It's been a year

That's right, this weekend I celebrated one full year as a blogger. Of course I had intended on posting on the one year blogiversary (which was Saturday) but I had to remind myself that real life trumps blogging and I had a busy weekend.

If I had posted on Saturday I would have put my actual first post ever (which can be found here) but since I'm late instead I think I'll put up my post from one year ago today:

Saturday, May 17, 2003
So I've now had a whole 24 hours as a college graduate. Saying that makes me feel a lot younger than I feel most of the time. Real adults have college far behind them in their past. I read a study in the paper today that said americans consider 26 to be the age of the beginning of adulthood. Great.

Graduation was a bit of a strange experience, I guess. Rather, perhaps I should say that in retrospect it is a strange experience, far more so than it was as I went through it. Let me explain: We have this strange conception regarding big events in our lives -- weddings, graduations, the like -- we conceive of them in our minds as momentous occasions, we think of them as moments where time stands still and somehow we change during that moment. Yet my experience has been that time passes very normally and I am still the exact same person, even as I walk across the stage or kiss my bride.

In reality it is not the moment that bears the deep significance, it is the whole of the experience -- 6 years of college, not the moment of receiving my degree; crossing from single life to married life, not the wedding ceremony itself. Yet something has to stand in our minds as a reference point for these big events, so in retrospect the moment tends to be preserved under glass, frozen to stand as a symbol in our memory.

And I had a strange awareness of this last night -- I sat there watching professors on stage doze off during the address, cheering for friends as they crossed the stage, thinking about how warm I was in my cap and gown, and altogether feeling very normal. I walked across the stage and time passed completely normally, not moving in that slow motion way we associate with such events. But I realized that despite the apparent normality of these moments as they passed, some selected memories were to be imprinted into my consciousness to be repeated throughout my life as I look back on my years of college. And as these memories are repeated and relived, they will gradually slow down until they have reached that nice half-speed, embellished with whatever my mind decides to add to the experience (no memory is recorded exactly as the event happened) -- and that is how they will stay until I die or get Alzheimer's.

After graduation came the reception, a truly enjoyable crush of people -- largely utter strangers, but interspersed among them were individuals I love and whose friendship I have cherished deeply over the last few years. Yet I am very likely never to see some of these friends again. I used to think otherwise, to convince myself that despite my failures at keeping up distance friendships in the past, I would succeed this time. I don't try to deceive myself now. I have gained true friends during my time at Multnomah, and some of them will remain dear to me for many years to come. But most will fade away, to be forgotten until some future reunion or until I read their name in an obituary. And that's ok. I said my goodbyes last night -- gentle goodbyes, mostly stated as a "see you later" even when both of us knew they should have been "have a nice life."

It feels strange to me to actually be feeling some of the stereotypical "graduation feelings" -- I thought I was beyond them. I tested out of high school a year early, so this is my first graduation -- chalk my sappiness up to naivete if you like.

// posted by Jed @ 11:13 PM

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