School’s out. Forever.

School’s out…forever.

If you’re like me, graduation was more about photo opps and saying affectionate and believable goodbyes to people I knew I’d probably never see again. But the whole event is so archaic. I mean, pomp and circumstance, really? Why?

Anyway, congrats on graduating. Enjoy the photo session and the boring commencement speeches. Sadly, this is as good as it gets!

First of all, no one cares about college. No, really. It’s an experience, sure. But as far as true academia goes, it doesn’t have much value. In fact, it doesn’t teach you much that you can apply to the real world. I’ll even go so far as to say that the four years you spend in undergrad is merely a money-maker for your school. But don’t say that too loud or we’ll scare away the incoming class of 2016. Sounds eerie, no?

Sure, your parents probably dished out about $80 grand for you to go school. And of course, it’s all you ever hoped for during the formative years of your life. Really, it’s what you looked forward to achieving and becoming. The first real goal you ever set for yourself. You did it! Yay! Most people can’t and don’t. But even though you did, it doesn’t really matter. Cuz let’s face it, you don’t really know anything. Well, at least not yet.

If you’re not off to grad school, then…good luck finding a job. The market is oversaturated. Whether you’re en engineer or a social worker, you’re pretty much screwed. Sure, you sat at commencement, in your cap and gown, and listened to some stuffy alum from your school–someone famous, like the one guy who made it big from your school–tell you that the world is your oyster, the future of the country lies within your hands, and that you and your fellow graduates will be at the forefront of all the positive changes that the world will see in the coming years…

Enjoy it. Because…this is the last time anyone will ever really tell you that. (And actually make you believe it). Once you get that diploma cover (‘cuz you won’t get your actual diploma till July or August…and by then, you’ll be over it…) and hear your name mispronounced on loudspeaker, you’ll just be a kid, with no experience, competing for an entry-level job, that really doesn’t pay enough for you to be able to move out, eat, shop, go out, buy stuff, AND travel.

You’ll go to work. No one will really care where you graduated from (unless it was the top school in your state, an Ivy league, or a well-known school with an amazing football team). You’ll be a glorified paper pusher for a solid 10 years. Maybe 20…before someone actually trusts you enough to make real decisions. It’s just the way of the world. Your 9 to 5 will make you miserable…and if you hate your 9 to 5, you’ll probably hate your life. But that’s all life is for some. A routine of 9 to 5’s…stops at the grocery store, and weekends to run errands and be lazy. Welcome to being a “grown up”…

Post-Grad Playground

You’ll hear people complain endlessly about their jobs. But no one will do anything about it. They’ll keep working and looking forward to the weekend, a vacation, retirement, heck…even death! And it’s not that these people are lame, boring, dumb, or crazy…they just get stuck in something for a solid 43 years. They’ll be so busy paying bills, organizing their kids carpool, buying anniversary gifts for their spouses, that they’ll actually “forget” that life doesn’t always have to suck.

You’re still young though so you’ll feel a little sorry for them. Unlike them, you’ll attempt to save a portion of your paycheck but you’ll blow the rest on new technology, Netflix bills, and shoes you probably can’t afford. Most of your disposable income will go toward eating and out and buying overpriced alcohol when you meet with your friends to escape the drone of nine-to-five-to-nine-to-five-to-nine-to-five-to-nine-to-five…

You’ll get stuck because well, “If I lose my job, I won’t make rent….” Or “I have a mortgage, I simply can’t quit.” Mind you, each and every one of these financial commitments…even a spouse or kids, just keeps your feet planted at the “company” even firmer. It’s sad. It is. I’ll be the first to admit it. It’s like an addiction…one you can’t escape.

So you’ll stay stuck in a world of unfulfilling days, annoying co-workers (who don’t know when to shut up), and bosses who will terminate you the second they realize you’re no longer profitable. Yup, even the good ones.

This is when the true learning will start. This is when you’ll search in your heart, mind, and soul to discover your passion. Like those people you took classes “about”, you’ll philosophize. You’ll attempt to figure out what gives your life meaning, and how you want to make your mark on the world. This will be your education. And frankly, you’ll learn more—on your couch—web-surfing on your iPad, than you ever did in College.

You’ll eventually come to a place where writing a mere blog entry will be more meaningful than an entire legal brief that could make a big win for your client. And that’s ok. Because you’ll realize that relating to people, and making your voice heard, means more than the words “magna cum laude” on a piece of paper ever could.

