Last Saturday was my graduation party, and it was a blast. I had one of the best days/nights I’ve had in a very long time. A lot of my family had flown in from the U.K. to see my graduate. In truth, my nerves were on edge, because if there’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s the fact that my mom’s side of the family and my dad’s are kept separate. I’m good at that. To have them both thrown together is the world’s most awkward thing for me.
Between that and the actual stress of graduating, plus the situation that has rendered me unable to attend university, I was thrown for a loop. Everything in me was frightened, and, even as that week ended, I felt confused. I still kind of do.
But for the graduation party, I let myself forget about all of it. I had fun with my friends and my family, and ate cake (the gorgeous one pictured above), et cetera.
My Dad was going to the airport straight from the party, so, where the party was being held has a dock, and we took a walk along it.
My Dad and I have a very odd relationship. If I had to describe it, I would say it was strained, to say the least. There’s always something there like something pleading to be said, but it never is. Neither one of us speaks up.
While he was over, my Dad spoke to my Grandad, on my mom’s side. He told him about all the personal issues that had been going on that my Dad didn’t really know about or understand. My Dad mentioned it to me on the dock, saying that he was surprised.
“It’s been really hard,” I admitted. “You have no idea how hard these last few years have been.”
He nodded and said, “I know, I know now. I just don’t know what to say to you.”
I had to bite my tongue from screaming that I wanted him to say what I have wanted to hear my whole life. It was all on the tip of my tongue, but I didn’t say a word.
My other grandfather, his wife, and his friends were sat at the end of the dock, so I couldn’t say anything.
Of course, I spoke to them as well, and awkwardly laughed through them making fun of the way I speak (English kid with a British-American-hybrid accent), mocking me for saying, “Oh, they’re super nice, you’d really like them.”
At the nighttime, after everyone had left, my mom and I went home, with some friends coming to the house too. With my friends over, I was uninhibited with giggles; we were like drunk people, only perfectly sober. It was fun, and for the first time in a long time, I couldn’t stop smiling.
Oh, look, a face to the name and the thoughts!
I still feel odd that I’ve graduated. I still feel like I’m skipping school, or like I’m going to be going back in August, but I’m not going to be.
I was speaking to someone yesterday and, while he didn’t know my situation at all, he said something that hit home with me. “If you’ve got a dream, follow it now, because time flies, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.”
All he knew was that I was “taking a GAP year.” <–not so much.
But he told me something that made a huge difference in my mind. It’s okay to try something new. It’s not like I won’t be learning, I will always be learning. That’s life. At the end of the day, life is short. It’s too short to kill yourself trying to be something you don’t want to be.
I’m tired of trying to fit in to the ideal that everyone puts out there.
I am me.
And that’s okay.
When my life ends, I want to be able to look back and be proud of what I’ve done and who I’ve become. I want to know that I tried everything possible to reach my dreams. I don’t want to think, “What if…,” “Well if I’d tried this…,” “If I’d have just said…”
Life is full of regrets, but when mine ends, I don’t want to be plagued by them. Do you?