A Grad Student’s Lament: Take an Extra Year to Graduate, They Say

Why do the tears fall?
But can I find that someone to love
In this world, anyone at all?
Until the storms finally abate,

Until the next year I wait
Until the way is clear
Until I finish the life chapter I am living here.
But I’m surprised how much I care

Because I am enough in myself, I’m not searching for another half
But behind these four walls there is not much of a chance
To meet anyone my age,
Let alone a partner in the dance.

Saying I would wait until I graduate
And suddenly twelve more months were written on an emailed page
Three times six the months until perhaps I’ll share
With someone a life, together make our way.

Not wanting a distraction
Not wanting to be unprepared,
Not wishing to lose track of the dream in front of me
I told myself before how I was almost there

Deliberately, I took no action
And spent my days alone
But I’m longing for connection
And a family of my own

And it seems it all just got delayed
Undo and rearrange all the plans well made
And take a moment in the shade
To look wistfully the other way

Though I know I’ll never change direction
I was hoping beyond hope I could soon let life unfurl
Like a tapestry across future’s unexplored dimensions
Take the dreams so long too tightly curled

And send them singing through the ages
Walk away from the past and greet this wild world
Wholeheartedly, embracing it at last
And find someone to cherish and to hold, perhaps.

Take stock of where I’ve been
Give up the restrictions and their simulated safety
So careful not to make a sound, lest my real voice be found
Walk free of the red desert sands, and the smallness and the fear of then.

Take with me what lessons I can
Integrate myself into this world again
Finding within the balance of living, all I am
Watch with wide eyes as my whole world expands.

For now I am still waiting for that story yet untold.
Waiting for the day when I can let somebody in
For this part of life to finally unfold
For all aspects of my future to begin.

Meanwhile of my solitude I’ve made a friend
Into the mysteries that enfold me, I let go
For there will come a day when this will finally end
Tenth year and then I’ll be free to move on, I know.

Onward yet I journey, gratitude kept close to me
There is so much to be learning, so many blessings I receive,
I just wish once this is over I wouldn’t have to be
Starting out again, already thirty-three.


3 thoughts on “A Grad Student’s Lament: Take an Extra Year to Graduate, They Say

  1. Oh no! You sound so sad! Have you not graduated? But why?

    As for meeting that special someone, you will, but only when you are complete in yourself, not looking for it. It will happen wben you least expect it.

    1. Why, indeed. I’ll tell you what I can off the blog. The immediate answer is that my committee says so, and I’m under their authority. So it looks like now I won’t be graduating until December 2015.

      I’m sad and disappointed, and not particularly admirably, dreading ever having to share this news with the friends I have who have all graduated and have or will be having children soon. I know better than to think life is a race but so much wanted to move on, from what the past eight years have stood for to me. I’m moving forward but it will be longer yet before I can really let go and make peace with where I’ve been. What matters is what’s on the inside, not what’s external to you: boy am I having to relearn that one, and as quickly as possible, because it’s what is needed to start to take the next and the next steps. So much to let go of even now, including the rules about waiting, I realize, and any of the images I began weaving for myself, as they were comfortable illusions whereas foundation lies elsewhere and in who, not what, you are. I hope I get it this time. 🙂

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