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Current State of Affairs

by Kollyn Payne

Four years down, the rest of your life to go. 

You braid your hair, put on a blue cap and gown,

and walk the stage, $20,000 degree in tow.


You start a new job the Monday after, hopeful and bright. 

You pour over the job description and training and

hope you get it right. 


You attend online conferences and greet people as they come in. 

You find you have more free time but instead of relaxing

you overthink therein. 


You decide to go to the gym after sitting at a desk all day.

It is hard at first, but then you like the challenge and 

the soreness makes the thoughts go away. 


You still go to work and try your best. 

However, as time goes on and life passes, you can’t help 

but compare yourself to all the rest. 


You start doubting yourself and all the decisions that have led you here:

“Is this what I want? Should I go back to school?

Who am I? Where will I be next year?”


It is the middle of Summer and the heat bears down on you. 

You get home from work and the gym then look in the mirror

and realize you don’t know what to do. 


It is over a hundred degrees outside, but it feels a little cooler. 

Maybe you like the heat or maybe you are learning to walk

a little slower. 


Feeling down is exhausting, so you try getting over your fear of heights.

You pick up journaling to examine your thoughts and 

to sleep better at night. 


You try being kinder to yourself and being your own friend. 

It is strange at first, but you will grow into it and forget 

you are playing pretend. 


You feel a little better, even if you still cry sometimes.

You focus on the little things like watching Jeopardy! in the evening

and listening to the wind chimes.


You keep going to work and explore other paths.

Maybe being an adult is to never know for sure where you’re going

but knowing the bad parts never lasts. 


Five months ago, you tried to take on the rest of your life too quick.

Now you take it day by day and page by page, so you can enjoy your own story 

and not rush through it.

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