On April 20th, I presented my thesis for the final time. On May 14, i submitted it all for a grade. And on May 16, I walked across a brightly lit stage, tears in my eyes, to accept my college diploma. I tried to laugh to keep more tears from falling out, because it was such an intensely emotional moment. Wrapped up in that handshake were five years of work, five years of friendships, and five years of love and hate and fear and excitement and passion and dejection and a million other words to describe how you feel when you're on top of the world one day, and on the bottom the next and have to climb back up.
Did my journey begin then? It sure felt like ine journey ended. Just like that, I saw friends for the last time. We shared hurried hugs and smiles and handshakes as I bolted out of graduation to go have lunch with my family. Some of my colleagues packed up and moved out that day. Others were in town, but couldn't hang out because their families were still with them. We all slipped away into the dawn of tomorrow, all headed to Invent the Future as our university motto implores us to do.
Did my journey begin as I drove up to Brooklyn? How about when I boarded my flight to Brussels? Or even when I boarded my flight to Oslo? I've been in Norway for a week now, and I've had an amazing adventure. We've driven across frozen mountains and through verdant valleys, couch surfed with wonderful people and been denied couches by most of the city of Bergen because they're all "busy", and we've eaten things like chicken cheese spread in a tube and pickled herring. And the next week will be even more amazing!
There isn't a hard beginning to the new chapters of your life. There may be hard endings, like that handshake on stage, or the last hug you share with a friend before she drives across the country. There are many little beginnings to stories that you don't understand yet. And you'll keep beginning new journeys all through your life.
The journey to Molde because no one in Alesund said you could stay with them.
The journey up the mountain in Molde to see the sun set on 222 mountain peaks.
The journey on a $100 ferry because the road out of Geiranger was closed due to Avalanche.
The journey to not being annoyed at your partner. (Or, the choice to let the little things go)
The journey to the refrigerator.
The journey to the gas station.
And ultimately, the journey home.
Little beginnings make the hard endings bearable- there is always a new little journey to look forward to.