I am a college graduate. I am a college graduate. I am a college graduate. I have to say it over and over to remind myself of something that hardly seems real. I feel silly, sitting dizzy in the surreality of something that should be so simply real, but instead I am simply reeling and there’s nothing for it. College was not just an education, it was a radically life-changing experience in which I destroyed and deconstructed my self; in which I became, for the first time, my own. It was the reason I lived despite my ravenous desire to die, and the first place I called home and truly meant it. I found a family here, and a place in a community. I met people who loved and cared for me beyond any reason I could discern, and their absurd love has moved me to love some parts of myself, too. College was the only stable thing to which I could cling when I learned what it really meant to have a broken family. It was my vice- my point of focus when I had to turn away from myself — turn away or be consumed. And now, having graduated, I float in the purgatory between debt and the hypothetical holy grail: grad school. I am filling my time the way I did in school: jam-packed to keep me occupied; to keep me ok. But it’s not the same. I am forced to sit face to face with me because four jobs and a girlfriend and roommate and friends and a little business on the side still aren’t enough. I don’t have the pressure or the drive or the sense of purpose that propelled me through school. Some days I wake up at the bottom of the ocean. I am heavy and cold and far away. It is physically difficult to move, and the sensation of sinking pulls me down; Low days on which doing the things I have to do to get by isn’t enough to keep me swimming the way school was. In school, I was doing the things I wanted to do to get by. I was willing to sacrifice anything (including my health, both mental and physical) to keep learning and creating and accomplishing every goal I set, or had set for me. And now, I want to be mentally and physically healthy, and happy, and driven and productive and peaceful, etc. etc. I WANT to want to. But how do I transcend myself? The same self that avoided myself so easily by charging through to a goal it can no longer look towards. My fear is that I cannot. Or that I must go under and then over, but that I do not have the strength to endure the depths to which I will be required to go. I fear that my fear is stronger than my will. Or that I will to be destroyed by me. There are other days too, though, that make me feel like a powerhouse; days that I conquer my self and my to do list and I feel driven and productive. I start projects, and have big ideas, and the future is aflame with my bright expectations. But then that day gives way to the days in which the only thing that burns bright is my own destructive flame–I eat away at myself, still. I have been hopeful, but now I suffer moments of irrational hopelessness several times a day. Now, on the cusp of what I’m constantly being assured is going to be a bright future, I have less certainty and hope for the future than I ever have. I’m afraid I’m going to fuck this up for me.