Call the police and call the press
But please, dear God, don’t tell my friends
This is where it ends
-This is Where It Ends, The Barenaked Ladies
Right when I graduated from college, I decided I would not move back into my parent’s house, but I would stay with my oma, in the city where I graduated. The boyfriend I had at the time being in the same city may have had something to do with it, but also, so did the idea that the smaller city where I was from had nothing to offer me. I knew if I moved back, I’d never leave. So I decided to stay here, where there was more opportunity.
The first job I got was working as a receptionist. As first jobs go, not bad, I was able to memorize lines for the shows I was in while I was working on filing. But it was hard to start a job, the beginning of summer, right after graduating. Quickly, I despaired at the lack of vacation I had, the hours I had to work, and missing my friends and family.
This all came to a head one day when I was sitting at my desk, and my dad had stopped by to take me to lunch.
My dad works a unique schedule as a minister, and often, during the summer, he would take my brother and I on “adventures.” We’d drive to nearby cities and check out stores and grab lunch. And it was always “going on an adventure.”
After lunch that day, I sat down at my desk, pulled out the invoices I was to work with, and the thought suddenly came to me “You’re not going on adventures any more.”
My own graduation didn’t really bother me, I didn’t get choked up or cry. But the thought that, there would be no more summer adventures on a moment’s notice…there would be no more random trips to the bookstore and getting out of town.
It was an awful realization to see, so clearly, the end of childhood. I had a job. I had phones to answer. I was wearing professional clothes and writing ’06 on a stack of invoices while women gossiped around me. Something had happened that I didn’t even know I was afraid of. I’d never been afraid of moving on, because I’d always been moving toward something.
Now I’d moved on. And I didn’t know where I was, where I was going, what my goal was. And I couldn’t even escape with my dad to go figure it out. I felt I’d moved past where I’d been too fast and I was simultaneously stuck in a place I didn’t want to be.
I now have a job that I love…I don’t feel so stifled and stuck any more.. But sometimes…sometimes I just want to be able to say “You know what? I’m done with today. Let’s go.”
Any time you move on…it hurts. You’re probably moving on to something bigger and better. But it still hurts to leave those moments behind. Or to be left behind with them. So I fear moving on when I’m not ready, being moved on from, and moving on to something…I don’t yet know.