From the Bay to Chicago and around again.

_DSC0723Graduation day is a blur. I can barely remember walking across the stage and shaking hands. I do remember feeling numb, not knowing how to feel anything else.

I felt rushed over the last couple weeks of the semester, there were so many decisions to make: choose a city worth living in, choose a position I wouldn’t entirely hate, choose a partner who made me feel secure. My sleep schedule was ruined and my anxiety ran rampant. I wanted to feel grounded and see possibilities again.

I made my decision; I chose my home state, a smaller organization, and a soft-spoken man. I found someone to take over my lease, and I packed up my room in 48 hours. I thought it would be important for me to settle down, that it would feel good to know exactly how my life would go.  I wouldn’t have had to think about my immediate future because those decisions set a great path for my personal and professional lives. There was the pressure of being the first in my family to graduate from college and being a queer black femme who needed to ‘succeed’. I spent four years trying to prove something that was mostly in my head, so I made decisions that made sense but did not feel right. I left Chicago._DSC0714

Three months later, my room in my parents’ apartment is halfway packed away in boxes. I feel as calm as I wanted when I packed my room in Chicago. There are many uncertainties, and I can’t think past next week; it does not scare me. For once my mind is clear and my heart is open. It feels good to trust in myself again.

The last three months have affirmed my belief in choosing what I want. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, sometimes things feel worse. But for me, I need to get in the habit of choosing what I want. I choose me.