After two years of semi-independence, I returned to my mother's home in the middle of Nowhere, South Carolina. At first I relished in the comforts of home; no roommates were there to leave dirty dishes in the sink and I never had to watch out for a male stranger in my bathroom. I was eager to claim sanctuary in a familiar place.
Never again would I have to eat off-brand ramen out of a pot, using a plastic knife as a makeshift spoon. I was looking forward to living the high life.
Still, returning home had its downsides. My brother was less than pleased to see my return, after he had gotten used to having the house to himself. Our bickering resumed instantaneously, which surely made my mother weary about the next six months.
I love my mother, and I am eternally grateful to her for allowing me to come home, but it still took some getting used to. As I sat in my old room, unpacking my things, I found my 2015 calendar I had gotten for Christmas-back when I still had hopes of completing college without interruption.
I have a slight obsession with cats; I admire their total apathy towards everything. So, for Christmas I was blessed with a Grumpy Cat calendar-actual tears were shed.
So there I was, feeling less than stellar about leaving college and returning to my mother's doorstep. I set up the calender and opened it to February. And was met with a photo of a glaring kitten with the caption, "Every new beginning ends."
I was a strange mix of hysterical laughter and hopeless sobbing at this point. It was not a pretty sight for my mother to walk in on me, things strewn about the floor and sobbing into a novelty calendar.
The cruel irony washed over me as I watched my "new beginning" at college be whisked away and ultimately end with me in this compromising position, with a mediocre blog to boot.
I could not tell if I had completely lost it, but this gag gift had become an odd source of inspiration and comfort during this time. Yes, I had just closed an important chapter of my life, but this ending did offer new opportunities for me to explore.
Without school, I definitely had more free time on my hands. I decided to use this to my advantage and try to hone in on my talents and skills, besides the ones I bs'd for my resume.
I briefly tried to pick up my viola and relive my glory days in the high school orchestra, but unfortunately, that new beginning had officially ended three years ago. After screeches echoed through the halls of my house, I decided to retire the instrument and put it out of its misery.
There were other ventures I took on. I through my closet and found paints and canvases. While painting had always fascinated me, I did not have the skills to blend colors or create texture. In the meantime, I decided to buy a paint-by-number, which by nature, is literally impossible to screw up-unlike my college experience.
As I embark on this new chapter, I am fully aware of the drawbacks it offers. When I was younger, I didn't exactly picture myself back at home and freaking out over the difference between No.5 and No.6 shades of green-trust me, it makes a world of difference.
However, I am glad I chose this unconventional path. It may not have been the future I had dreamt for myself, but it seems to be getting the job done. When you're in college, you feel as though every hobby has to matter; every club has to be pertinent to a resume or applicable to a certain job field.
While my paint-by-number and awful musical talents will do me literally no good in the job hunt, I don't care. I spent two years obsessing over my resume and trying to put a spin on my high school job at a yogurt shop; the resume may read "experience in providing quality customer service and management of inventory," but it really means "yelled at kids for stealing food and re-stocked the front counter one time."
At the end of the day, most of the things we do for the sake of reputation can be gone in an instant. Our commitments can change and result in a total upheaval and change of plans. Alongside the lies plastered across a job application lie our true interests, and while some of these may be totally irrelevant, it's important to keep in mind that even the most concrete things in our lives are temporary. Be careful to not put too much stock in one aspect of your life; every new beginning eventually ends.