In a few days, I will be "graduating." I won't really - I still need to take one class and test out of another before they'll sign off on my degree. But I have commencement on Friday, with the caps and the gowns and the tassels and the pomp and circumstance. And, to be frank, the only things that can capture my thoughts and feelings happen to be musical theatre lyrics:
"...it's a big, bright, beautiful world..."
"...excited and scared..."
"...everybody's got the right to be happy..."
"...as we stumble along on life's funny journey..."
And more. The thing is, I have two major career options ahead of me, not just one. And neither of those career options are the typical start-as-an-intern-anywhere-and-work-your-way-up variety. They are both the go-where-you-think-they-might-be-hiring-and-cross-your-fingers type. Acting and teaching are things that I love, but neither is especially secure, nor are they especially easy to break into. So not only do I have twice the number of possible paths, those each branch off into dozens more, and every road has a big cloud of London-variety fog obscuring the distant scenery. Not only that, but each of these roads has some major obstacles in the way: money, or location, or timing, or some combination of those. It's making me somewhat anxious.
There are also influences in my life at the moment that are giving me what amounts to a big push out the door. I'll warn you that the next few sentences probably sound a bit whiny, so skip them if you feel unprepared to sympathize. One of these influences happens to be my "social" life at school. I freely acknowledge that I have been student teaching most of the semester, and my friends are plenty busy themselves. But am I wrong in thinking that "out of sight, out of mind" isn't really very nice? I essentially feel forgotten about, and after six years of classes and devotion to my department, that's making me sad and miffed in turns. Don't I deserve some recognition/appreciation, dag nab it?!
Okay, done. With all that said, I will miss a lot of the people I'll be leaving behind, but I'm also looking forward. Or at least trying to. I truly am thrilled at the idea of working, for real, doing what I love. And I know that this transition will not end my learning experience: I'll discover how to put my "theory" learning into practice, both onstage and off. The lessons I learned about myself while in school will be much easier to live. And the friends I have left will be real. That's kind of heartbreaking, and kind of awesome.
Life...here I come.