A Year Later

Today’s my dad’s birthday. It’s a big one (hint: it’s a multiple of 1), and I’m not there for it. I wasn’t there for Mother’s Day two days ago, either, and both of those facts feel very strange to me.

It’s the result, of course, of my having moved two states away from home last October. I’ve now been in Nashville for a little over 7 months, but it’s officially been a year since I graduated from college, and that’s weird.

For someone that was never much bogged down with schoolwork (with the exception of Japanese; curse you forever, Japanese!), college was actually pretty enjoyable. It helped that I lived with my best friends and we all did the same things for fun. I finished college in 3 years, mostly because I could, and I don’t regret it. I don’t really wish I was still in school, since once that 3rd year of mine was up, it felt right to leave Denton, despite my affinity for the place.

Many of my friends just graduated over the weekend, and they’re just starting down the odd path that I took one year ago. Hopefully they won’t have such a strange time with it, but maybe they will and it’ll be good for them. I’m by no means off that weird path – that whatever-land that exists between college and legitimate adulthood – but I’m beyond the freaking-out stage. When I graduated, holding my measly degree (an English major with History and Japanese minors. What, you may be wondering, does one do with those credentials? I’ll tell you when I find out), jobs did not quickly take to me.

My roommates and I floated around Denton until our lease ran out, and they were nice times, hanging out by the pool for hours on end. If the fear of unemployment hadn’t loomed so large on the horizon, and if my girlfriend of three years hadn’t jumped ship in the early hot days of June, it would have been a great Summer. As it was, it was just a strange one. The strangest, in fact. And part of that strangeness is what really made me start blogging more regularly. From the road trip with my brother to our trip to Portland and Chicago, this blog has seen a lot of words in the last year.

Brit and I took off to Portland, Oregon, where we lived for two weeks trying to find jobs. Instead what we found was good beer, cool people, weird donuts, and a lot of song fodder. We returned to Texas, defeated, not sure where to turn next. I thought Austin was the next step but somehow it didn’t feel satisfying to me. Maybe it was the words of my excellent geography professor, who insisted that Texans need to, at some point in their lives, live outside of Texas to really understand the world.

Texas is a bubble, and Plano even more so, and the thought of living in a place I’d never lived was exciting. I had no ties, after all, except for my friends and family. With most of my friends still in college and my family dangerously supportive of just about any plan I concocted, I began applying to jobs all over the country. The fact that I ended up, with Brit, living in East Nashville – a city I’d never even been to – is something that still boggles my mind. It all seemed so obvious as it was happening (I finally got a job interview, drove to Nashville, had the interview, got the job, went back to Texas, packed up my car and left), but I had no idea what I was doing. Fake it ’til you make it, I guess.

In the time since graduating, I’ve come to realize a lot of things about myself and the world. Perhaps the biggest was coming to terms with the end of a long-term relationship. For a while, the thought of it was a hole in my stomach. Over time, it became a slight tinge, and now it’s just a sweet memory. The thought of how easily people slip into and out of my life is something that continually weirds me out, but I guess that’s just the ebb and flow of living a sociable life. Certain friends are a big deal for a long time, only to vanish completely without a particular inciting event.

I started a job – a real adult job – and make money working in an office writing product descriptions for the home decor company that my mom has vocally loved for most of my life. How could I have ever known that the same Kirkland’s she went nuts over would be my first post-college place of employment?

And then there’s the film stuff. If you’ve ever read this blog, you’re probably aware that I’m an aspiring filmmaker. I filmed a few shorts last Summer in Texas – goofy things with friends, shot on Kodak’s answer to a Flip Camera – and really dug the process. It seemed a good way to funnel my creative juices into something a bit more accessible, not to mention a way to exorcise my occasional controlling tendencies. I met real actors in Nashville and got a good camera, and then made a Kickstarter to raise money to afford the insurance to shoot at a creepy abandoned prison north of town.

I got that money, mostly thanks to my family and friends, and this weekend I’ll be shooting that short film.

Only a year ago I walked across the stage in Denton, Texas, and got my diploma, then went to lunch with my family and girlfriend. I had no idea what would happen in the coming months.

Here I am, only 22 years old. If every year is as eventful as this one, I might get whiplash. On the other hand, I hope seemingly random events keep occurring and propelling me into new and fruitful arenas.

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~ by Jon C. Forisha on May 15, 2012.

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