If your academic life was where you shined brightly…then work will always be lackluster in comparison.

As for me…I know where my interests and my passions lie. I’m learning what my talents and my strengths are. Someday, I’ll have the courage to toss aside my diploma and focus on reading, learning, and thinking…way more than I ever did in “school”. Cuz’ the truth of the matter is, even though I always knew where I was going, I still don’t know where I’ll end up.

©2012, Leegal Deeva. All rights reserved.

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enlightened loneliness

enlightened loneliness

I’m all for evolution of self…knowing yourself better, improving, realizing why you do what you do…it helps you understand yourself, help yourself, heal yourself, control yourself (and your emotions).  But what happens when you become so enlightened that you find yourself in a bubble, a bubble that no one else can pierce…?  What happens when you find yourself surrounded by less and less fun, chill, unenlightened, “regular” people?  What happens then?

I am judgmental.  Severely judgmental.  One of my areas of acute judgment is when I judge people by the company they keep.  I can’t help but wonder what binds them. What do they see in one another?  What makes them want to continue to spend time together?

And…I pride myself in the quality of friendships I possess.  There is nothing in life I value more than communication, deep conversations, analysis, sharing…vulnerability, secrets, ideas, philosophies, seeking understanding, coming to realizations.  I love it, love it, love it.  I suppose the more you engage in that, the more enlightened you become.  The more you learn.  The more you grow.  The more you understand.  The depth of your mind, thoughts and soul can be limitless.

But do you also become lonelier? Do you find yourself less and less satisfied by the company of regular folks? Every day folks? The ones who don’t have the luxury of thinking, wallowing, analyzing, obsessing…  Mind you, it’s not because they don’t want to or don’t know how.  But truly, they are too busy living, day to day, paying their bills, making it from event to event, waking up, drinking coffee, showering, lathering, rinsing, repeating, getting in the car, parking, working, leaving, picking up the dry cleaning, grocery shopping, vacuuming, putting the dishes away, numbing their minds with a few hours of brainless television before the wake up to do it all over again.

I love enlightened people.  I do.  I admire them.  I do.  I respect them.  Truly.  But when does the desire for enlightenment and the sinking hole of enlightenment envelope you so tightly that you become isolated from regular people, regular experiences, and mediocre connections?  Life is short, which is why we must understand all we can in an efficient use of time.  But life is also too short to spend alone…

And so, my enlightened realization as of late is as follows: There’s nothing sadder than sacrificing company for enlightenment.  After all, it’s lonely at thetop.

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.

i’d rather be me

I’ve said this countless times. I’ve said it at other people’s weddings. I’ve said it as I stared at the perfect body of a girl at the gym. I’ve whispered it to my closest friends when someone had something new to show off…

