Occasionally I dare to ponder what is this life post-college. This life that does not include the monthly three-hour trip home. I won’t be coming up to the stoplight just down the street from Costco and see the valley open wide before my eyes, lights flickering as trees wave their leaves in front and behind the luminescent bulbs – whether I saw the motion as welcoming or haunting depending entirely on my ever fluctuating view of life as a college student.
While I’ll still come home (frequency likely to be dependent on my employment), it will be from a different direction. I’ll see the valley only for a brief moment before turning onto the highway that has consumed probably months of my life in commutes.
There are no textbooks to be bought, no incoming freshmen to anticipate mixing up the sea of familiar faces. Classes started today, and I was not there to receive syllabi and subsequently panic at the amount of work I would never be able to complete in a semester.
Really though, I have relatively few qualms about this loss of identity as a student. It makes for good blog material, and I am hardly one to turn down an opportunity to reminisce. But my life no longer revolves around homework (okay, so it rarely ever did). Perhaps as I am transitioning, some of the meaning to my existence has disappeared, but I trust I’ll find it again.
School has the benefit of forcing focus. Perhaps that focus gets misdirected at times, but there is one all the same.
Some of you may be familiar with CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters (a demon named Screwtape writes letters to a protégé who is seeking advice regarding the eternal destruction of a certain human). I find many of Lewis’ insights to be incredibly profound, and this no less so.
“Your man may be untroubled about the Future, not because he is concerned with the Present, but because he has persuaded himself that the Future is, going to be agreeable. As long as that is the real course of his tranquility, his tranquility will do us [demons] good, because it is only piling up more disappointment, and therefore more impatience, for him when his false hopes are dashed. If, on the other hand, he is aware that horrors may be in store for him and is praying for the virtues, wherewith to meet them, and meanwhile concerning himself with the Present because there, and there alone, all duty, all grace, all knowledge, and all pleasure dwell, his state is very undesirable and should be attacked at once.”
Life requires a certain a-temporal consciousness. Awareness of the past, hope but realistic expectation for the future, and roots in the present.
Perhaps an appropriate conclusion is that I spend too much time thinking.
subject: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis