I keep finding myself thinking “so this is it.”

I wish I could form words around all that sentence holds and the emotions tucked away in just four little words, but I’m discovering that sentence, much like this season, is like reaching out to grab hold of something — only to discover you’re trying to grasp a shadow. It’s there but you can’t quite lay hold of it. It is true and real and yet fleeting and fading, ever moving along with you.

the thing about post-grad is that it's brutal. and it's also beautiful.

The season is full of beauty. There is something new everywhere you turn, an opportunity to take or a lesson to learn. Big decisions present themselves and adventure awaits and suddenly the weekends don’t mean doing homework or writing an essay. You could road trip or go hiking, make a new recipe or host a party. The options seem endless.

But you’re probably going to watch Netflix. You’re probably going to come home, stare at the pantry, heat up leftovers, and eventually crawl into bed after another totally normal day.

Because this season is also ordinary. And lonely. Your people are all spread out and it takes a heck of a lot more work to maintain relationships. You’re meeting new people and trying to stay in contact with those who have carried you and played a big role in your life. Most days look just like the day before, one running into the next. You fail. And then you get back up and try again.

It is brutal. It is beautiful.

Is it brutiful.

Post-grad looks like crying over paperwork and taxes and wondering why no one required you to take a college course on these things because if you mess up, you could go to jail. Adulting is hard. And actually, the majority of what you learned is good and nice and helpful, but your relationships and real-life experiences are what carry you through each day. As suspected, you didn’t actually need to take that math class. (Well, most of us didn’t. So we’ll go with it.)

It isn’t that you want to go back, although some days a little piece of you does. But no, you’ve changed and the place you loved for four years has changed. It wouldn’t fit right, not like before. Maybe you visit every once in a while or maybe you’ve moved away, but if you go back you’ll find that although you’ve changed, it all still looks the same and yet it carries on without you. And it should. Because look, you’ve gone on and grown up, too. It will always hold a piece of you and you will always hold a piece of it, but the page has turned.

the thing about post-grad is that it's brutal. and it's also beautiful.

We spend so much time talking about the next chapter, whatever comes after where we are right now. For four years I heard talk of “the real world” and now that I’m “in it” I just keep thinking it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. And yet, it’s good. It’s both at the very same time.

I wish someone would have told me that. I wish someone would have sat me down and said the first few months will be the hardest, that the summer will be lonely and miserable and that weeks would go by before I saw a single soul that I recognized. I wish someone would have said that it would be brutal, that paperwork would be overwhelming and for a while, everything would feel new and unknown.

I wish someone would have told me all of that and then looked straight into my eyes and promised it would get better. Because it does. It just takes time, as annoying at that little phrase is.

Most of the time I flip-flop about my place online. I see mommy bloggers and bestselling authors and wise leaders and truthfully – even with a book releasing next week – it often feels like I don’t belong in this space. I can’t write about my kids or my husband or my corporate job. I can’t Instagram a cute picture of my children all dressed up or my house a mess as I redecorate. I am not in those seasons and I cannot write to them.

I often feel out of place online, and that’s the honest truth of it. Like somehow I’m here too early, making an appearance before the husband or the kids.

But here I am and if you’ve read this far, then here you are, too. We’re here, together, even if our lives look drastically different. I kept wishing someone would write to where I’m at, would speak the honest truth in love, would encourage me that even when it’s hard and we’re in between one thing and another, God is still there. But then He tapped my shoulder and said, “Love, you write to it.”

the thing about post-grad is that it's brutal. and it's also beautiful.

And so this is post-grad. This is it. It isn’t what I thought it would be, but it’s good. There is freedom and there is failure. There are lonely days and ordinary days and beautiful days and all of them run one into another.

I believe this is an in between but I want to live fully right here, right now, because today is a good day. One season will morph into the next and one day I’ll no longer think of my “right here, right now” as post-grad. These things will fade and new things will come to the forefront. Changes will come because that’s how life works.

But for today, this is it.

And it’s brutiful.

Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between… it’s the tagline for my book and isn’t that just appropriate? If you find yourself in any kind of in between, any sort of messy middle, these words are for you. {<– releasing next week!}

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