Graduating college is like buying a couch. You can do the research, save your money, even find one that’s comfortable, and go through the trouble of shoving it into the back of your car and driving it to your apartment…only to find that when you get there, it won’t fit through the door. And there’s nothing you can do about it. 

“If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.”

~Mary Oliver

I can’t decide if I want to get good at all this very quickly and make a lot of money, or if being a starving artist who paints her own furniture and is usually underdressed is more fun.

I was bored at my desk so I called people who were out of the office and read short poems to their voicemails. Is that allowed?

I keep thinking that this is the part of the coming-of-age movie where something cool and interesting happens. The boy she never noticed from high school comes up behind her, or she witnesses a crime, or finds the old diary under the rock. The part that gives weight to all the slow exposition before it.

But maybe the hard truth is that in real life, nothing cool happens. In fact, nothing at all happens.

And I know what you’re thinking. Don’t you see, Abigail? This part is the movie! It’s already happening. To that, I look around and say: to what are you referring?

I am thinking, as one does

when the earth changes colors

around you, of how

I would like to be somewhere else.

(the middle of this poem has been omitted for the reader’s benefit)

…I do not want this dead air,

these overstuffed branches, and I especially

don’t want this sleepy sun-

not when I am just beginning

to wake up.

People don’t really like the summer. They like the idea of summer. They like summers when they were a kid. Pool parties. Camping trips. Bike rides and sleepovers with their friends. But real summer is no fun. And you don’t always live near a pool. Most of the time, you’re just hot when you don’t want to be.

People like the parts of summer when they can forget about their real lives, but the truth is that ‘real life’ is still there, and it catches up to you no matter how many pool parties you go to.

My problem is – well, partly that I don’t live near a pool anymore.

“Our whole being by its very nature is one vast need; incomplete, preparatory, empty yet cluttered, crying out for Him who can untie things that are now knotted together and tie up things that are still dangling loose.” ~C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

In the past 24 hours, six different people have asked me if I got a job I applied for, and every time, I have to answer “I don’t know yet.” That’s an average of once every four hours I’m reminded of a looming uncertainty.

The Gordon College network doesn’t recognize me as a student or as staff, so I have been exiled to the Guest network for Wifi. If that isn’t a metaphor for my life currently I don’t know what is.

“Professional athletes train in the off-season. So should you.”

~Jenna Fischer, on staying creative, in The Actor’s Life

Working outside of the theatre may not be a quantitative step toward an acting career, but it is a qualitative one. I’m letting my creativity take a breath while saving money to go to grad school. I’m being smart, and I have nothing to prove. But I still see friends doing small summer shows and wonder if I’m taking the long route. Does success only come to those willing to risk security and take the shortcuts? Am I just not brave enough? Having “what it takes” may not just be about talent and work ethic. Maybe the wild risk-taking is the piece I Just don’t have.

“I’m waiting for the day when I’m not waiting for the day, if that makes sense.”

-a friend of mine

It does make sense. It makes perfect sense.

“What if we already are who we’ve been dying to become?”

~Sleeping At Last, “Four”

I know it has to, but right at this moment,

I don’t want anything to change.

I just want it to be like this forever.

Brogan and Ryan at the movies,

the coupons on the table,

the smell of the night air coming through the open window,

and me sitting here,

listening to the rain

and the kettle boiling in the kitchen.



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