Rising with the sun

Published 12:34 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2021

From College to the Real World

By Macy Cochran 

If my loyal readers have been keeping up, then you know that this is my Year of New Things, and what a year it has been.  But this year is drawing to a close, and even though I hit my valleys and stood on mountain tops in 2021, I could call this the best, most memorable year of my life. 
Remember last December when I graduated college?  Remember when I told you that love was my focus this year?  That this would be the year I got over my fears, stepped over the thresholds of things that held me back, and I’d travel? Write? LIVE?
I’m here to report, dearest readers, that I have done exactly that.  In fact, I’ve accomplished much more than I thought I could. 
This month, love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  And looking back on this year, I’ve learned many truths, all of which are quite clear to me now. 
A lot can change in the twelve months following college graduation.  I just hadn’t realized how much.  But it’s a splendid feeling to see just how far I’ve come since I earned my English degree.  For example, a few days ago, I woke up bright and early so my photographer could snap my back-of-the-book author picture so I could send it to my publisher.  Who knew that’d be happening this year?
But all those accomplishments – they were small triumphs, like standing at the end of a waterfall in Western North Carolina and thinking, “The same God who made this made me.”  Or riding all the Ferris wheels that I saw, or flying to NYC with a girl I barely knew because… well… why not?
Two weeks ago, I went on a hike and was asked by my friend, “What’s your favorite aspect of nature?”
I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, if she had asked me that in November of last year,  I couldn’t have given her a clear answer; my world was foggy with school assignments, relationships, projects, and squeezing writing in anywhere I could.  But on that hike, I could give her the clear answer the question needed––my favorite aspect of nature is sunrise.  I’d seen it every Tuesday and Thursday morning as I parked on campus as a student.  I’d seen it every year I went to the beach when I woke up early to see it. 
The thing I love is that it’s renewing.  It’s peaceful.  Refreshing.  The world is asleep, and it’s just me standing there alone with the sun as she rises above the horizon. 
Perhaps I could label the year after college similar to a sunrise.  I hadn’t realized 2021 would be so calming (and who knew starting off this year hang-gliding could be?) but it nonetheless did. 
So back to the original questions: Remember last December when I graduated college?  Remember when I told you that love was my focus this year?  That this would be the year I got over my fears, stepped over the thresholds of things that held me back, and I’d travel? Write? LIVE?
I did that, and though I’m terribly sad that the best year of my life is ending, I can confidently say that it won’t be the last good year.  I shall not stop these spontaneous adventures, and I suggest to you all, readers, that you dedicate a week out of every month, or a month of the year, or even the entire year to doing something you’re afraid to do. 
Because after I graduated college, I didn’t give myself the choice to let the sun go down on me, like the song says.  Rather, I suggest rising every day with the sun, and if you’re afraid of heights, then climb even higher in the sky.

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