Graduating Without Tears

I graduated from college a few weeks ago. Yay!

I’m glad to be done with college. I cherished my undergrad years, I really did, but I felt ready to graduate. People would ask me, “How do you feel about graduating? I’m so sad!”

“I’m ready to leave.” I was. I was starting to feel a bit old for it. I was feeling the way I felt when I graduated high school – done. If I stayed any longer, I would not have gleaned anything further from it.

Surprisingly, both to myself and to others, I get very uncharacteristically cold when it comes to graduation. Bear in mind that I am the kind of person who cries at most movies, including Peter Pan 2: Return to Neverland (poor Tink!) and I even felt my eyes watering during You, Me, and Dupree. That film is a comedy. A comedy starring Owen Wilson, for goodness sake. I was a blubbering mess when I moved to Maryland, and I have many photos of my unattractive crying face to attest to how sad I was on the last day of summer camp 5 years in a row.

So why haven’t I cried at all about high school or college graduation? Why don’t I feel sad about it? I know I miss college already, even though I think I’ll be working at my school next year for a bit. I miss it but I am not sad.

I am so cold. And I am never cold.

I do have a confession to make, though.
I relish being this frigid around graduation because graduation reminds me of how lonely I feel on those multiple weekends I spend alone. Everyone seeks out their closest friends for one last hurrah and I am left with this sad lesson:
When you know everybody, but only know them casually, you are close to nobody.

I get sad when people tease me about knowing everyone, because I know that I’m no one’s first pick to go out and do things. It’s nice to recognize a lot of people, but it’s a gift and a curse. Everyone’s an acquaintance and no one is your best friend.

I guess the moral of the story is this:
I become numb to graduation in order to avoid feeling too lonely, because I realize I’ve spent the past 4 years making acquaintances rather than friends.

Happier graduation post will come soon, and I’ll complete my letter challenge, honest! But there are some more pressing issues to address first. 🙂

Day 1 — Your best friend

Dear BFF,

I can’t remember the last time I had a true best friend… I might have been 5 years old? (Hey Kyung!) Perhaps I can chalk it up to a poor working definition of “best friend”. A best friend should be someone that knows you at least as well as you know yourself, perhaps even better. A best friend should be someone to whom you can tell anything and everything. A best friend should be someone you can always call up to have fun, a guaranteed good time.

Were my expectations too high for a best friend? I can’t think of anyone who fulfills all 3 of these components that are likely only a part of my convoluted definition of “best friend”.
Except you.

I have been able to tell you everything. It is such a relief to have someone besides the empty abyss of anonymous blog space to tell my secrets to. It has been such a joy to have you light up at hearing about the small scenes that make up my day. It has been lifesaving to have somebody’s shoulder to cry on.

I hope I don’t take advantage of this, but I am so glad for someone to cry around without fear of judgement or withdrawal. You are the first person to hold me while I cry, to wipe tears off my face, as clichéd as it is.

The experiences I have with you are all great memories. You helped me try new things; I helped you try new things. I always know that if I spend my time with you, I’ll enjoy it. That has been surprisingly tricky to find in a lot of people. Maybe I’m the kind of person who really only makes circumstantial/situational friends; when I take people out of their “designated” situations, I don’t like it and I don’t have fun.

So thank you for teaching me how to completely open up to another person for the first time since I was about 3 feet tall.*

Thank you for everything you’ve done for me.


P.S. *Speaking of Kyung, the story of my first best friend that my mom tells me is that I hated her when I met her. She was giving me a run for my money as far as being the cutest or the smartest or the most Asian. I purportedly went home absolutely furious with this new girl after her first day of school.

All I remember is Kyung teaching me how to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “London Bridge” on a toy piano, having a love for Winnie the Pooh, and taking me swimming for one of the first times I had ever gone.