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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Friday, September 09, 2005

Being back home is...well...weird. I expected to run slowly through a field to my beloved Richmond, Virginia and be immediately caught up in its warm, bosomy embrace, but instead, it's been an awkward sweaty-palmed transition back into my hometown. I'm not sure what I really expected, but it certainly wasn't that everyone I know would have carried on as usual during my year-long absence. While I was busy being unacceptably awkward in a foreign city, friends got married, changed jobs, changed cities, changed apartments, changed last names, changed lives and in essence, grew from being post-grad nothings into working professionals with mortgages, insurance, and a full collection of power ties. As Stephanie Tanner would say, "How Rude."

I commented to a friend that I felt a little left behind, in a good, comforting, happy-for-those-I-love kind of way, not in a scary beyond all reason kind of way, to which he said, "People grow up. That's just what this species does." And, as usual, my lovely friend is right. People do grow up, with or without you. Today my 6 year-old niece told me that her boyfriend, "who used to be a nice young man" (that's not an exaggeration, she really did use those words) had started wearing a gold chain and sunglasses and telling her "Girl, I've changed. I'm a man now baby." 6 year-old Drew is apparently a man now. Isn't there some sort of religious celebration for that?

I asked her if she was upset that her "eternal love" (you'll find barf bags located to your left) had become something different, she just looked at me with a completely deadpan face and said, "Why would I ever feel bad? Chris, seriously, I'm a way awesome person." And that was it. No tears. No confusion. No chocolate ice cream or the younger generation's equivalent of My So-Called Life episodes. Why would 'way awesome' people worry about anything? I drove home feeling more 'way awesome' than I've felt in about a month, thinking about people and change and doing what this species does.

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