May 21, 2006

commencement complete.

The title of this post is a contradiction because commencement means beginnings, but I can't help feeling like more things are coming to an end. I am so emotional lately, something very new to me. On Thursday before my last final I found myself with my face in the pillow on my bed listening to Norah Jones- that translates to depression. So I jumped out of my bed and went for a walk in downtown. I know that this will all pass, but it's hard to say goodbye to almost everything I know right now.
I'm most definitely excited about China, but I'm also very aware that it will stretch and challenge me along the way. I don't know anyone going, I don't know the language, should be interesting.
The last couple days have been a blur.. I'll try my best to recap. Thursday I had my last final, which comprises the solo A of this semester (I've never gotten such a low GPA ;) After we finished, we went to our graduation party already in progress. It was a super overcast afternoon on South Mission Beach, but there were so many people at the bonfire to celebrate. It was great to share the party with 7 other graduates and just to laugh and enjoy the company of good friends. Afterward, Vince, James and I went to Denny's for some marching down memory lane. There was a little 3 year old celebrating his birthday at midnight. His dad was wearing an ivory net t-shirt.. it appeared to be the same material as a basketball net.. and they had a huge cake that they cut up and gave to people in the Denny's.. it was all very strange. Tourists for SURE.
Friday morning I worked at Aveda with Ashlyn, we always have a really good time at work- productive, of course, but fun. Friday afternoon my mom, grandma, and sister came into town for the graduation festivities. We went out to dinner, but before we did my mom gave me a graduation present. I think I stuttered when I opened the box.. an Emerald cut pink Tourmaline ring with 26 tiny diamonds surrounding it.. so amazingly beautiful. The above picture isn't the exact ring, but it's pretty close. The ring itself has been a joke for well over a year. Whenever I'm in Fresno, we'd stop by Rogers Jewelers and they'd let me walk around with it on... never believing I'd ever have it. I'm not an expensive jewelry wearer, but this ring is quite nice.
Friday night a group of friends and I went out for drinks.. We went to Yardhouse, until it closed. Then to Cafe Lulu, until it closed and then we finished off the night dancing in the streets to music from Vince's stereo. I learned my limit on celebration champagne, enough said about that night.
Saturday morning I graduated at 8 am, on 1 1/2 hours of sleep. I was struggling staying awake during the ceremony. I got an energy pill from a girl and it definitely helped out. The people there for my graduation was a great group of ladies.. my mom, grandma, sister, Aunt Kathy, cousins Amelia and Daisy, and Regina. We picked up Jen after the ceremony and went to Cafe 222 for brunch. My little cousin Amelia is pure comedy. The tourmaline products from Aveda that guarantee radiance must be working because 9-year old Amelia said that she's going to call me 'The Reflector'. She said I'm always glowing "like an angel, Alli Jo". I don't know if I want to be called 'The Reflector', but I appreciate her acknowledging any radiance. She's the same little one that 3 years ago at our huge Thanksgiving asked when the table got really quiet, "Alli Jo, were you born with those pimples?" Talk about an observant, inquisitive little one.. the stories go on and on with interactions between Amelia and I. After the graduation ceremony, I took off the cap and gown and she begged me to wear it. I loved watching people's reactions thinking this 9 year old must be some sort of genius. She walked so confidently through crowds of people, staring at this little girl owning her graduate status.
I was so tired Saturday afternoon, I don't know if I had more than 5 hours of sleep any given night for the past week and a half, so I feel asleep watching TV at 4 in the afternoon.
Now, I'm home.. doing laundry, cleaning up from the whirlwind of family, watching the news (I can't believe Ray Nagin got re-elected!) and trying to take in the last week. It was odd at the graduation party on Thursday saying good-bye to people I'll potenitally never see again... people that have really influenced me over the past 4 years. Sure, it's part of life, but it doesn't mean that it's easy.
I'm so excited to see what the future holds, but I also want to not forget the incredible memories, lessons, and people of college. Laying on my bed with my face in the pillow and Norah Jones playing on my computer doesn't help, I guess..but I feel like a little Norah right now.

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