so there’s this reason i typically avoid watching graduation episodes of shows, and it’s this: we have this tendency, as human beings, to ascribe moments of significant emotional change to moments of significant physical circumstance change. and it’s an understandable tendency, really, because on a personal level, it’s almost always true to some extent: when your physical circumstances change significantly, in whatever way, you generally have a significant emotional reaction to that at some point down the line. but the thing is, it’s a REACTION, it’s a REACTION to the change in circumstance, and when you switch that order around and apply it to moments that large groups of people experience, you end up feeding everyone these ideas! these ideas that there are specific times and moments and places where people MUST decide certain things about who they are as a human being, and that concept is so asinine when held up against the MASSIVE amalgamation of memories and thoughts and reactions and changes that make up the full existence of a person.
here’s something i wish someone, ANYONE, had told me when i was eighteen, something i still have to remind myself of all the time: contrary to what tragically appears to be popular belief, you cannot ruin your life. god knows you can make choices that affect it significantly; god knows you can make mistakes that affect it significantly; god knows terrible fucking things can happen that can leave you reeling and shattered and not sure how to go on. but you can’t ruin your life any more than you could ruin a historical event, because that’s what a life is: it’s a walking, breathing history. you are everything you’ve ever experienced, every single second of every single minute layered on top of each other in huge, staggering volume, so much that even you could not possibly remember all of it. even you, who lived it, would never be expected to recall the very first moment you—oh, god, did anything, really. i couldn’t even begin to tell you the first time i laid eyes on the color of freshly cut grass, but of course i’d recognize that color instantly—and that’s just a color! one! color! think of how many THINGS there are that you’ve known and thought and felt and heard and touched and seen and wanted and expected and lost and loved, and then tell me again how it would even be POSSIBLE to ruin something that massive. tell me again how it’s even a remotely adequate verb.