– Or The Branching Future and the Fear No One Warns You About –
Build me up (don’t look back)/Tear me down (don’t look back)
– Give Up On Ghosts – Computer vs. Banjo
Hello blog. I missed you.
There comes a point, I think, in everyone’s life where living in The Shire becomes something that looks attractive, rather than mind-numbingly boring. That’s how I feel now – like I would like to just sit in the sun, read, garden, eat food and drink tea with friends, and sleep. Nothing much changes, homes are cozy, and you can live, more or less, without responsibility.
It’s not that this is always the ideal place to live – if we’re sticking with Lord of the Rings settings, Gondor or Rohan would be much more exciting, and Mirkwood would have the party-elves, if that’s what you’re into.
(This is getting a bit off track)
My point is that things that feel familiar, feel like home, things that lack responsibility – those things are attractive when you’re standing at the edge of the graduation precipice.
Picture life like a timeline.
When you turn around and look at your past, you can see a few paths you could have taken and wonder, wistfully, at the might-have-beens. Each nexus, where your life could’ve changed, has two or three branches, and you can imagine, with relative ease, what would have changed. You wouldn’t have met M if you’d never joined swim team; you would have never gone to Tech if you hadn’t decided to visit a second time.
Now, you’re less than two months from Graduation. The end of schooling (for now). You’ve met a ton of new people recently, and you’re going to have to leave them soon. You’re going to have to leave all of your friends soon. Leave Blacksburg, maybe. You’ll need to find a job, but which job? what field? Will you go to grad school in one year or two? Maybe never.
You are standing at the edge of your timeline, and a hundred thousand branches stick out before you.
What if you fail this? What if you move home? What if you date him? What if they leave you? What happens if you stop texting? What happens when they stop calling? Can you do this job or that one, or will you fail out of hand?
Each branch has it’s own branch, and each one has enough what if’s to drown you if you let them.
You will break down. You will cry.
The good news is the you have support right now and you don’t need to retreat to The Shire. You can make it to Mordor, Frodo (oh god this metaphor has gone of track).
What I’m trying to say, audience that is really me, is that you weren’t told about this because the people who have gotten through it don’t remember how it is. Because they’ve survived it, gotten through to the other end, and looked back thinking ‘that wasn’t so bad.’ The mistake they make is that then, they want to tell you that it isn’t so bad. But you haven’t survived it yet.
You will, But right now, it’s not the tiniest bit of fun, imaging all of the nice what-if’s and telling yourself that they will never happen, and looking at the bad what-if’s and praying with every ounce of your shady spiritually that those never befall you. You won’t be able to think of neutral paths, paths that will be okay and will make you happy. There will be no in-betweens.
But you will make it.
You will graduate.
And things will work out…eventually.