In my life, there have been several instances where while experiencing a view, a conversation, or someone’s company that I have had this uncanny feeling that I’ve already experienced it before. Last September, I went to a very interesting museum in St. Louis that was called the City Museum. The museum was like something produced from a child’s dreamworld. A ferris wheel on the roof, gutted school buses with half of their lengths hanging over the edge of the building, a ten story circular slide, a giant praying mantis, gutted planes suspended hundreds of feet above the ground connected by what looked like chicken wire, and last but not least a huge indoor section of caves with a stream running through it.
The entire time I was there, I was thinking about how this entire placed seemed eerily familiar to me. I’m pretty sure more than one of my strange childhood dreams took place at this museum. If you are ever in St. Louis, I totally recommend at least checking the museum out. It’s like a playground made out of recycled parts that isn’t designed solely for children.
Introduction aside, the postgraduate experience for me is best described with the French phrase Déjà vu. The phrase translates literally as “Already seen.”
Whether it be dreams deferred, vices, or conversations about careers, it’s like my life is a broken record. At least that is what it feels like sometimes. The irony is that even if I experience a situation similar to one I have had in the past, I am not a passive actor whose script has already been written. I tend to doom current friendships and or dreams that seem similar to past failed friendships or dreams. Basically, I’m so afraid of failure and pain that I’d rather just give up on people and plans that have potential rather than risk losing friends and burning dreams.
The last two years has been interesting mainly because I’ve had to do so much self evaluation. I’ve had to honestly evaluate myself in regards to: what my strengths and weaknesses are, what a healthy work/life balance is, my mental state, a proper family/friend/bae balance, what it is that I want to do, and specifically what my dreams and aspirations are.
It would have saved a lot of time if I had this period of self-evaluation before I went to school, but I just have to work with what I’ve got.
This will be the last blog post in the Diary of a Post-Graduate series, but I want to leave you with this piece of advice that I’ve gleaned from my struggles as a post grad. Our society doesn’t really respect nor put an emphasis on our mental state. We plug and chug for years in the education system, are told what it is that we want to do, and then we are thrown into a structureless vacuum known as the workplace. The human is not solely bounded by physical limitations. Our mental state also has boundaries that need to be respected and yet we constantly push ourselves beyond the bounds. The warning signs appear in many different manners but a lot of times we have to be pushed to the brink of sanity before realizing that something needs to change.
Over the last two years I’ve had mental breakdowns, faced past fears, rehashed family disagreements, addressed insecurities in my relationship, and worst of all had to deal with the return of hyper-critical and super angry Paul from the past. All of it has forced me to address past hurts, seek out resolutions for issues previously swept under the rug, rediscover who it is that I am meant to be, and most importantly to be bold enough to pursue what it is that I want to do.
Nichole Nordeman puts it best in her song “The Unmaking.” Basically in order for a new beginning to take place the old needs to end. I can no longer allow my life to be seen through the lens of my past failures.
In my feeble attempt to tie back the introduction to my conclusion, every day is a new day. Déjà vu is a feeling and nothing more. We aren’t bound by the mistakes of the past. Learn from them but move on.
Thanks for reading!