Update: The denial is still real. Graduation is no longer the door at the end of the tunnel that seemingly moves farther and farther away. We are here at the end of the tunnel, and that light people so often talk about? Well, it’s a little hard to see at the moment. At least for me. A common discussion topic at the Ruka is the concept of uncertainty. Our dinner guests on Monday night, Dr. Gottleib and Rebecca Terrell, inevitably asked about post-graduation plans. This immediately cued bouts of nervous laughter. “We’re considering our options,” one of us explained. “Hopefully something in this incredibly broad field,” another said. “Either this or this.” The upside? We are all in a similar boat. Not one of us has a concrete plan and the fact that we are almost always together in the home, at Rhodes, or in the Memphis community helps to normalize and cope with these feelings of anticipatory unease.
We discussed the transition away from Rhodes and away from Ruka at our most recent group therapy session with the fabulous Joe and I realized that my comfort with moving forward in my life is directly related to me working on vulnerability. You see, when I disclosed to Georgia that I cried in the bathroom at work the other day because graduation and jobs and emotions, I felt so much better. And later on when she saw me at home and so genuinely asked how I was, it was like a weight was lifted off of my chest. Had I not, in a moment of intentional vulnerability, discussed my bathroom tears, she would never have known that I maybe needed an extra pat on the back that day. This realization eases my apprehension towards moving on and moving out. At least two other fellow Rukas will be in Memphis post-grad and knowing that I have support if I ask for it in the months or years following May graduation greatly reduces apprehension related to growing up.
I want us to sit around and cry about how life sucks sometimes and I want us to laugh our asses off at pictures from middle school. I want to spend time domesticating our new potential cuddle buddy Rukoon and drink wine by the double bottle. I want to celebrate when each of us does figure out what we’re doing next year. I want community dinners. I want community. All of these things are Ruka and all of these things can continue after our academic fellowship officially ends. Ruka is lifelong and I know that we will all stay connected (with friendship bread).
I also want clean counters, but that’s a different blog post… 😉