Monday, June 6, 2011

Sophomore at Life (Warning: Reflective Navel-Gazing Ahead)

On Friday May 15, 2009, I had a little pub date with a college friend just finishing his first year out of school. I wrote about it on my old blog:

"I got to thinking a lot about my future. Promises about post-graduation to myself:
1. Continue education
2. Continue art
3. Make new local friends
4. Self-evaluate
5. Do things before responsibilities kick in"

Today is my first official day of unemployment. My contracts just ended Friday, and the summer will be a whirlwind of travel, planning, projects, and rebooting before I start graduate school. Overall, I am very pleased with how I handled my first year out of school. I have made lists (in my diary) of all the ways I grew, lessons I learned, opportunities I had because of what I chose to do with myself since I got my diploma.

When Facebook added that little empty box ("Write something about yourself.") my sister wrote "Write something about myself?! This whole dang page is about myself!" I thought that was very funny. Anyway, I realize this whole blog is about me, but for a moment I am going to celebrate my accomplishments. Without intention, I did a darn good job staying in line with the goals I set myself as a junior in college.

1. I audited two college classes, read three books on comedy and acting, and got on track for graduate school.
2. One musical, one big improv show, and a lot of little improv jams all year. Creative writing club, the St. Louis One-Act Festival, and ACTF with Huntie.
3. Being an improv teacher and getting involved with that community led to a bunch of new friendships--way deeper than I would have guessed when I started up with these comedy shenanigans. I am also sure if I were staying in the area I'd be keeping up with many more people I've met in the past few months. Interesting folk are everywhere.
4. My bosses didn't offer me a ton of feedback about my work, and I not only learned to self-evaluate, but enjoyed doing so.
5. Although I was highly-motivated and busy all year, I still acted like a 22-year old. I stayed up all night watching movies sometimes. I went on a Spring Break trip to the beach. I ate lots of cookies. I was poor and dressed like a hobo usually, but I occasionally splurged on stuff I didn't need (froyo, theatre, random Groupons). I spent a lot of time training for a marathon--no idea how working stiffs handle that schedule. I had house guests every other week.

Plus, lots of amazing things happened this year totally unrelated to my goals. Muff's marriage, getting to be with my sister, some enjoyable Chicago trips, learning so much about teaching, making an unexpected close friend (LC)...I guess what I mean to say is there's nothing inherently scary about leaving school.

Improv Cast, December 2010

LC & Me, May 2011

Basically: Just put your mind to it. It's not enough to be Good. You have GOT to refine and shine.

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