Exactly three weeks ago I graduated from college.
My name was called and I walked up the platform. With a nervous smile, I shook hands with the president of my university, and then after a few more handshakes, I exited the stage a college graduate.
I never thought I would experience a dream come true, but I did.
That day was a blur. It was raining, but somehow the gloom seemed as light as if the sun were out. Like it was just a blanket covering us graduates to provide a little security as we crossed into the next chapter of our lives.
When the class of 2013 was permitted to exit, I spotted my mom in the crowd. Her smile is really the only vivid thing I can remember. The second is when my best friend, roommate, sister, looked at me as she was returning to her chair and mouthed the words, "we did it."
But, it was my mom's smile that made the whole day worth while, because I earned that degree for her. As I exited the stadium, I held up my degree, looked up at her, and cheesed like the little girl I know I would always be to her.
Now, three weeks later, I have my own apartment (except the remainder of my roommate's belongings) and a different life I'm very much in the process of navigating. In a week, my roommate will be coming back to pack up the rest of her things and move hundreds of miles away, the furthest we've been in 4 years. It's strange to me how a stranger can come into one's life and become such a vital part. Even though I know it's just a "see you later," my roommate has been my family since I left St. Louis. She's been there for the colds, the break-ups, the bad grades, the good ones, the falling in love, the Walmart trips, and so much more. Like I said, she became my sister and no matter how far apart we are, that will always bridge the distance. I'm sure of it.
So, I sit here, looking around at what my life has become in three short weeks. I contemplate where to hang my degree. What books should go on what shelf. What pictures to put in frames. I purchase furniture and watch as this apartment grows into my home. A piece of myself goes into every decision.
The vastness of it is scary yes, but it is the most free I have ever felt. I could literally do anything right now. Who knows where I will be in another three weeks, or a month, or a year. I could have a new job and be falling in love.
As irrelevant as it sounds, I'm often reminded of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." The night my roommate and I left the theater, she looked at me and asked, "So, what is your infinite moment so far?" and I couldn't answer, until now.
It was the moment I looked up at my mom, like I have done so many times throughout my life, and held up that degree. It was the moment when I gave her the goofiest grin I could because I knew she watched me grow up in those seconds that I crossed the stage. It was in that moment when a grin was the biggest "thank you" I could muster through tears.
It was the moment, I was infinite.