Today’s the third last day of university life for me, and I have successfully accomplished the task of befriending the resident cat at school. Nothing school or job related. To be honest, I do feel the impending dearth of future aspirations. It’s like training to be a teacher and then, well, not becoming a teacher.
No matter what I’ve claimed for the past 3 years about not wanting to join the sector anyway, yes, of course, it does still eat away at my sense of competency. Nobody wants to know they can’t do something just because they don’t measure up (or won’t be able to cope emotionally).
But I think it’s okay. I think I’ve done considerably well given that some days, right after class, I’ve thought of dying and had to remind myself that others have it worse and that if they can do life then so can I. I think it’s okay to have my one success this semester be getting the cat to press flush into my side for a cat-brace, nudge his forehead against my open palm and walk round and round rubbing his fur up against my body. It’s a good thing to accomplish, after 12 weeks of quietly sitting at least three foot away from him under the walkway, and I’m grateful for the trust we have built, just in the nick of time.
I’m grateful for 20 years of education and where it has left me today. I tried, I’m alive, and it’s okay that I struggled, that I drifted from friends, that I lost a chunk of my passion and a number of aspirations. We’ll just have to re-calibrate and navigate in a new direction; that’s what ships do and I’m definitely better than a ship (or at least a sampan).
I think it’s okay that all I have battled in my final semester was a recurring dip in my condition/mental health. I think I did good. I’m proud of myself, even if I’m not super proud of where I am or how I’ve been feeling lately. I do remember the small graces schoolmates have sprinkled along my path these 4 years. Thankful for these small but thoughtful things.
On a side note, I visited my old cat friend just prior to coming home tonight. I’ve been coming less often but it doesn’t seem to matter to her. I wish I could learn that from my cats – gentle acceptance at how affection comes and go, never quite abandoning you. If there’s one thing I learned this year, it’s that feline friends don’t forget you once they’ve decided to let you come into their (nine!) lives. No matter how long you go missing, when you turn back up, they just love you even more. Time becomes all the more precious.
And that’s how it should be in my life too I think.