I haven’t been at home in 5 months. I have never been at home as not-a-student.
My gift to myself for graduation is resurrecting a blog — I started this one right when I got home from Paris and haven’t used it much yet. But, I am craving a place for documenting my next adventures: public, but only to people who care to read about them! So, welcome.
My first summer project: a deep-clean of my room. I am a hoarder, especially of all things School. I’ve always felt like throwing notes and assignments away is like throwing away a piece of my soul (…homework is my horcrux…). This time around, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I no longer actually want anything from high school. Recycling it was catharsis.
I’ll make that a metaphor for my feelings about graduation. It feels like a catharsis.
From Wikipedia (now that I’m not in school, who needs peer-reviewed sources amirite?):
“Catharsis (from the Greek κάθαρσις katharsis meaning “purification” or “cleansing”) is the purification and purgation of emotions…or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration.”
This definition captures what everything I’m throwing away and my feelings have in common: both are undergoing a restorative purification, a cleansing purgation. When you spend a large amount of time in one place, things pile up. Experiences collect in haphazard piles, memories form. Some, untouched but cherished, gather dust, and some won’t go away even if you’d like them to. Cleaning allows me to revisit and restore (or purge) everything that’s been absorbed into my brain over the course of my education. I can hold on to some things and let go of others. I can pick out things that are particularly meaningful, things I want forever, and things I’d rather leave behind.
Graduation day was an “extreme change in emotion.” There is a people-shaped hole in my heart for all the friends who have catapulted off on adventures all over the world. But it’s good that it makes me sad, because catharsis requires a depth of feeling that is scary and all-consuming: the more you put in, the more you get out. I am incredibly grateful to have attended a college with a community in which I could naturally invest my heart and soul. And I am equally grateful for this opportunity for rest, reflection, and figuring out what it gave me back.
Time to take out the trash. 😉