This morning, while deep in thought, I was meandering through the campus of a nearby college, where I also happened to received my master’s degree. There were swarms of parents standing by large vans, SUV’s, and rented moving vans, adult children were carrying the contents of their dorm rooms in cardboard boxes to be stashed in the waiting vehicles. The walkways and grassy spots were littered with students holding hands, hugging, huddling together in close-knit groups – struggling to say good-bye as the world outside of sheltered campus life beckoned. It was eleven years ago that I packed up my dorm room and said good-bye to a campus, friends, and professors who had been integral parts of my life for four years. I believed the world was my oyster. I was filled with hope, tenacity, and an undying belief that with hard work all of my dreams were going to come true. I was also terrified. I am not a bitter adult who has had her hopes and dreams knocked out of her by reality, as many of these kids surely will in a matter of time, but I am not an idealistic 21-year-old anymore.
I watched the end of the semester scene unfold before me. The hope, excitement, and difficulty presented with standing on a precipice you suddenly must jump off. I walked onto the campus standing on the edge of my own precipice. As I watched the kids (when did 20 year olds become kids to me?) I realized that I need to tap back into that young woman who was once filled with hope and the belief in limitless possibilities. I realized that I too must step off that precipice. I cannot stay in my proverbial dorm room on my proverbial campus any longer…there are new opportunities waiting for me. The more I cling to things that are no longer working the less time and energy I have for things that will help me grow and reach new goals. And yet, I am still clinging…digging my heels into the edge of the precipice, wondering if the deep heel tracks created by my resistance can be my mark on the world instead of all that scary, largely unknown stuff that lies beyond what I can see right now.