Thanks to everyone for all the great graduation wishes! My little sister Ashley is now officially graduated and we're all so very proud of her! She made a gorgeous graduate! (see updated photo on my last post)
It was hard not to think back (hmmm...quite a ways back) to my own high school graduation and that feeling of overwhelmingness that we all seem to have at that age. It seems like the end to an era and the beginning of another, and well, it is. It's the Last Chapter of one part of life and the First Chapter of what I considered a major part of my life.
When I look back, those four or five years after high school really made me who I am today. It was the part of my life in which I grew up the most. No matter what path you take after school, I would argue we all share that. I chose to attend a university for a four *ahem five* year program. What do I remember most about those years? It certainly wasn't the classes or the things I learned. (Not that it's not important but it's not the type of thing I cherish). It was the growing up I did, the relationships and friendships I made, and the person I slowly grew into. I even remember my jobs, the roommates, every place I lived, the summer school vibe. What a great time in my life! Those friendships still remain to this day.
I'm so very anxious and eager to hear how Ashley's story turns out, how she likes school, how many times she changes majors...most of us at that age felt overwhelmed with expectations and worried about how we'd do. It's natural, but things have a way of working themselves out, but you never really realize that until you reach the other side and have the option of looking back across. And not everyone's the same...all of our stories will turn out differently and we will all take different paths. Finding your own is simply a part of the journey and there is no wrong answer.
I've also been working on my last chapter of my current WIP, Sybil. It's going pretty well and I'm up over the 50,000 word goal I originally set for myself, but still not done. Just a few more paragraphs I think and it will be the end.
In the same way that high school graduation leaves those feelings of loss and a journey over, so does finishing a story for me. It's just the beginning and there's still work to do, but to know the most creative part of it is over always leaves me a bit empty. Now begins even more revising and editing, writing of queries and synopsis, and the hoping and dreaming that this book baby will eventually find a home somewhere and not be abandoned. It's an odd feeling, being close to finished. It should feel more joyous, but what can I say, I'm in love with the process, the creativity and emotion I pour into it. Making it pretty is sometimes not my most favorite thing. *grumble grumble*
Much like the high school graduate, I don't know what the future holds for this book baby of mine, but there's only one way to find out: work hard and experience those growing pains that come with the territory.
Happy Tuesday everyone!