Sunday, May 13, 2007

I Can Leave My Attic Now

I have a photo of a group of friends, 12 minutes before a big final exam in December of my first semester in graduate school. There are 16 people in the picture, 11 of whom are no longer here. Only three left with their intended degree. The rest are "drop-outs."

Drop-out? Isn't that the kid who dropped out of high school, is living at home and working at Payless Shoe Source to pay his cell-phone bill? No. These drop-outs are all living fabulous lives: enoying fun jobs in big cities, getting married, making large sums of money, and having babies. They are making what my friend K. calls "Life Progress."

I'm not a drop-out; I just finished my fifth year of graduate school. Yet, I'm the loser. I have $607.40 in my checking account. I'm an unmarried homeowner with a greying dog, an empty refrigerator, and unfinished knitting projects. My front lawn hasn't been mowed in two weeks. I haven't called my mother today.

Still, things are looking up. The boyfriend mowed the backyard just before he left for his summer internship. I have a paper draft for a paper deadline that just got postponed one week. If I squint hard enough, I can kind-of-sort-of see a small light at the end of this tunnel.

So says Annie Proulx in "The Bunchgrass Edge of the World."

The main thing in life was staying power. That was it: stand around long enough, you'd get to sit down.

1 comment:

blt said...

ha! I totally relate to this...especially the $607 part. Though that's about 600 more than I have right now.