Post-Graduate Depression

Dear Friend,

You have graduated from college. Your parents and relatives have congratulated you but there remains a doubt that your accomplishments are worthy is of a congratulations. But you smile and nod. After all, it may be the last time cash tucked in greeting card wishes come in the mail.

I’ve seen the days you’ve spent pouring over cover letters and resumes. I know job searching seems like a black hole, a bottomless pit where you throw all of your career dreams and future aspirations. Networking becomes a dirty word and if you have to attempt one more phone interview or draft one more inquiry e-mail…well what choice do you have?

Or maybe you already have a job. I hope it is everything you wanted but maybe it leaves something to be desired. Your working life is broken into two categories–big and small–without Goldilocks’ approval of “just right”. Your cubicle, paycheck, meaningful romantic relationships, checking account? Too small. Your student loans, job aspirations, responsibility, credit card debt and desire to be loved? Too big. And all you want is for Baby Bear to give you his porridge, his chair and his bed.

Maybe you resort to Facebook pictures of peers who look like they have figured life out already. Or the friends who are still at your alma mater-smiling and laughing because they are safe in their academic campus bubble. I’ll will never lie and tell you everyday is easy. But there is the good news. It gets better.

You ARE talented, beautiful, kind and innovative. Everyone is struggling just like you to move out of their parents house, afford nice things, be proactive and make a change in the world. Think of just how far you have come. Instead of looking at your life as one overwhelming existence, tackle small projects and small goals. One cover letter. One day learning how to cook a new meal. One class on something new. With each small success, your confidence and definition of “possible” will grow.

Yesterday, I successfully balanced a checkbook. Last week, I returned to childhood and picked apples with my parents. And two weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk wondering how I was possibly going to survive another 8 hour work day in my grey-colored cubicle.

There is no longer a right or a wrong. You will not get validation that you chose the right path and life from now on will be easy. There is only the curiosity to try something new. Do not abandon your fear. Use it to explore something difficult and beautiful.

Good luck.

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Wondering

I wonder who dropped all those toothpicks on the bike path. Coming or going? Accidental slip or careless littering? Living in Northampton, I choose the latter.

I wonder how moths, the size of insect school buses, manage to find their way into our house. The holes in the screen are so small and yet, there they are, attempting to blend in with the white of the wall. These poor creatures are naturally overwhelmed by the bright lights and false exits.

I wonder if anyone’s blog is truly worth reading. Twenty years ago people might have said, get off the computer and write a book.

I wonder why a phrase like business casual that is so commonly used has so many different interpretations. Maybe, for some companies, it pertains more to the work ethic than the style of dress.

I wonder if I’m getting fatter now that I’m in a new city. My new acquaintances have no prior knowledge with which to judge my current figure.

I wonder why more people don’t sign up for home energy assessments. Free advice and free lightbulbs? And even if you don’t sign up at least approach my table. I don’t have cooties, you know.

I wonder who invented the cubicle. I don’t think I like that person very much. Thinking outside the box becomes more difficult when you’re sitting in one.

I wonder why I thought going home for visits was considered a weakness. Yes, I do want to spend my Saturday afternoon with my mother and father picking apples in the crisp fall air. And that is what I’m going to do. No reservations necessary.

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Riddle of the day: What is sweeter- a call from a friend you haven’t spoken to in months or a bowl of local wild blueberry ice cream to complete your evening after a cup of tea?

The answer: Both. Friendship and frosty desserts are a power couple which can’t be beat.

Farm view during my afternoon jog