I emerged from the cave. Blinking my eyes to assist their adjustment to the bright street lights overhead.
I thought I was done with graduate school related stress and academic isolation when I walked the stage in December but it was all a cruel ruse. There's always that last hoop to jump through and for me it was the licensure exam. For the past 2 months I have cursed the world from the confines of my home during my preparation. Study notes laid out all over the house. Red and blue pens left dry and dead from use. I looked around for sympathy from S with my best, pathetic, first-world whimper. "You asked for this," he tells me with a click of the remote, not taking his eyes off the TV screen. I let out a cry of blasphemy but at some point all graduate students must ask ourselves: "Are we masochists?" Why do we sign ourselves up for this? I massaged my temples with my hair scattered about in a big, glorious mess of black. My brain was pulsating from studying with such intensity. S tells me I have a "raging brainer." I laugh and decide to keep him around for another decade.
And then just like that, the exam is over and we're out in the world together. We're out on the town! People are out! Life! I'm out of the cave and the moon is out to greet me. We go to the movies because we're 500 years old and married for 300. I feel somewhat disoriented as we cut through the crowd of 20-somethings. Like I've been time travelling and landed on a planet that must be my own but seems alien. The women are all dolled up. Their dresses are like spandex wrapped tightly around their bodies. Short and to the point. Their heels elongate their legs like Barbie. You'd think I would feel uncomfortable around them in my hipster t-shirt, skinny jeans, and flats. Instead, I feel horribly liberated. "They're trying to attract a mate!" I tell S. Like this is NatGeo. "And here I am, not wearing a bra, rocking my skinny jeans and not givin' a ffff****" I reach my hands to the universe and give a little happy dance. I'm back for good this time baby, I'm back!
The next few weeks are surely going to be rich with life, sunshine, and pure enjoyment. This caged bird is ready to fly and my hope is that I can satiate my need for the world with some camping and time with friends before I do something crazy like take a year off to do nothing and everything. Just for the hell of it.
Cheers, glorious cheers,