I spent this past Friday evening with some wonderful friends. Avery was in town for work and it was the most beautiful day. Warm but not too hot, low humidity – I’ll take that weather any day. We met up and enjoyed the evening outside under the umbrellas of some wonderful Chapel Hill establishments.
A year after graduation I feel like I’m finally getting into the groove of post-grad life. Living in the same town where I spent my undergraduate years, I have sometimes felt like it has been hard to get away from the nostalgia and memories of college. Being in such close proximity, I am constantly on campus for work or just because it is a nearby pretty place. For the past year, my college memories were so fresh in my mind, and elicited by all parts of campus, that it was sometimes hard not to dwell on them. In addition, being a new grad in a college town feels a bit strange. You are seen as the baby of the working world and the office, but feel much older than your college counterparts who are still attending classes. After seeing this year’s graduating seniors taking pictures in their light blue caps and gowns, questioning each other about what they are going to be doing and where they will be next year, I definitely felt nostalgic, but I also felt like it was a huge release. I realized that I am in a good place in my life, young but seemingly far removed from this time one year ago when I was in their shoes. I may not have a set plan for the far future, but I have a job, a loving hard-working husband at a great medical school, wonderful friends and so many opportunities. I have figured out how to balance work, hobbies, friends, family and life a little better than when I first started working, and I have learned how to be more flexible if my week doesn’t necessarily go according to the many lists and plans I make.
I have grown a lot in the last year, and these wonderful friends have been there by my side, supporting and growing alongside each other. We might not quite have it all together all the time, but we are getting there, and we can always lean on each other on days when we feel dejected or thrilled, discouraged or excited.
Life moves quickly – it is great to have these hours and evenings to slow down and spend with friends chatting the night away and catching up on everyone’s lives. I love these moments. We have gotten to the point where we are no longer living in our past and in our college memories, but in the present, planning for and excited about what the future brings for each of us.
We topped off the beautiful evening with a jaunt down the street to a delicious open-air local eatery, accompanied by happy chatter and a little bluegrass music. I am so lucky to have these friends in my life and wonderful, fun nights like these. Cheers to friends, Fridays, fun and the future.