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The Great Goodbye

In just under a month, my first full time school experience in twelve year begins and it’s rightly got me vexed. There’s more moving parts in this process than I imagined. There’s also the impending start date of August 18th looming very large on the horizon. And the sixteen credits that will mark my fall semester.

There’s a lot to marinate my brain on and there is plenty of work to be done between now and then – but there is a bigger problem that’s weighing on my heart. It’s that once class starts I will have to say farewell to my friends and my social life. Given I’ll be in class three days of the week while also locking myself into at least twenty hours at my job – it’s going to be a busy semester. I’ll be studying, working on homework, writing papers, reading endless texts and striving to stay focused through all of it.

Which means I will have little time for events, parties or otherwise social time with the folks I have come to know and love. I think that’s the biggest part of this struggle. I don’t mind the impending doom of sixteen credits. I’ll slog through it. The job hours don’t bother me especially since I’m just a barista. They tell me what to do, I do it and then go home at the end. The part that causes me sadness is that I will have little time to maintain, build and enjoy the friendships I have with folks. It’s unavoidable but it’s the one wobbly gear in this unstoppable clock marching forward towards August 18th.

Last night I attended a pool party with a group of many I call my friends – and it was one of the most amazing nights. We swam, we hot tubbed until the rain nearly drowned us and then we played games until the laughter nearly killed us. I didn’t get into my bed until 1:30am – but it was the greatest feeling in the world. Having folks that care enough to put up with you and being able to hang out with them while sharing in life and laughter – that’s something. Which is why there is sadness because I won’t be having many of those experiences in about a month’s time.

But life is not easy, life is not simple and life is never anything resembling a cakewalk. I have a friend via Facebook and her younger sister recently got engaged while she’s still single and trying to find her way with a career. She wasn’t unjustified in her venting in her posts (and I wanted to high five her on several points) but some took it upon themselves to give advice, encouragement and other assorted quips. It’s never helpful to someone who’s dealing with numerous challenges to try and Dr. Phil them. Simply sitting with them or letting them know you went through it and so you know their pain – that’s the stuff that works. It was a gentle reminder to me why writing about my journey is important – you have to open the valve and release the steam somehow. Be it via Facebook, Twitter or blog – there’s a need to talk about the struggle and stress. And you need folks that will read it and go, “Dude, I get it. Been there, done that. The struggle is real.”

My hope is that I have those within my friends groups, twitter followers and blog followers who understand what it’s like to face the decisions I face. The greater hope is that somehow my words will reach someone who is in or will be facing this – and that it helps. If only for them to realize that they are not alone. That’s the biggest lesson I take away from writing this blog and my Facebook friends posts – nobody is alone in their struggles or pain. We’re all in this together somehow and someway. How we get through it, survive it and come out stronger at the end – that’s the stuff of legend.

I have the day off today. I’m taking it easy, quietly munching on my thoughts. I’ll probably do a bike ride or something – catch some sun. This next week is a 37 hour week at work. A great storm is coming and the waves are starting to lap at the side of the boat. Secure those lines, boys. Batten down the hatches.

And bring me that horizon.

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