Nobody. Not a single soul.
Me: Okay great so here’s how I am….
‘Tears fill my eyes as I drive out of the parking lot and the opening of a country song plays. Yes, I picked the playlist. My music choice betrays my true emotions. By the time I arrive at the first traffic lights I have had to take my glasses off because my mascara is running every-where and I can no longer see the road in front of me as my eyes sting. I lean into it. ‘
I can’t even begin to describe in words how I feel right now. But of course, that never stopped a girl from trying. My heart is filled to the brim with big feelings. All the big ones. I feel joy that resonates deeply from the other day. The other day when I discovered that after battling for many years at trying to overcome subjects that I did not have an aptitude for, that I had passed all the subjects for my degree. I am still in a state of shock that I don’t believe will ever wear off. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times during this process of getting a degree that I felt beyond hopeless, lost and the deep doubt that I really didn’t belong here after all. And that I didn’t deserve to pass. I didn’t deserve to graduate. I felt imposter syndrome to my core. So, the realization that I did it, regardless of the voices in my head that told me not to, is still sinking in. I maintained somewhat of a facade of positivity, trying to believe that if I faked it, I would make it. Because that’s what I’ve been told works. So here we are. And you know what, even if I never ever do anything to do with my degree again, and even if it costed me thousands in debt, including the subjects I had to pay for repeatedly, it will still be one of the best decisions I ever made. And I don’t regret it in this moment. Not for a single second.
Because you see. We think life is black and white. You choose one path and that’s where you end up. But its not about what you decide to do. Its about the person you become due to the challenges you face. It is the self-growth. It is everything else. It is the soil surrounding the flower if you will. Drawing on elements from all around. The air for carbon dioxide, the water for hydration and the soil for stability. Every element contributes to the big picture.
Let’s talk about my big picture. And here’s the thing, every individual year of my 5 years at unit is a very different picture. Because a lot changed.
First are the people I met along the journey. I am declaring I would be a totally different person on a different journey without them. From the very first person I met in a group project in my first practical class of equine science to the work colleagues who have listened to my rants and all the way to some of the wild housemates I have lived with. Even though this year has been by far the most solitary year I have ever spent in this regional city, I have still carried many of these people in my hearts all the time. And I see them everywhere. I see them sitting with me in the Macca’s carpark, having DNM’s about the boys who had broken our hearts and eating junk food on campus all night. And to all the people who made this year special. Thank you.
Then there’s the job. I am saying goodbye to the people, but I am also saying goodbye to a job that has meant a lot to me. I bet you are thinking that for someone who complained a lot that why would I be so attached to a job. But I am. My workplace has been a bit of a comfort zone for me for a long time. A place where most of the time I understood how to do my job and I did it well. I grew as a person dealing with many challenges there. I met and saw many people come and go. And I made it into the bar, which for me was a huge goal and a dream of mine. Working at one of the busiest and popular places in town, it absolutely made me feel a part of something. A part of something awesome. For me there is such a cache with the place that I worked. Where one would see a random pub, I saw a magical world that I could become a part of. And I was thrilled to be a part of it. Sure, it had plenty of bad days. And sure, I didn’t want to work there forever. And sure, I am sick of dishes and customers and everything in between. But there was also smiles, shared hatred of colleagues and customers, lots of laughs, and so many closes. More closes than I care to count. There was parmis, I ate a lot of parmis, there was music and dancing and there were good vibes. I will have a soft spot for it forever.
There’s uni itself. Again, I kind of fell in love with the university I have gone to. It is regional, I picked it specifically, partially because it was 500kms away from where I was living in high school and because it had my special and random unique degree that no ones ever heard of and has no idea what you are going to do as a career afterwards. I do have ideas, but I am not going to speak to any of it here. If anyone asks what I am doing next? The answer is: “I am finding my way”. That is what I will be doing. And I ask that you give me time and space to do so. But back to the point. Uni, I will miss uni. I will miss so much about it. The small community, the rural campus with kangaroos hopping across it, and once again every awesome memory I have with it. Let’s face it I will remember the bad ones too.
There’s the actual location and the actual place where I have been living for the past 5 years albeit intermittently. It is unique to my previous experience in that I haven’t ever lived anywhere like it. And I love how chill it is. It is so relaxed. And it is beautiful. And it has some of the best sunsets I have ever seen in my life. I will miss all my options to walk. All the paths that I have taken with my four legged attached at the hip sidekick in life. All the photos of our adventures. Just all of it. So many phenomenal locations that are a stone’s throw away and get some peace in the outdoors. I am beyond grateful for that and it has taught me how important this is to me.
And then there’s me. I am walking away from this experience a different individual than the one who began this journey. When I came here, I came alone. I had a giant bag full of clothes, a jar of 1kg Nutella with a loaf of bread and a corolla. I leave with a degree, a dog, and a bitchin new car. Along with many other weird and wonderful things I have learnt and gained along the way. There’s knowledge bursting at the seams, there is passion that has always been there. But I have grown my passions and I now have even more of them than ever before. Also, I am free now. Free to start the next chapter, because I have finished writing this one.
Farewell. It’s been real.
These memories are mine to keep.