Adventures in Solitude aka the needlessly long and personal entry

Today is a day of solitude, and of work. Like every weekend, I’ve locked myself in my apartment with a pile of homework and books (never enough books). I’m in the middle of a ten page paper and an infinitely long library building program and I just need to think about something else for a while, so it’s time to blog.

We’re coming to graduation season, and I never spent any time reflecting last December when it was my graduation time, so I think it’s time to do that now. I still can’t believe that I’m done with college, and that Millersville is a thing of the past. Now that so many of my friends from there are finishing up, it’s really hitting me that we’re done. How can we be done? Weren’t we scared freshman awkwardly introducing ourselves yesterday? My three and a half years of college were truly the best years of my life, and they went by far too quickly! Going out into the world is a scary thing, and I already miss the security of being an undergrad with careers and adult life pleasantly in the future, not peering around the corner!

For those of you who don’t know, I’m planning on walking in Millersville’s Spring graduation with Steve and Shayna and everyone else who is graduating. Mine was canceled, and I want a graduation ceremony, goddamnit! But honestly, I didn’t realize how much it mattered to me until after it was canceled. I worked hard to graduate in three and a half years, and I feel like I was seriously cheated out of a major milestone because of some snow. It isn’t going to be nearly the same walking in the spring, and I’m going to feel like a phoney the whole time, but at least I’ll get something, right? I’m not going to get a graduation ceremony from GSLIS because a) I’m graduating in December and U of I is smart enough to not get our hopes up about having a winter ceremony and b) I’m transferring to LEEP so I’ll be living God knows where, but not Illinois, come December.

Sometimes I’m still not sure why I moved here. Shortly before I left Steve made a list for me, and I hung it on my wall to remind me that I was making the right decision. I don’t regret moving here, and my experiences here have really taught me a lot about myself… but going home is just going to be so wonderful. What have I learned about myself, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

I’m not afraid of the dark anymore. I’ve always been afraid of the dark, for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid and the upstairs hallway light was out I would refuse to be the first one to go up the stairs. I slept with the lights on frequently, and going to the bathroom in the middle of the night was always SO scary. I was terrified of the trees in our backyard–I was convinced there were velociraptors and vampires who moved in whenever it was dark. When I first moved here I always slept with at least one light on (and a few sources of illumination close at hand in case the power went out!). I’m glad to say that somehow three and a half months of living alone has cured me of my fear of the dark! Hooray!

I’m not so afraid of sharp objects. When I was about five my sister Rachael somehow got ahold of a butcher knife and thought it would be fun to chase me around with it. Ever since, I’ve been terrified of sharp objects. I’m still not super comfortable with them, and if I see you walking around unsafely with a sharp object I’ll probably leave the room, but at least now I’m more comfortable handling them myself.

I’m even more terrified of heights. This is one of those fears that gets worse as I get older. As a kid I would perch on our swingset and read for hours, now walking down a poorly constructed staircase can make me a little shaky. On our Library Buildings field trip we visited the Regenstien Library and they have the worst floating staircase there. Seriously, it’s made of that horrible slippery marble material, there are huge gaps on either side and in between the stairs. It was almost enough to make me ask to use the elevator!

On a more positive note, I’ve learned that I do, after all, like people. I’ve had my fair share of experiences of people I thought I could trust turning out to be people I could not trust, so by the time I graduated I was more than a little jaded. Maybe it’s all the time I spend alone, or maybe it’s the infamous midwestern friendliness, but I really like people here. It’s the second time in my life that I actually feel like part of a community (the first one being the good ole Murmurs crowd.) and I loooove it. We also spend a lot of time talking about the community, and how to interact and help, which makes me so excited to get out into the field and do something! Librarians/future librarians are so awesome.

Let’s talk about the future now, shall we? I’m so excited/scared about where things are going, depending on the day and how many of my professors have told me how impossible it will be to find a job. I’m incredibly bitter about the lack of graduate assistantships here—they got rid of all but about 8 of them. And then there are horrible professors who text during class and have 6 digit salaries. If this recession has taught me anything it’s that life is not fair.

But let’s talk about the good things now! There are a lot of things I’m really excited to do. I really want to start baking/cooking more again. I was really getting into it last year, but I can’t stand it now that I’m living alone. It’s depressing cooking for one! I like having someone there to tell me that yes, I am a food genius and my cookies are the best on the planet. I’ve been reading an obnoxious number of food blogs lately, and you better believe that come fall I’m going to trying out some new recipes!

I’m also excited to be more healthy! I’ve been attempting to run more often, and I’m hoping to get into a regular routine with that over the summer. I’ve decided to try and cut as many processed foods out of my diet as I can. I’ve been reading a lot about how they can really hurt not just your physical but mental health, and I’m hoping that by making some changes I’ll be a happier, healthier person! I don’t think I can cut them all out of my diet, but I think at this point every little thing helps, right? We’ll see.

Well, now that you’ve probably read more about me than you ever cared to, I’m going to go try to get some work done. Expect a more interesting post tomorrow about the research I’ve been doing on community archives!

PS: Did you know that Steve has a blog now? You should probably read it.

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