I've been thinking a lot about the 1967 classic The Graduate. Benjamin Braddock's frustration from the constant pestering ("What're you going to do after college?") and aimless early-adulthood wanderings ("Got any plans?") aren't unlike my recent post-grad ramblings. I've moved back home to a city I didn't call home growing up and my time here looks short. Nothing's certain, but they say the world's my oyster, so I'm trying not to choke on the pearl. At times my life has seemed to parallel Braddock's so close that I suspect I've created some sort of hive, pop-reference mind with my mom.
The other day she came in my room and asked, "Have you ever seen The Graduate?" I laughed and said I had. I mentioned how I frequently think about that aerial shot of Hoffman floating in the pool--how serene he looks, without a care in the world. These past few weeks post-grad, I feel the opposite of his serenity, almost like my pool float has capsized.
A career is so much a part of me, I feel out of body without a job. Like I'm mimicking a role inside a body that's not my own. It shocks me, when I'm floating in 103 degree heat, how much this constitutes my identity. I talk about my degree with curious Publix cashiers ("B.A. in Music and English."), I smile when well-wishing family friends congratulate my achievement ("Thank you..."), and it all feels like a movie on pause. What, exactly, have I achieved, motionless, lying under the sun, feeling paralyzed with the fear of which next step is best?
These past few weeks of countless job applications have been grueling. I'm trying to stay above water and hold on to the condolences they all say in their own way: "Don't worry, something will come along soon."
My mom's advice? Find a Mrs. Robinson.