Pros-only

Today I begin training the new co-op! She’ll be here in about an hour. Jeez. It feels like there’s so much to learn. I’ve been here for six months and I’m still learning; I just learned the right way to crop photos about two weeks ago!

The co-op guide book is like the inside cover of a book you get in school, signed with students’ names from years and years ago. There are three different highlighter colors, several notes and snarky tips in the margins, and so many post its it is hard to navigate. When the guide book needs its own guide book, you know you’re in trouble.

I basically made her a whole new one, with fresh pages and clean type, changing all the differences between the old system and the new.

Of course, she’ll have more than crap computers to worry about. The Globe is moving location near the end of her co-op. Half the cubicles that were here when I began are now either empty or taken out altogether. When I began there were four staff writers in regionals, now there aren’t any.

Well. No matter. It’s going to be a long day, but a fun one. I do wish we had more than three days.

My last day is Friday. It feels like senior year of high school all over again, which I used to bemoan as a year of lasts. Last drama performance, last orchestra concert, last this, last that. It’s similar here, though instead of four years it was only half of one.

Whenever things end, I try to tell myself that it’s okay. It’s just making room for the next grand adventure. I assure myself that I will find something else, something amazing and awesome and better. Even when things don’t seem like they’ll get better, I promise myself that they will.

I make a pros list, without an accompanying cons list. Right now, some top pros are spending more time with my family and friends, not having to wake up at 6 to drive an hour into Boston, not having to do all the tedious intern duties, and being able to freelance more.

Yeah. It’s a pros-only sort of time.

A stranger’s graduation

Yesterday I went to a graduation that was not my own, nor anyone I cared about. I was writing an article about it.

It was so strange, for many reasons. The first was that it was the first high school graduation I’d been to since graduating. I went to four in high school including my own, since I was in the orchestra and we played Pomp and Circumstance and etc. It seemed magical, because it was something I hadn’t accomplished yet.

Now, at 20, I’m both too old and too young to appreciate high school as something challenging. For me, right now, it’s something that people younger than me do every day. It’s something I already did. So listening to the speeches talk about the struggles and challenges they overcame…felt like exaggerations.

And yet…I remember my own time in high school. There were challenges. I overcame them, with great effort.

Graduating high school IS something to be proud of. It’s something to celebrate, and I realized that as I left.

The other reason it was strange, though, is that I felt like I was intruding. Everyone was so happy. Everyone remembers their graduation, for one reason or another, and I felt like I was intruding on that memory, somehow. I was probably the only person at the place who didn’t live in that town, or at least was related to someone who was. It felt so wrong.

I think it was a way of me realizing how minor everything is. Their graduation meant the world to them and nothing to me. My graduation meant nothing to them and the world to me. No matter what I or anyone else does, there will be people–most people, in fact–who won’t give a damn.

That thought, like graduation itself, is bittersweet.