Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Circle of Life

Lots going on lately. Beginnings, endings, starting, finishing. I hardly know which way is up anymore.

I finished school last week. I officially (or soon will, once it arrives in the mail) hold a master's degree. An M.B.A. It took nearly two years and seemed like it would last forever. I turned in my last assignment on Thursday and then just sat there. Huh. That's it? I think I expected balloons and streamers to fall from the ceiling. Nope. It was rather anti-climatic. No big fanfare. No claps on the back. No cheering audience.

Even now I think I'm supposed to be working on a paper. I felt guilty sleeping in this morning. I'm so used to having deadlines looming over my head. I can sleep in now. I have my weekends back. And yet, somehow, it seems wrong.

Maybe because I did it by myself. No classmates. No group discussions. Just me. Sitting at my kitchen table.  Early mornings. Late nights. Weekend afternoons. Whatever it took. Just me. Often a cup of coffee. Usually some music. It became a routine, something to always think about. My crazy mind thinks that maybe I should just keep going. I always wanted a PhD, right? No. Not really. Right?

D went to her junior prom last night. I think I'm still processing that. That and the almost $300 I spent between the dress, the shoes, the handbag, flowers, and the fake eyelashes she had to have. I went to take pictures of her with her date. Her boyfriend. Boyfriend. KY and I went to dinner afterward. He asked, "How does it feel that your little girl is growing up?" Damn it. I was okay until then. Then, in that moment, I wanted to run and get her and hug her and bring her home and watch cartoons with her. I didn't want to her to grow up. To be with a boy. To move on, in any way.

KY's insightful observation? "You can't wait for her to leave. You're so tired of having her around and want her to move on and then you cry and can't stand the thought of her leaving and want her to stay forever. I can't keep up with it all." Really? Imagine how it feels to be inside my body.

Because I do want her to go. Parenting is exhausting. But I don't think I will ever be done either. I don't want her to be in love. She tells me how she feels about her boyfriend and I don't want to know. I want, more than anything, for her to be happy. But does it have to be him? Does it have to be that way? I don't get to choose her happiness and part of me is relieved. But another part of me thinks that is just crap. It's confusing to say the least.

Next year she will graduate. Which means a couple of things. She will start her new life. And so will I. I don't have to stay here anymore. Her leaving means I get to leave too. I get to Start Over.

This summer we are road-tripping. Checking out schools for her and a new location for me. It both thrills me and terrifies me. I like the familiar. Change generally freaks me out. Even when I choose the change, it's a challenge. And this is a big change. I have my sights set on a spot on the map far, far from this current X. It's a big leap.

Yep. Lots going on right now. Plans, adjustments, goals are all changing. I don't know yet how I will land. Or where. But I think it's time. It's time to shake it up a little bit. Time to reach a little higher and a little farther. It's time for a new adventure. It's time to grow up.



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