For some reason I remember a particular day in middle school, 8th grade maybe, in PE class. We had just started the health section where they had to make sure we knew to eat healthy and take care of ourselves, and the health teacher looked at us and said, “This is the first day of the rest of your life.” At that point I stopped listening and started to draw. I know it was supposed to be inspirational and make me want to do something awesome with my life, but that came later. All I could think about was how by her logic I should be saying that every day, and in that the phrase lost meaning.
So what has meaning? Today. For two reasons that have timed out perfectly.
Today is the last day of classes. In one day I will no longer have to worry about homework, making it to class on time, carrying heavy books around, or sitting through long lectures that don’t interest me. I’ve spent years doing that and it’s all behind me now. Awesome. In about one week I will be a college graduate. Two papers, a portfolio, and a presentation stand in my way after today. I’ve given in to the fact that I do my best work under a tight deadline, so I’ll probably put it all off until after the weekend, but then I’ll be finished. I have the silly looking cap and gown and in about a week I’ll go sit with my friends and walk across a stage to get a piece of paper, then my family will say nice things and it will all be real life from there.
And perhaps one of the more bizarre mileposts today: I’ve been a published author for one month as of today. I’ve sold somewhere around 150 copies, and about 1,500 more have gotten my book for free. I’m already finding myself listed on other websites. My amazing friends have been awesome at spreading the word and expanding my reader base just a little bit farther. I am 5,000 words into my second publication, and I’m looking forward to the release with as much excitement as I used to anticipate my birthday. Maybe I can do this full time someday. Maybe. It’s a pretty good goal.