got enough obsessive fact-grabbing tendencies that it will be several decades before I reach this point.

As it is, I still miss the campus, but as more and more friends leave it, I have come to terms with the fact that as a place it can never truly be what it once was. And I guess that's okay. But that doesn't mean I can't miss it, at least once every 52 weeks or so.

So raise your glasses and toast to one full year in the so-called real world. Woo.

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