May 18, 2014 was the day I officially graduated from college. I’ll be honest, it was really difficult to get there.
I was recently telling someone that “Cancer sucks. There isn’t much I can do medically, besides take my pills, exercise, and go to my appointments- there is no reason to sit around and mope if there isn’t much I can do about it. The real thing that sucks about cancer is how quickly my friend circle shrank”. I have a really fantastic family, a small group of friends, and a supportive boyfriend- but boy did I not expect there to be any senseless drama. I really felt offended by the way some people responded to my cancer. I know, I know. It’s a scary thing to hear and people respond differently to bad news. It was just interesting to see what kind of person you are based on whether you took in the cancer news as my tragedy, your’s, or our’s. It’s not like I could really plan the “perfect moment” to tell people. Cancer sits with me a lot. I feel lucky enough to be young and healthy when they caught it, but really freaked that it had been inside me growing for years.
My apartment wasn’t much of a home. Too much negativity, but instead of getting into how two people see and appreciate the world on a whole different spectrum, and the serious lack of respect some people have, I’ll sum it up as this: I can sleep at night knowing that each day I work hard to be a good person. I make choices and listen to others, but I’m also learning to listen to myself and do what’s right for me and those who I respect. I have my strengths and my weaknesses- but I accept them as my whole, imperfect, unique self. I don’t feel like I need to win a popularity contest and I certainly don’t think it’s right to always have to be the best. Everyone deserves to bask in their own personal victories without someone else feeling the need to overshadow them. My senior year might not have been my favorite college year, but it was the most insightful experience on dealing with people who do not and will not ever try to see the world through any perspective but their own. It’s been very tough on my patients, but I am happy to leave this apartment knowing what kinds of people I need in my life and the kinds of people I am very ready to let go of.
On top of that, my friendships have been constantly changing. People are in, people are out, people up and quit. I’m glad I know what I want in a friendship. Its heartbreaking to be let down by people who thought loved you. I thought some people were worth it and wanted to give them a second chance- guess they didn’t think the same for me.
Everyone will eventually disappoint you, forgiveness is based on whether they are worth it or not.
Throughout some very trying times and realizations, it’s nice to know I’m not alone.
I would like to consider myself a “learning enthusiast”. Not so much academically speaking, more of a life-student. I’m here on this planet, I’d like to learn as much as I can, so I can make the most of the time I have here. Through my adventures and relationships I have learned plenty, but the following seem to have more merit:
- True friends can take what they dish out, get mad, forgive, and still be there for you. They respect you when you stand up for yourself and still have your back even when they don’t agree.
- Don’t forget the small victories.
- It’s important to tell people your limits. Whether they want to recognize you’re only human is their problem.
- Feeding yourself is sometimes the best thing you can do.
- Wool socks and layering are essential for a Vermont winter.
- It’s difficult to live with someone you know already. If you live with a close friend, its harder to speak your truth without backlash unless they really understand and respect you.
- Always go to class even if you don’t take notes, you might learn something unrelated to class but relevant to life
- Some people feel the need to establish their dominance in order to feel important. They need you to feel smaller than them in order to give themselves more confidence. Try no to take it personally.
- If you force respect to your face, you’ll never get it behind your back.
- Every once in a while its okay to to feel sorry for your self, but once you start throwing pity parties several times a week no one is going to feel bad for you. They’ll probably just end up avoiding you.
The biggest lesson I have learned and hope others learn is:
Always receive others with kindness, for we are all struggling with our own private battles.
Whether it be depressions, classes, finding yourself, or even thyroid cancer. If you treat others with kindness, you could make someone’s day and encourage them to keep going.
As for what’s next? I don’t really know. Looking for jobs, looking for myself some more. I’m nervous but I’m not too worried.