Another week, another post, friends. I’m pretty exhausted so please excuse the fact that there may be more typos than usual in this one. I swear I know how to spell most things.
So this post is somewhat of an open invitation to judge me. I am fully aware that people (definitely including me) don’t need permission to judge, it’s just a knee-jerk reaction to living and interacting with other people. I’m sure you’ve judged me by previous posts or interactions or my social media, as everyone does to everyone, including to you. I also know that, on some level, everyone is aware of that, though it’s not something we actively think about often. But like it’s happening and we know it’s happening.
As you may or may not know, I went down to Orange/Chapman this weekend. This doesn’t seem entirely uncommon for me, though my main destination of Orange County trips is usually Disneyland, and I’m usually there with Jordan, so I end up at his house more often than not. It should be noted that Jordan’s little area is like the eye of the storm that is YOLF. But I digress. This weekend, however, I wasn’t there for Disney, I was there for Chapman. Well, technically, the people that were around Chapman. Months and months ago, Matt told me to keep that weekend open because he was coming down to Orange, partially for work, and that he wanted to see everyone. Naturally, I kept that weekend open. As we got closer and closer to the date, other friends of mine randomly revealed that they, too, would be in Orange for that weekend. Then last week, I found out that’s when Chapman had scheduled their annual fall concert. The other idiots all spoke up and said they wanted to go, so we all bought tickets (because it was the Chainsmokers and because I’m Charlotte’s Little and I needed to hear them do “Selfie”). The concert and the rest of the weekend was very fun, mostly because I hadn’t seen some of those idiots since graduation. During the course of the weekend, all of my friends revealed that they would be back in town in two weeks for Homecoming, and we were all re-excited at the notion that we wouldn’t have to say goodbye for very long.
In light of our friend group’s collective social media posts, someone brought up the fact that we were most definitely going to be judged for coming into town, going to the concert, and returning two weeks later for Homecoming. I’d been on a little bit of a friendship high up until that point, but that idea really got to me. It sat with me for the rest of the weekend and hit me pretty hard on the drive back to LA. I knew how true that was: I remember being an undergrad and judging post-grads in a similar way. I knew there were Chapman kids (hell, probably even kids in my class and the ones above me) who’d seen our Instagram and shake their head in disapproval. The phrase “move on” came to mind. I’m sure people compared us to other graduates who rarely, if ever, come back into town. I’m sure I’d be judged even harsher, seeing as I have that aforementioned tendency to come to Disney and to visit with Jordan. This weekend, I got the question, “so, do you come back into Orange a lot?” from a bunch of different people (most from my close friends who were just genuinely curious) and it made me realize how much people think I’m actually in town. I’m sure people disapprove. I’m sure “move on” comes to their mind. The whole drive home, I was thinking about what kind of blog post I was going to do to defend myself, defend my friends, and defend our weekend. I had specific sentences and phrases picked out. Then, I started debating if I should even post anything at all on social media during Homecoming, in the hopes of staying as low key as humanly possible.
But then I got home, collapsed on my bed, and took a five hour nap. When I woke up, I remembered something Michael said this weekend, bringing up the fact that he never ever gets enough sleep when all of us are around. I knew I’d been sleep deprived, I actually planned on being sleep deprived. We spend more time delaying sleep when we have every reason to be awake. I barely get to see most of those people, some of my best friends in the world, so why would I sleep? And after all of my planning and scheming and carefully-planned manipulation of this post, I realized that I’d lost the point of it all. Why would I apologize?
So the point here is: if you want to judge, I literally cannot stop you. You’re probably right: I do miss college and I am having a hard time adjusting to post-grad life. Some people are so amazing at that transition (Charlotte, for instance), it’s like a seamless waltz into adulthood. Of course, everyone has their difficulties in this new world, but not everyone’s method of managing that newfound stress is to drive back to their college town whenever they can. That’s been one of my methods. I don’t always go into Orange, I kind of set up camp at Disney. Oddly enough, that’s also the place I went to during undergrad to deal with my problems. It’s been my security blanket for four years now. Some would probably say it’s a little unhealthy that I’m still clinging to the same comfort I did in undergrad. I get that. People also told me I shouldn’t have any communication with my ex after we broke up, but I didn’t listen then, and I’m glad I didn’t. So I’m probably not going to listen to them now.
But you’re free to judge me. I haven’t been to a USC football game yet and I haven’t even been out in downtown. I don’t feel integrated into my new school yet, and that’s 100% on me. This transition hasn’t been seamless for me. I’ve been pretty back and forth, and the summer went really well, my struggles have only really ramped up with fall semester. And I’ll be back at Chapman in two weeks for Homecoming. I want to see my friends. I want to see Caleb’s kitten. I want my Little to complain to me. I want to show up in the background of someone’s Instagram and have people point and say “omg wait didn’t she graduate.” Because yeah, I did graduate. Yeah, this is an opportunity to see my close friends again. Yeah, I miss them and I miss living walking distance from their houses. Yeah, I’m in grad school in LA. Yeah, I live there now. Yeah, I’m wearing a crop top and high waisted shorts. Yeah, I’m playing rage cage through forceful coercion of my idiot friends that just want to see how long I’ll last in the game before I crack under pressure like always. Graduating from Chapman doesn’t mean I’m going to change who I am overnight. I like the me that walked across that stage and took a picture with Doti. She’s not going anywhere anytime soon. I just thought you’d appreciate all the information for judgement purposes.
As Octavia Spencer once said, “I gotta go home and feed my eels. They’re not electric, but I have a plan.”