I’d always rather be ME.
Why?
Biblically, God promises us that he’ll never give us more burdens that we can actually carry. Ok. I also know through my own study of scripture and various interpretations, that the cross we each carry is apparently just the right size for us. And let’s not forget one of the most common quotes of all time…”the grass is always greener in somebody else’s yard”…
To that, I turn up my nose and say: “I’d still rather be me.”
In the material, earthly realm…I look at it this way. My height is the height I want (though I tell people I wish I was 2 inches taller, but let’s face it, then I wouldn’t be able to wear real heels)…my hair is the way I want it (even though I have spent countless days, months and probably YEARS blowdrying and straightening…I’m still secretly glad it’s curly)…my eyelashes are awesome…my skin tans easily….my parents rock…no seriously, they are incredible, the best parents for ME (a Dad who is sensitive and romantic, he has taught me to value the important things in life, to give of myself to others without expecting anything in return…and he’s also given me the gift of music…and I have a Mom who has sparked my curiosity and cleverness, taught me to budget, prioritize, plan effectively, serve my community, and consistently and efficiently manage my time). My academic success (always, always came easy)…friendships, popularity…I possess the right personality to succeed in a social setting…my smile (it’s a trademark)…my background (my pedigree is pretty damn respectable…regardless of the sour apples that take part in it…)…my car is MY dream car…and regardless of what I’ve ever driven before, I’ve always been proud of it…my talents….wow, I am so grateful to God for giving me unique abilities, that make me seem indispensable, whether I’m serving as a volunteer, being a friend, or sharing a vital experience…I have great nails…I’m intuitive, intelligent, sensitive, emotional (with a well developed ability to “reason”)…I am eloquent, exemplary…I’ve never failed…I’ve never shamed my parents…let them down…hurt someone so profoundly that a “sorry” would not reverse it…I’m creative…aaaaaand, I give great advice. Amazing. Juuuust amazing.
But today I had to stop and think…seriously….what is SOOOOO damn special about any of these things? Is it like, if I stop and analyze them all critically, are any of them THAT special…THAT irreplaceable…THAT astonishing?
And it’s funny. B/c I can think of countless friends who would say, “Gosh, I wish I had her boyfriend!” or “Gosh, I wish I had her body…” When I look at someone with an amazing body, I think…”would I want her mind? her personality? her family? her friends? her experiences?”
Nope. I’d still rather be me. And keep mine.
BUT…
Don’t I wish that my hair was naturally straight and I could walk out of the shower and let it air dry into absolute beauty?
Don’t I wish that having a great body came easy and was effortless for me as opposed to a lifetime struggle and a DAILY challenge?
Don’t I wish that my career was stable and I knew exactly where I wanted to take it?
Don’t I wish that I’d found love when I was young and had never had my heart broken?
Don’t I wish my Dad could give me a cashed up AmEx and tell me to enjoy life?
Don’t I wish my Mom was concerned with makeup and fashion so I could have caught on to those thing earlier in life?
Don’t I wish that I didn’t take things personally and was able to just live out my life more carelessly, without so much intense emotion from day to day?
Don’t I wish that I wasn’t so damn responsible and could live for today without worrying about tomorrow?
Don’t I wish that I wasn’t so careful so that I could do things without being afraid of getting hurt or failing?
Don’t I wish that I wasn’t so acutely self aware that I could just be myself, alllllllll the time?
Don’t I wish that i possessed that unique sense of elation that solid, comfortable Christians possess without ever doubting my faith or without ever questioning God?
Don’t I wish I had the company of siblings, so that I could rest assured that I would never have to be alone…?
Hmmm…
It’s a struggle. A fine line between taking your blessings for granted and wishing you had more, or wishing it all came easier. My struggles and cares and worries…I’ve embraced them. Though they are not the best parts of my life, they have chiseled my character and given me depth.
I thank God for His grace and mercy in bringing me this far…and I wholeheartedly believe (at least my Mom drills this sentiment into my head) that He’s carried me all the way here…and He won’t forsake me…now. Or ever. Do I wish I could take a list of options and pick what I want for myself? YES. Is that possible? Not in the least.
And, so…when the going gets tough…and all I want to do is sit on my bed, in pj’s, eyes brimming with tears, pouring my heart out into my diary…or into a telephone mouthpiece…I realize how so truly blessed I still am. How aware of it I always will be. And how much God loves me, looks out for me, and takes care of me…
Always.
And I’m reminded…the one unforgiveable sin, the only unforgiveable sin, the worst sin to commit is: not to believe in Jesus Christ. Interesting, right? Not murder, not envy, not stealing, not adultery…but merely a faltering faith in Jesus Christ.
So when life seems bleak and dreary, and I get to feeling down on myself…I remind myself:
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Psalm 28:7
That being said…I will control the things I can: thoughts, hair straightener heat settings, my mouth, my desire to work hard, my diet…as for the rest, I’ll leave up to God…and thank Him…everyday…for making me, ME.

me.

