Thursday, March 31, 2005


My bro is finally graduating college. Finished his very last final just before spring break. He writes about making the big transition out of the institution of higher learning. He doesn't blog much, but it's always a good read. It seems too that my bro and I are both in times of great transition.

I remember graduating and thinking, "damn, I need a job." Having lived at home during my college tour, I didn't have the same experiences has my friends had with "living on their own" albeit with supplemental parental incomes. Thus the experience that would complete my transition into "adulthood," living independently, would require additional funds on my part because I knew my parents, though very cool, at the time, were not used to their children living independently from them.

I knew I didn't want to be one of these ambiguous "consultants" nor salespeople that get recruited out of school. I knew if I wanted to I could temporarily extend my job at the computer lab for a semester. Then a friend told me about a position in the University in my department. I got a good rapport with the woman leaving and got a decent recommendation and landed the job. I remember during the interview, the guy asks me, "You just graduated college, why do you want to work here?" And I remember saying, "Because my parents aren't going to pay for a trip around the world?" His question confused me at first. I thought this is what people do, they graduate college and get a job. Hell, Bill Cosby who was out keynote said it bluntly himself, "If you want stuff, you are going to have to get a job to get that stuff."

The university job meant that I was still on campus, still saw a few folks. I ended up moving down the street from the campus, in a building full of students. It's been a slow long transition. I would eventually move farther and farther away from campus, change my warddrobe a bit to something a bit less jeans with holes in them, changing jobs to a position where I rarely interact with many undergrads at all, and one that even places me in downtown Oakland twice a week. Some days people still think I'm an undergrad and ask me when I'm going to graduate. I tell them I finished 8 years ago.

I walk through campus and at times the presence of the students annoys me when I'm trying to rush to a client and I have to race around a pack of students who are leisurely heading to their next class. In general I tend to avoid undergrads unless I'm asked to speak to a class about my life now. Because I was in maganda, a few of the students find me, want advise on what to do. More often than not I tell them, it'll be ok, you'll know what you have to do, come back to me when you're done. They don't understand this answer at first, but get it when they come back and I treat them to lunch. A certain part of the world doesn't make sense until you experience it yourself. Besides, I don't know what it's like to be an undergrad anymore, but ask me about the after(college)life, and I'll tell you. I think Mark Pullido gave my brother some good advise.

In the 8 years since I graduated, I've done alot of things that I wanted to do: performed, wrote, travelled, got a boyfriend, got an ex, bought a condo, got another boyfriend who became a fiance, bought another house. There's a lot of living to be done in 8 years.

On my 30th birthday, some friends gave me a card. One of them signed it, "Enjoy your last birthday as a single woman!" I think that's when it first hit me. oh yeah. As "married" as we sommetimes feel, I know the other side to that is a different story. I must admit that since getting the rings, I do enjoy pulling them out, studying the design, sliding it on and off to make sure it "still fits." Monday, hopefully, we get to see my dress. Today I have to call the hotel to see how much it might cost to add another section to the reception hall.

A few weeks ago in money group, Tuhan asked us to write down what kind of prosperous life we would settle for. Most everyone else wrote down how much they wanted in their 401Ks, when they wanted to retire. When it was my turn, I thought I had done the lesson wrong. I didn't care about money really. I said I wanted to be a good wife, raise a family, travel the world, be a best selling author, be an excellent and reknowned poet, publish the books I wanted to publish, be a kali master. I became self conscious and wondered if I was asking for too much. But when I looked at that paper, in my heart of hearts this is what I would "settle" for and nothing less. And money, well, if these were really the things I wanted in my life, then I figured that we would figure out how to get that money to do it. Money was not the goal, it was the tool. Life was the goal. And living the life I wanted was the ultimate goal. I don't know if I'll get to the entire list, but I figure so long as I'm moving towards these things, it's going to be a pretty enjoyable life overall.

[Of course, after my turn it was the fiance's turn. And since I had put him at the top of my list, everyone looked to him to see what he'd say, which was, "X number of dollars per year to go into long term investment. and whatever she wants." He's very gaya-gaya that way. hehehe]

For the first 21 years of your life (if you go to college right after high school), you run the same track everyone else is for the most part. Oh you make different choices here and there but essentially it's the same life. Afterwards there are still milestones and celebrations, but how you live it is different, when you live it is your own time. Things aren't so categorized. Life is not so certain. But I think my brother is off to a good start. I mean, he does have the rest of his life ahead of him.

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