Graduation

29 Jun

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I don’t remember the exact date (which is funny when I think of all the dates and anniversaries that I do obsess over), but it was ten years ago right around this week that I graduated from university. I was 22 years old. I was blonde (with the help of a lot of chemicals). I was fat (with the help of a lot of burgers, beer and biscuits). And I had absolutely no idea what was next.

Some of my friends were going travelling, taking time off to explore Australia and Thailand and other exotic locations. Some of my friends were coming back to university to start post-graduate studies. I had a vague idea that I wanted to work in marketing, a job in an olive oil shop, and a holiday in Spain booked with my friend Francesca.

But I wasn’t worried. Well, not exactly. I do remember about ten months later having a bit of a breakdown on my parents because I wanted someone to plan things with and someone to help me decide what to do with my life. But for the most part, after graduation I concentrated on me. I lost a TONNE of weight. I dyed my hair back to its natural dark, dark brown. I made new friends through my job. I learned how to run an olive oil shop (funny what you can do with a law degree). I moved back home with my parents for a while, and I learned to enjoy my family’s company in a way that you just don’t when you’re a troublesome teenager, full of angst and desperate to leave home.

Gradually, little by little, my life fell into place. I moved to London on my own. I got that job in marketing, and new friends, new adventures and even new boyfriends were waiting.

Right now, I feel like I’m on another one of these life precipices. I have to cross my paws and hope for the best when I say this but: I feel like I’m over my ex. It has definitely been the worst year of my life, but I am finally emerging through the darkness. And – it has to be said – I’ve learned more in the past year than I did in my four-year university degree.

I don’t think it’s just me, either. One of my greatest supports for the past year has been my blog and my blogger community. I’ve followed many of you on your own journeys as we navigate through the heartbreak and find ourselves battered, bruised, but ultimately changed for the better at the other end of the tunnel. Some of us are even friends now. And I’ve noticed the changes in you too as the clouds lift and you refocus and – ultimately – move on. So I feel like our little breakup community is graduating too.

There’s other stuff going on. I graduated my yoga course last week. Official graduation involved doing handstands which is some of the most fun I’ve had in months. I’m also graduating therapy (although I’m pretty sure that’s not the professional term for it). It’s another story for another blog, but it turns out my therapist and I had a big misunderstanding at the session before my last one. She thinks I’m doing great. And she’s a pro – she knows her stuff, right?

So, ten years after that sunny day in Edinburgh when we got our degrees, had lunch with our families (as you can imagine, fat April particularly enjoyed that part of the day) and then went out drinking and dancing all night long, I feel like I’m graduating from the biggest learning experience of my life.

I’m going to channel 22-year-old April and try not to worry. I’m going to have faith that life will fall into place.

Who knows what another ten years will bring, but I’m making a promise to myself: I’m going to enjoy the adventure.

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6 Responses to “Graduation”

  1. luciddream85 June 29, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    ….. and in ten more years you’re going to look back and smile at how you accomplished one of he most difficult things in your life this past year, and you’re going to rejoice in the fact that you overcame it without losing who you are.

    • aprileb June 29, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

      Awwww. Thank you, buddy. And how I made some great new friends in the process, right?

      • luciddream85 June 29, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

        Absolutely 🙂 All of this has to be for a reason, right?

  2. elizabethhiggins June 29, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

    I’m loving your positive blogs lately!

    • aprileb June 29, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

      Thanks, buddy. I can’t tell you how much better I feel. Keep meaning to email you. Very, very excited for all your great news too. x

      • elizabethhiggins June 29, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

        Thank you so much! I’m on cloud nine a little bit. You might not be able to see all of your process, but I promise you that I can. You have come a long ways since I started talking to you last Autumn. Trust me.

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