1. I’ve been anxiously applying to jobs in a haphazard attempt to secure some sort of plan for post-grad life. On Monday, I was rejected from two, back-to-back. The first one hit my email inbox with a “ping,” and I instantly assumed that they were uninterested. I was right. When the second dismissal flashed across my screen, it felt like a harsh hit to my self-esteem. The combination of the spurious, “we wish you luck in your job search” in each email resulted in clouded eyes as I sniffed my tears away.
2. On Tuesday morning, I picked up my cap and gown for my impending graduation date. Up until now, I was okay with pretending like I’m not walking across the stage in a month. It didn’t properly hit me until I stood in line, waiting to pay for my horrendously overpriced polyester blend gown, that my days are dwindling. The panic began to set in as my throat locked, my eyes involuntarily pushing out tears that I desperately wished I could stop.
3. The maintenance men working at my apartment complex that won’t stop catcalling me. They have been working on the roof of the building parallel to mine, and every time I park my car and make quick strides to my unit in an effort to avoid their gaze, it’s a useless effort. I can feel them staring down at me and my anxiety gradually rises, my keys piercing the skin of my hand when one of them calls down from above, telling me I look good today. On another day, he calls me baby and asks how I am. I don’t know why they do it. I never reply.
4. The realization that deadlines are approaching far faster than I had anticipated. With the semester slipping away, reminders to work on final projects and assignments echo through my brain. I make shaky notes in my planner as a memo to begin making some sort of progress on my capstone assignment, or the six-page draft I have due in just two weeks. My stress levels kick in before I get a chance to read over the prompts. My anxiety sends me spiraling and I’m right where I left off.
5. Getting pulled over by university police on-campus on Friday afternoon after I made the conscious decision to maintain a level of positivity. After upholding a friendly demeanor to the police officer, I drove to the nearest parking lot, sloppily pulled into a spot, and let my tears flow. It wasn’t because I got in trouble — if anything, I was more annoyed than upset — but because I was ending the week by choking out sobs in an empty lot. I didn’t care that it was a beautiful day, or that I was on my way to see my friends, or that the officer didn’t even bother to ticket me. My exhaustion had finally gotten the best of me, and I was tired of being strong.