The Last "F-Word"

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As you may have noticed, I get very nostalgic when you hit major milestones: your first laugh, your first words, your first steps, your first birthday, yoursecond birthday, your first big boy bed…the list goes on.

But it’s not just you. I get nostalgic about big milestones in my life too. When you’re younger there aren’t “milestones” as much as there are “days that just won’t get here fast enough.” Time is an unimportant concept when you’re little, except when it’s not going fast enough. The only problem is that time never really slows down after that. Then suddenly you’re where I am: starting your last first day of school.

Yes, I’m aware of how silly that sounds.

But today — January 13, 2013 — is my last first day of school. I graduate from college in May and then…who knows what could happen? (Hint: Jobs and grad school, that’s what).

Last First Day of School

Image: Open Exercise Book via Shutterstock

But before grad school happens, I’m going to see what I can do with my writing. J and I talked about turning our open adoption into a book for future birth mothers and adoptive mothers. We want to give both of our perspectives on the experience so that those women might get some insight and reference into what “openness” can mean and how wonderful it can be. When The B’s and I first started out, we used to joke about how we didn’t know what we’re doing because “there’s no book on this.” We’re going to see if we can change that :)

But grad school is on my agenda, even if it’s a a year or so in the future. And there it is, that scary but enticing F-word — the Future. I don’t know what it holds. I don’t know what I’m in for. No one my age really does. We’re all excited for what’s next but terrified of what it might be. We have dreams of careers and new cities and big opportunities. We have fears of getting stuck or being uncertain or not achieving what we set out to do. We want to make the most of our lives but sometimes, we’re not sure where to start. The journey is the undeniable fun part of growing up but every now and then, it’s almost as if we’re kids again — we just can’t wait to get there (and be settled) already.

My last first day of school is having quite the effect on me…more so than I anticipated. On one hand, the thought of having homework and doing research and studying for finals is such an unwelcome thought. On the other hand, I have no idea what I’m going to do without it come August. I’ve been in school my entire life. It’s what I know. But after May, I’m going a year without it (or more if I don’t get into grad school right away…did I mention that the future can be terrifying?). Some lucky college grads already have post-graduation plans, but aside from a trip to Europe with your Aunt S and my work on your (our) book, I’ve got nothin’.

In some ways, not having plans for post-graduation is the gutsiest thing I’ve ever done. So as much as it scares me, it also makes me a little proud of myself. And that’s where the excitement kicks in. Because when you don’t have plans, you can go anywhere. You can do anything. The freedom is intoxicating because you realize you have the world at your feet and there’s no “plan” that’s going to keep you away from chasing whatever passions you have. All you need is the ambition and determination and confidence to take it on. Luckily, I’m not lacking in any of those categories.

So yes — today is my last first day of college. And when May finally comes, I’m going to cry, and come August, I’m going to miss it. But today, I’ve still got four glorious months of college-life left. It may be my last first day of school but it’s not my last “first.” I’ve still got many, many more of those to go — as do all of my fellow May grads.

As do you :) See, that’s one of the wonderful things about having a child — you get to relive those firsts all over again.

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