The Naked Truth About College Grads

Graduate college, they said, It’ll be fun, they said.

They also said that you’d walk across that stage and opportunities would start knocking and kicking and scratching at your door. That you’d smile for that cheesy handshake photograph and hold your fake certificate (Sarcastic)  and all of a sudden you’d feel like (and simultaneously become) a full-fledged, accomplished, educated, real-life, ducks-in-a-row adult.
But anyone who’s graduated college in the last decade knows that’s not the reality. You don’t shrug on your cap and gown and suddenly feel responsible, suddenly know how to file taxes and pay off loan debt. You don’t finish your last final and suddenly realize what you’re doing with your life. You don’t even know what you’re doing for the next six months.
Here’s the harsh reality about being a college grad right now: you’re caught in limbo.

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ve accepted a job and you’re set for the temporary now. You have some sort of plan, but without job security, without tenure, and with a highly competitive market, you’ve been trained to not trust in the permanence of anything. Cynical? Maybe. Truth? Definitely.
Here’s the harsh reality about being a college grad right now: you’re caught in limbo. Suddenly, you are too old for college parties. That doesn’t mean you can’t attend them (by all means, do you boo boo) but suddenly your mindset has changed. You need to job hunt, you need to wake up early for the crappy part-time gig you’ve taken in the months between graduation and getting a ‘real career,’ and you have things to do that doesn’t include getting wasted on a Monday night. But you want to go to college parties. 
Your friends are either still in school or have graduated, left town (or not), started their lives (or are pretending to start their lives) and you’re desperate for someone to pregame with,  go out with. So you cyber-stalk all their social media , wondering who they’re hanging out with, who’s all at that party, and if they’re missing you.
But then there’s that part of you that scoffs. You’ve matured, you’ve changed, and you’ve left that college scene. You had your fun. Obligations, priorities, mature fun, and things that you could never afford or even dream up when you were that broken, tragic college seniors.
But still, you’re caught in limbo. There’s a laundry list of expectations that you’re supposed to live up to. You’re supposed to get that job, move, work, make money, be successful, date, marry, have children. Or something along those lines. And you’re nowhere near. (Which is okay, by the way. As long as you’re trying to get yourself together.)
Then there’s the realization that this is it, this is life. And you’re excited about the possibilities, the places you could go, the jobs you could take, and the potential significant others that are gallivanting around somewhere on this planet, wondering about the potential you. The future is limitless. But terrifying.
You’re caught between the familiar and the new, the comfortable and the unknown. There’s the person you’ve been for the last four years, and then there’s this new you—this post-grad you, this adult you—Are you the same person? Suddenly changed? A mix of both?
The post-grad world is strange. You’re not sure who you’re expected to be, and not really sure who you want to be. You’re trying your best to figure it out, to get that dream job, to find a place and a home and a future to claim as your own. But the naked truth about graduating college is that it’s not this paved, golden road. Yes, your education is valuable. And yes, you have a world of possibilities at your fingertips. But that doesn’t make it easier.
Graduating college, just like being in college, is another journey. And with any journey, you need faith, perseverance, hard work, a map, and your heart for when you throw your map out the window.
You’ll make it eventually. It just takes time. And a period of crappy, rough, who-am-I months. But at least you’re leaving on first food anymore, right? 

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An Apology Letter to the Passage of Time.


I spent so long hating you. So long entwined with the idea that you were running at a pace three steps too fast, laughing at me as I buckled over in a desperate attempt to catch my breath. I resented the way I couldn’t control you, the way your busy hands outreached mine and changed everything I wanted so deeply to remain the same. I was infuriated by the way the past always seemed so much prettier, but you never stopped stealing it. It tore me up to know that there are places in life I would already have been to for the last time.

You were kind of like that word that everybody else knew the meaning of but me. One I waited too long to ask about, so eventually I just began to play along. Like it’s a game of broken telephone and I was the last one in line, my message got mixed and I’ve been looking at you differently than the rest of the world ever since.

I goggled your name in a sea of others and regardless of what the dictionary spit out all I heard was that the happiness that belongs to today will soon belong to yesterday, and to be honest that broke my heart.

Yet everyone else seemed to flow with you. People kept looking forward to milestones as if they could afford to shake off the day that clutched desperately onto my pant leg. “I can’t wait until December, I wish we could just fast forward” as if the space that stood between now and then was nothing but sand stumbling through clumsy fingers, emptying hourglasses like they could be flipped over and restarted.

I always thought of myself as an optimistic person, but damn you shook me. No matter what angle I analyzed, you were still just the lingering shadow in the rear view mirror that I was trying to outrun. The truth is, I never even wanted to get along with you.

