neophyte-escapist asked: Wow, you graduated from Swarthmore.
I was lounging in bed, re-watching episodes of Pretty Little Liars, when I absentmindedly scrolled through my tumblr app on my phone. That was how I read this message: in my pajamas on an early Saturday night, a friend from Swarthmore crashing at my apartment, my mother making dinner, my focus on a trashy television show. There is a pile of thick GRE prep books in another room of the house. I am in the midst of correspondence with three of my favorite professors from college, negotiating recommendation letters. My inbox is full to the brim with information for my AmeriCorps job, things from NYC Service, things from my fellow NYC Civic Corps members; information from my host site, Hour Children, Inc. It has been about two weeks of this life. Waking up at 6, closing my eyes after midnight. It is unbelievable to remember that only a year ago, this hustle would have seemed quiet. Swarthmore was this bright, warm, hard thing. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t have something weighing down on me, an impossible reading, an intricate email chain I had to navigate, some piece of my distant future that peeped out, like a lost child: will you ever come find me? There were days when I worked so hard and days when I carried around heavy books all day, never opening them, instead laughing with friends. I miss my friends. I miss that unified sense of purpose, how if I walked into our only dining hall, I could make eye contact with anyone, anyone, and they would know what this pressure felt like. In the real world, the laughing is strange. People don’t carry big books. My purse always feels like it should be heavier. My mother tells me that I should take things less seriously, I should relax. But even that feels wrong, not like me. I have never wanted a life that is quiet or soft. I like my hustle, even this one, that presses down my eyelids before I sleep. I like my coming-closer future, like a stray cat: you fed me once, now feed me again. I graduated from Swarthmore. Wow. Wow. Sometimes, I still can’t believe it happened. Sometimes, I think: how could it not have happened?