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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bff

Thank you for being my best friend.

No, really.  I know I say it all the time but I really truly don’t know what I would do without you.  The 500 iMessages/day, the morning conference calls, the good night messages, sharing dreams (luscious ones or scary ones), having the same alma mater, exchanging frustrations over our identical career choices, Sunday mornings– in bed– watching the same show or movie when we’re hundreds of miles away…these are what make up my life.

You make me feel like I’m not alone.  You make me feel like I have something to look forward to when we celebrate Thanksgiving 2015 together.  You’re my family.  The family I chose. The family I will have some day.  Through you, I realize that I have a true friend.  One who won’t leave me out of her wedding party…no matter how much of a monster her mother in law is.  One who’ll tell me she’s pregnant as soon as she pees on a stick, or even better, the minute she realizes she’s late.  One who I’d gladly wake up at 5 a.m. for, get on a plane for, cross the Bay Bridge for, so I could be in the same city as her, sitting on an Ikea couch, watching the Golden Girls at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning.   These things seem lame, stupid, inconsequential…but not to us, not to you, and only cuz we know how much they mean to one another.

Other people, they change cities, careers, schools, friends, lifestyles, hair color, last names, and they move on and move apart.  We just laugh at ourselves and remember where we come from, even down to the street corner…and how a change in zip code will never equal a change in heart.

It’s magical, having a best friend, not just one for photo opps on Saturday nights when the music is blaring and the champagne is pouring, but one who sits on the couch with you on a Sunday morning, who shares lazy Sundays where the only thing you can manage doing is eating and working out, maybe grocery shopping, too.  Few are the friends who really stick with you through the thick and thin (literally and figuratively), the pounds, the jobs, the boys, the crushes, the crashes, and the happy, fleeting moments of euphoria…as well as the months of sadness.  Ones who won’t judge you for crying over the same thing, seven months after you should have stopped.

More than anything, I am grateful for the magic of smiling, even when I’m feeling sad, scared, or overwhelmed.  Just dialing your number puts me in a different place.  I love the stupid things we laugh about…and how they suspend time, and snap us out of reality.

I don’t know how I could ever live without your advice…bull sh*t spared, the stuff you teach me and tell me to do that I wish you would sometimes just do for yourself.  It is really the best therapy that money can’t buy.

And when all is said and done…I love that we share a history of achieving, accomplishing, moving onward and forward…which is why, right now, we realize that we can spend a couple of extra hours in bed…because isn’t that our version of Disneyland anyway?  And hell, the world can wait.  Really.  It can.

 

©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.