As I got older, things started happening. Big, terrible, heartbreaking things, but you and your one track mind just kept on passing. I saw pieces of people around me’s worlds being torn apart but you still didn’t slow down, not for a second. I watched as you threw loved ones off your cargo as if someone’s son was disposable or like some fathers simply didn’t need a tomorrow. The world kept on turning and you just kept on moving blindly like nothing happened. I decided then that nothing wholesome would ever refuse to pause for the broken, and that you in all your disregard were a force to be feared.
So I’d sit down at night and pray to  God like I didn’t know  I believed in, like He could protect me from your greedy hands. I’d pray I could be like the children or the animals that had no concept of your passing, they seemed so free from your grip.

But somehow, something changed.

I was told once that butterflies only lived a few weeks. I never understood why they didn’t seem to care that they were cheaped out of time. I wondered if maybe you seemed to pass slower for them out of sympathy, or if they looked the way they did because they had to try to pack all of the beauty of life into a matter of days. I wondered if I knew I only had twelve days left, how beautiful my life would be.

Then I took a second look and realized I didn’t recognize you anymore. You didn’t look harsh or forceful, of all things…you started seeming kind.

See I’d been blaming you for the very thing I should have been thanking you for. And it’s ironic that time had to pass for me to see the value in passing time, but overnight you became the most valuable thing I’d ever claimed.

I started opening my eyes a little more. I started noticing things that I’d kept overlooking in my pursuit to preserve you. I found the truth in ‘time is money’, but instead of saving you, I cashed out and started spending.
And I spent exactly what I wanted, where I wanted it. I spent more of you with my family, the people who built me. I spent more of you on myself, on all the things I forgot I loved. I spent more of you on taking risks, on things that threatened the fact you’d still keep coming back. I discovered that although I couldn’t control you, I could control everything I filled you with.
The truth is, I needed you.

I needed you for when I discovered my passion for  music and writing and that all of those things couldn’t be done without you.

I needed you for when I realized what love is, when I  told  a girl that I’d rather waste my time doing nothing with her than doing something with anybody else.

I needed you for when things got dark and I felt lost, I needed you to keep pushing forward so I could find my fresh start.
I needed you for when I moved across the world, for when I almost turned around until I remembered how much of you I’d invested to get here.

I needed you for when I sat around a table with my best friends singing songs we used to love when we were 13, and I needed you to realize everything is different- but everything is good. I understand that all the happiness and sadness, the loneliness and excitement of passing time have become packed inside of us – and they make us who we are. I realize now, I was never losing, I was building.
I am a sum of you and all of our shared yesterdays.

So thank you for pressing on. Thank you for setting the sun on my rough days and rising on my good. Thank you for the clean slates and the heartbreaks, the healed wounds and the promising plans. Thank you for giving me more of yourself than I probably deserve. Thank you letting me live more at 21 than some people do at 81. Thank you for being patient enough to wait until I fell in love with you.

I apologize in advance for the future. I’ll probably curse you again someday when I have kids and they start growing up with every blink. I’ll wish more than anything you would slow down and let me take it all in. When I grow old and end comes to end I’ll feel greedy and long for more, but know now that I forgive you for the day the sun rises without me, because of all the beautiful days you let me wake up with it.

Please accept this apology with pride and know that I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all of your time.

Time Changes Everyone

I’m happy with the way things turned out. I’m happy with the path that my life took, with all of the twists and turns that lead me to the place where I am today.

But, even though I’m thankful for the location where I’m living and the people that are surrounding me, I still miss the way things used to be.

I miss the friends that I’ve grown apart from over the years. I miss the family that has moved away and lost touch with me. I miss the days when I could carry around a carefree attitude instead of worrying about when I have to pay my next bill and what time I have to wake up for work.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with where I am. I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I wouldn’t change any aspect of my life, even if I had the ability to do so.

One of the scariest, but most comforting things about life is that it’s forever changing. One moment we’re up, the next were down, and then suddenly we’re on the upswing again.

We don’t sit still. We’re never stuck. We won’t always feel this low. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you will be okay, because you will. I promise.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t miss the past. That I can’t relive the memories that mean the most to me.

In a perfect world, I could call up the friends that I miss and have a reunion with the family that I haven’t seen in years.

But the problem is that things change. I’m older now. I’m different now. Everyone around me is different, too. The people I remember from my memories aren’t the same people right now. They’re new, they’re fresh, they’re practical strangers.

Reconnecting with old friends might sound like the easy choice, but it isn’t always the right choice.

I can’t call up the exes I miss, because in my heart I know that we’re better off keeping our distance from each other. And I can’t go back to the job I miss, because I’ve outgrown it and am ready for bigger things.

I can’t just run back to the past when I’m feeling a little nostalgic, because I don’t belong there. I belong exactly where I am right now.

I’m already where I’m meant to be. I know I am. But I’m allowed to miss the past. I’m allowed to look back at old photographs and tell stories about how much fun my childhood friends were. I’m allowed to flip through yearbooks and social media stalk old crushes to see how they turned out.

