One Year Later.
4 years ago / in Bliss
Just over one year ago, I was sitting in my Calabasas apartment with tears in my eyes & a grad cap sunburn across my forehead, trying to fit four years of my life into a suitcase. I had just had my three seconds of fame as I walked across the stage to receive my placeholder diploma & within hours of graduating, was hit with the realization that the best years of my life so far had suddenly come & gone. I had studied my passions, achieved things I never thought possible, traveled the world & met incredible people that stood by my side throughout it all. I had lived more than ever before, & as a result, became someone new…someone that my younger self never believed she had the confidence to be. Someone who wasn’t a quiet follower, but an outspoken leader. Someone who wasn’t afraid to let go & flow with the consequences. Someone who could begin to peel back the protective armour she had built up enough to be genuinely loved by others. Someone who couldn’t be shipped back home in the same mold she had arrived in four years ago.
Despite this, I sat there in my apartment, trying to somehow fit the emotionally train-wrecked pieces of myself back into this impossible mold, without a job or any kind of plan for the new me to look forward to. My time at Pepperdine had been so transformative & impactful that I couldn’t imagine a next step that could ever compare. I moved back to Vancouver & although I was back at home in the most familiar of places with the most familiar of people, I was completely lost.
I was drowning in LinkedIn job searches & updates from friends that had already moved on to bigger things. I suddenly couldn’t remember what I enjoyed doing & therefore never made any plans. All the friends who made me laugh & who I would spend all my time with were suddenly miles away. I couldn’t even find inspiration for this blog, so I stopped writing. It was like the new me was picked up & dropped back in Vancouver 4 years ago. Everyone still saw me as high school Hannah & I felt like I was losing the person I had become from behind a mask from the past.
Leading up to graduation, everyone jokes about how learning to “adult” is hard, & sure, I’ll admit that paying taxes & working 9 hours a day is not a walk in the park. However, no one tells you about the toughest part, which is learning when & how to move on from experiences, places & people. I knew I had accomplished everything & more than I wanted to at Pepperdine & that this school, & it’s people, had already given me all they had to give. However, packing up & saying goodbye was not as easy as throwing my cap into the air. Breaks are not clean & transitions are never smooth, but no matter how hard we try, they happen & we cannot hold on to time.
What I’ve learned this past year is that life comes in seasons. One season may be yours to fully blossom, while in others you may feel buried underneath the soil or trampled on. We can’t be afraid to recognize each for what it is & we should allow ourselves to celebrate, mourn or learn to slowly piece ourselves back together. I’m still trying to figure out what this new season of life will bring for me, & some days are harder than others, but looking back, I think of the quote that sits under my name in my high school yearbook.
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh
Just a girl sharing the baubles she loves & the bliss she experiences!