3 years ago today I graduated from college. 3 years ago I wore a royal purple robe that I was secretly excited about because it's my favorite color, and I walked across the stage with people I had never met before. 3 years ago I still had long hair and wore black wedges that broke two days later. There's nothing special about three years out of college, but I like to commemorate things. I felt like I had essentially been thrown to the wolves when I graduated, and I'm still alive and kicking. Except my hair is much shorter and I stopped trying to pretend to like heels.
I had absolutely nothing lined up when I graduated college. No idea what I would be doing with myself. No direction. No job, no new place to live, nothing. All I had lined up was a husband. I had an engagement ring on my finger and a wedding dress in my closet and tunnel vision for May 14th. I was so consumed with school and planning my wedding that I did not have time to give a single thought as to what I would do once everything was over.
I got married the weekend after graduation. Take it from me: don't do that. Well, get married if you'd like, but don't schedule two major life events back to back that way unless you can help it. And if you do, don't be surprised if it takes 6 months to feel like a normal human again.
We got married and then went to our reception where we realized our caterer was a BIG FAT LIAR, then we honeymooned in Jamaica where we were later stranded for several days with no money, and then we came home to our ghetto North Carolina apartment to find a leaky faucet that had been spraying water for 10 days while we were gone. And that was my introduction to the real world.
I spent several months trying to be a housewife and hating it. Under different circumstances it would've been a dream, but we barely had enough money for bread, and doing the laundry and hiding inside from the neighbors' cigarette smoke while trolling monster.com was all there was to keep my occupied.
Several months later I finally got a job offer for a job I knew I would hate, but it got us to Ohio which was the end goal. I was told I would be needed in 2 months, but then I got the "lol jk, you start 3 weeks from today" phone call. We had three weeks exactly to find a place to live in Ohio, pack everything up, and move. I found us a little apartment, and we packed and moved everything ourselves and drove 14 hours to our new place. That 14 hour drive still haunts me. There's only so much Backstreet Boys you can listen to and so much diet coke you can drink and miles you can drive while crammed between semis before you turn into a lunatic.
Two days later I started the job from the inner circle of hell, where I explained cell phone bills and was called horrible names by unhappy people. I was miserable, and I cried on the way to work and on the way home everyday. I became physically ill over it. That lasted 6 months until I found another job in a nearby ring of hell. My boss was terrible, I was treated like an indentured servant, and my job served no real purpose, but I had unfiltered internet which means I did what every other freshly graduated/newly married girl in 2011 did: I started a blog with a chevron background. I spent 8 hours a day writing blog posts, reading blogs, emailing my new blog friends, and listening to Pandora, so all was not lost. I cried in the bathroom a few times there, but at least I was able to wipe my tears off and go blog about inappropriate work trainings and PFF, who was so busy picking out her next sequined sweater and putting her hair in a top knot that she forgot how to assemble a Christmas tree.
A year and some change later, I snuck away from my desk and sat in my car during an actual blizzard that shut the city down and had the first phone interview I'd been able to snag in over a year. A month later I took a longer than usual lunch break and had a nerve-wracking panel interview for my current job. Two days later I put in my notice, and two weeks later I told PFF where she could shove her hot pink lipstick, and I walked out of that terrible job forever and danced in the parking lot.
And here I am a year and a half later. In a job I love depending on the day and my level of caffeine intake, covering my coworkers' desks in snarky doodles, and recommitting myself to the magic of Netflix and weekends on the couch. There's no conclusion to this. I'm just saying that it's been three years, and I'm still figuring it out.