I’m allowed to miss the past, but not want to go back to it. I’m allowed to think about how many amazing people I’ve met and places I’ve been, but be ready to move onto better things.

Sure, I miss the way things used to be and a part of me always will, a part of me will always love those old friends and cherish those old memories.

But, the truth is, I’m even happier now than I was back then. I’m an even better, stronger person than I ever was before. 

I do believe that everything happens for a reason, and I also  do believe that every choice we have made in the past has put us where we currently are in life. I do not believe that we would have ever worked — no matter how many do-overs we could’ve gotten — but I do believe that we both learned something from our time together that will serve us well in the future. #TBT

DOUBTS!!

There is a reason why we do not always have the things we desire, or able to implement our ideas like we see them in our minds. This reason is doubt. Doubt is destructive especially self doubt. Too often you find someone who plans to do something, but at the same time he/she is doubting if it will work.

God’s word says, if we don’t doubt in our hearts but believe instead, what we say or do will come to pass. But this is so difficult for us most times especially when you pay attention or consider the things happening around you; your lack of money, poor economy, poor health condition, lack of education, lack of support etc, you just find yourself doubting your success.

Folks no matter how tough it is, if you really want to achieve success, you must try not to doubt yourself. Stop thinking about things that will go wrong, and instead focus on the things that will go right. Most of us are always imagining the “what if” scenarios; what if I am rejected? What if people don’t buy my product? What if the money never comes? What if my heart gets broken? What if he/she cheats on me? What if I flunk the test? What if this or that?

Jesus says we can have whatever we say if we don’t doubt. So what are you saying with your mouth? Do you go about saying negative things? Sure enough you will get more of them in your life. I can’t tell just how many times I have had this principle reflected in my life due to my doubts. The times when I desire one thing, and I am expressing all my fears and doubts of getting it, and every time this happen I never get my desires.

I want you to take a moment and reflect on this statement by the late Dr. Wayne Dyer; “The Wright brothers didn’t contemplate the staying on the ground of things. Alexander Graham Bell didn’t contemplate the non-communication of things. Thomas Edison didn’t contemplate the darkness of things. In order to float an idea into your reality, you must be willing to do a somersault into the unconceivable and land on your feet, contemplating what you want instead of what you don’t have.”

So you’ve heard from the late Sage. Don’t contemplate the things that won’t work or all the things that will go wrong, instead focus on all the good and positive things that will happen when your ideas/dreams/desires become a reality. Always contemplate on what you want and not what you don’t want to happen. What do you want to see come alive? What do you want to have? Well it’s time to contemplate it coming alive then!

Live your greatest life!

This Is How To Figure Out If The Internet Is Turning You Into An Idiot

Or are you just an idiot who turns to the internet? The casual arrow, as always, is hard to define. Before the internet, we might have been more productive, filling our overwhelming sense of loneliness with hobbies and activities that take place in an actual physical environment. Then geniuses brought technology to the masses and now we are addicted, intuitively.

Just because something is fun and convenient though, doesn’t mean that we should exploit it without caution. The internet, as it is popularly used today, might be like sugar or carbs. If you work out a lot then you deserve to eat more of it.

Before publishing was widely available to everyone, public opinion was stifled, for better or worse. On one hand, people suffering from cyclical injustice and discrimination were without a voice. On the other hand, uneducated clowns with too many opinions also had no voice. It is a conundrum that our species has been toiling with since Gutenberg.

Why does going on the internet feel like cheaply masturbating in the daytime and filling your face with junk food immediately afterwards? Dopamine is a word that science journalists love to use because it explains everything apparently. The neurotransmitter is linked to reward circuitry, so it’s basically like built-in operant conditioning. Let’s use the analogy of a dog and a meat stick. The dog is your brain and the meat stick is dopamine. If you give a dog a meat stick every time it rolls around on the floor, it’s going to learn that rolling around on the floor is pretty awesome and it’s going to want to do it all the time.

How can we build more meaningful, constructive, and/or psychologically healthy internet experiences? Micro-blogging became popular because it was so digestible and time sensitive. Never has so much information been so readily available with such little effort. But what if we could build virtual environments that were nicer to our brains? Would we even want to part of them? It would have to be salient and sensational, just like everything good. But it would also have to have substance and elevate our experience with practical real-world events.

Because information is so readily available it would make sense that our brains would become less capable to hold information. Is a short attention span indicative of failure though? The psychological focus might be shifting toward the stuff that’s in between information.

Translating, making relationships, creativity, problem-solving… These are all things that humans could be getting better at, with the ubiquity of the internet, as it is. But what happens if the power goes out?

How would we respond to the physical environment, void of human linkages and constant communication? Would our inventiveness simply replace the old system? Maybe there are many many other ways that humans would like to communicate- whether they are aided by technology or not- but they just haven’t been explored or encountered