So 6 days ago I graduated from The Undergrad Experience™.
Today marks the 60-something day I’ve spent in my smol apartment quarantine.
I was blessed with clear skies and a friend with great artistry to help me document the moment in my grad regalia on a barren campus in 49 degree weather. She captured what felt like an hour of “normalcy” — normal grad pics, normal “culminating hoorah”. The bursting forth of joy for all of the love for the people, places, and experiences I’ve been so lucky to have for the past 4 years.
As I watch us all having our own celebrations… at home, with family, virtually… it’s hard not to be filled with a gratitude that extends beyond the normal huzzah hurray pomp n circumstance that comes with this rite-of-passage kind of ceremonial time.
My youngest brother is also graduating high school and I can’t imagine how hard this is. For people in these shoes who had planned for things to go a certain way, only to have the red carpet kind of yanked out from under them. But the joy and resilience and comfort and closeness that this time has brought us… I think, is, in a way, a grad gift of its own.
Not many will be able to tell their future offspring that, during a worldwide pandemic, they graduated anyway. Not many will be able to say that, despite this mass migration to online learning in classrooms over Zoom and WebEx that feel so foreign and cold and exhausting [esp. when you have one after the other!] but yet oddly comforting as you see the faces of others going through it like you… that you did it anyways.
The days feel like mini rollercoasters, blending together in a rush that feels like a lifetime but also a few minutes– some days are better than others, more creative than others, more positive than others.
And some are days where you just want to roll up in a ball and not do anything but binge watch your favorite series on Netflix for all 8 hours you’re awake.
Taking time to write down and document the present moment helps. Taking time to look around at all the *new* things, the new concepts and ways of life, the habits that you’ve come to cultivate, the practice you’ve had at giving yourself the time and space to actually heal with good habits, with a focus towards turning in & tuning in to what’s really going on.
This time has been a gift, and continues to be so— even as people throw around talk of “returning to normal” or “re-opening”– we’ve spent so much time re-doing, re-learning, re-imagining… I don’t think it will ever truly go “back to normal”. Which is a blessing, I think. So much of all this has transformed the way we think about public health, about the Internet [as a FRICKING UTLITY!], about our work-life balance, about how we treat eachother, how we “show up” for one another even if we can’t do it physically.
I think all of us graduated this year. We’ve graduated from our old lives.
We’re walking across a stage that’s intimidating and scary with the fear of stumbling.
But we’re walking towards something greater than ourselves.
There’s only 17 days left til “g r a d u a t i o n” |-,: There’s so much left to do and the day seems to be shrinking instead of getting longer and this time by myself really E X P L O I T s my time management weaknesses (((-:
But alas. Patience. Patience with myself. I need to be reminded to have patience with myself.
I basically worked all day today but landed a summer job (????) with a good starting salary all things considering??? Thank the Lord [literally, it’s a church job.]
Annnd not a single ice cream sandwich was had Until now [I’ve been trying to restrain myself– they’re now a staple of my every day life, along with Gilmore Girls and it’s associated late 2000’s revamp.]
“therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
It’s wild to think about perhaps the “Lent-iest Lent” we’ve ever had…
Government mandates that we stay home, stay inside.For many (myself included), it’s been a refreshing opportunity to slow down…to reflect, to turn inward… which has been…difficult, revealing, frustrating, revolutionary, rejuvenating, and eye-opening…
And as I think about all the pockets of joy that exist in the liturgy before holy week, a rollercoaster of grief, change, transformation & ultimately resurrection, I think about this verse, and where we are. Where we physically are.
We’re separated from family and friends.Easter is not cancelled, but the “normal” day, which we’ve come to expect and anticipate through the years, the day of joy and brass band, triumphant hymns, glowing pastels, flowers, flowing dresses and kids running around after eggs on a lawn will (fortunately, for the health and sake of others) not be as it was in past years.
But this is a lovely reminder, a bold statement of solidarity— that the Church, (with a capital C), the nation of fierce love and faith and joy embodied by a people that can’t be fit (6ft apart or otherwise) simply into walls or defined by the physical presence of altars, pews, & kneelers, c a n n o t be broken by physical distance.Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate, worldwide pandemic or otherwise.
Watching a sermon from my home church’s online service today, this bit stood out to me: “Life isn’t happening to us. It’s happening FOR us.” The lens through which we view everything is so important. Using this time as opportunities to be and share love with others, to grow & connect with others is something I feel like we don’t have enough of.
What time like the present?
There’s a palm on my door today, an open spot in my DMs, and a virtual hug here for you.
In between the hiding behind my computer screen lectures and assignments, work and projects… It feels like all the days blend together and it is up to *me* to make them interesting! Which is both an amazing and…interesting concept.
So. I saw this recipe for Dalgona coffee (or whipped coffee) on the Internet and put it in the back of my mind to try out the next time I was making my daily coffee.
It was super easy and super fun to make. I only needed:
– 2 tbsp instant coffee – 2 tbsp HOT water – 2 tbsp of white granulated sugar or brown sugar [I liked using 1 tbsp of each]
1. I whisked vigorously by hand 🙋♀️[i did it with a rubber whisk, you could use a mixer if you had one] until light brown & frothy— when you dip your whisk/mixing blades in, it should form stiff peaks.]
2. I poured the mixture over an *aesthetic* glass of cold milk [almond milk / coconut milk works too!] and the whipped coffee, if whipped thoroughly, should float delicately on top.
3. I stirred it together and it was lovely, and slightly diluted & not as strong.
And I noticed something.
By bringing forth this lil cup of frothy caffeine into existence, something I’d never done before, it was just a little slice of joy for me. A tiny joyful distraction from the pressures and unknowing of this time.
A small reminder that creating joy daily is possible, that it’s more important than ever, and that this time, while complicated and busy in weird ways, is using us. It’s using me. And we’re using it. We *get* to use it.
To move, to breathe, create, to rest, to recharge, to connect.