I’m asked to elaborate…and yet I hesitate…

I’m sweet. I’m smart. If you allow the former to be mistaken for weakness-you’ll only be fooling yourself. I’m curious…too curious. But I know when to lay off. I like being given direction. But that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of doing things on my own. I’m never sarcastic…unless I’m mad. I don’t get into trouble (ever). I’m the girl your parents love. Mostly because they think you’re incapable of doing anything wrong when you’re with me. I’m exemplary. I’m a role model. I always consider the risks. I’m realistic. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hope for an ideal outcome. If the “ideal” occurs, I welcome it. And when it doesn’t, I don’t lose my cool. I smirk when I don’t think something’s funny. And I only giggle around people with whom I feel absolutely comfortable. I’ll never hurt your feelings by telling you that the joke you just told is one I’ve already heard. But my laughter is always unrehearsed. I’ll never judge you for something that simply defines your past. Your vulnerability turns me on. It makes me love you MORE. When you cover it up, I lose respect for you. You can hurt me. You can lie to me. You can disappoint me. You can upset me. You can wrong me. It won’t change the way I treat you. But it will change the way I feel about you. And that to me, is more valuable. I enjoy people who are cultured and sophisticated. Though they are not the ones I like to curl up on the couch with, over a cup of coffee, while I’m wearing a baseball cap and sweats. I have more fun chatting in the car, as opposed to the club, surrounded by posers and frauds. I’d rather be friends with someone honest than someone who is simply nice. I don’t care what your daddy has. I don’t care who he is. I don’t care what he can give me. And I don’t care to learn from him…unless he wants to teach me. I accept that he’ll never love me like he loves you. And even if he tries, I realize you’ll still come first. I’m more concerned with where your heart is. Where your drive comes from. What you do. How you live your life. What you are capable of. I believe that the more sorrow carves into your soul, the greater your capacity for joy. So don’t be ashamed to own your sadness. I don’t believe that the harder you have to work for something will necessarily make you appreciate it more. But I do believe that your worth comes from the things that are independently yours. I’ll never buy into your facade. You can sell that off to the world (or simply yourself). Whatever is more important. Really. I may adapt. But it doesn’t mean I approve. If you walk away, I’ll come after you once or twice. But in the end, I only miss the things I truly love about you, or merely “our time together.” I never do anything I don’t want to do. Unless it’s a dire obligation, and even then, I do it within reason. So don’t pressure me. I don’t neglect my responsibilities. I like to be the ringleader. I like to be in control. But I’d really love to find someone I trust who can call the shots for me. If you prove yourself, I’ll stop testing you. If you fail, time and time again, I’ll leave you to your own demise. I’ll be your partner in crime. I’ll be the other half of your coveted power couple status. I’ll never be your trophy wife. And, I won’t respect her either. I bake brownies. I decorate cupcakes. I’m great with kids (when I want to be). I’m an advocate and I won’t back down from a worthy fight. I appreciate romantic restaurants. I like it when you make reservations on the patio. I don’t mind if you light up in front of me. But I hate it when you tell me you think it’s unattractive if I do. I may talk like a valley girl. But I argue like a Harvard grad. You may not think so. But that’s only after you’ve already decided not to hear me out. I truly enjoy conversations in the kitchen, with your Mom. But I like it more when you’re listening. I take pleasure in worrying. Reflecting. Soul searching. Analysis. Over-thinking. Evolution. I don’t enjoy being around people who like to hear themselves talk. I’d rather converse with someone who is unkind than someone who is ignorant. I love to beat around the bush. I love to be subtle. I love to hint. But I have no problem being direct. I’ll tell you off. You’ll never see it coming. I’ll hold you close to my heart. But only if you let me. I’ll push my point when I’m sure I’m right. When I doubt myself, I will back off. I don’t like to be bullied. I don’t like to be underestimated. I like to play dumb. But only b/c it makes it easier to figure you out. I’ll eat my pride. Only because you follow it up with a kiss. I’ll let you rip my heart to shreds. Only because Iike the way you put it back together. I’ll say sorry because I have to. I’ll accept your apology with an open mind. I’d rather keep my lips sealed than let something slip. You can ask me a million questions. But I’ll only tell you what I want you to know. I don’t like the games people play. But I realize they exist for a reason. I have a one track mind but I’m very much in tune with the big picture. I hold fast to my faith. I realize it’s the only way to paradise. I won’t knock you down for your beliefs (or lack thereof). That doesn’t mean I fail to realize you are damned for all eternity. My silence does not imply approval. It just implies politeness. The minute you think you can pull a fast one on me, I’ll smile to myself with the utter knowledge that I can pull five like you out of my back pocket alone. I’m passive aggressive. But even then, I keep the aggression to myself. I won’t confront you. Unless you push me to. I never do things that don’t have meaning to me. Don’t corner me. I’ll snap. Don’t put me in an uncomfortable situation. I’ll get out. I only play to win and I never ever lose. The petty battles come and go. But the hegemon in the war is always me. I’m gracious when you compliment me. But I don’t take anything you say personally. I hold off on making assumptions about you or anyone. But my instincts rarely contradict reality. I may appear serene on the surface. On the inside, I’m thinking like the CIA. Two words out of your mouth speak volumes in my heart. I follow that heart. It never makes mistakes. I do rationalize with my mind. Logic is my enemy. Reason is my most concerned friend. I love it but I sometimes leave it at home on a Saturday night. I’m discerning but there are certain risks I find worthwhile. Dialogue is my forte. Monologues are my life. Music is my soundtrack. Poesy is my expression. In a world that values buttermilk pancakes and syrup, I’m organic peanut butter spread over dry, whole-grain toast. But I have holding power.