I am approaching an ending.

I am approaching an ending.

I graduate in May in a very different place than when I started at UCO. I was an accounting major when I started attending UCO in the fall of 2016. I was unsure of the path I was following but I felt there were no other options for me. As I continued my studies in accounting, I found I was far more comfortable writing and discussing a topic than using numbers. Which is not a good problem to have as an aspiring accountant. I changed majors to technical writing, hoping it would better fit who I am, and it did. However, I am now looking at the calendar and watching the days countdown to my graduation, and I do not know how to prepare myself for the end.

I have signed up for graduation and will soon complete all the necessary requirements for the end of my scholastic career, but I do not feel ready. Perhaps the pandemic is partially to blame, as every day I think of how I need to prepare myself if I do venture outside. Leaving the safety of my home has become a frightening prospect. But I do not want to be stuck here forever. I want to be free to pursue a life that is not defined by the limitations of what I think I can do. I want to try, succeed, and fail at a life that will put the skills I have learned to the test. But I find myself hesitating and procrastinating on completing certain tasks. What if my skills are not good enough? What if I cannot find a job? What if, at the end of my education, I am simply not enough?

I have been trying to find distractions in my spare time to take my mind off of things: Netflix, books, and video games mostly. Yet as I reach the end of a show, book, or game I find myself unable to finish it. I say, “I just need a break, I’ll come back and finish it later.” But I usually don’t return. Sometimes I will return weeks later, unable to remember what was happening in the story; I’ll get frustrated and put the story back down again, still unfinished. I have structured my life in a very specific way for several years now and I do not know how I need to change to be ready for this period of it to end.

Things are changing. Hopefully, I will soon get a vaccine but that will alleviate only some of my worries. Will I be able to keep up with the friends I have made at UCO, or will we slowly drift apart? That would not be the worst way for things to end, but it is still an ending of something that I greatly valued. What else will I lose at this rapidly-approaching ending? Will I lose the knowledge I have fought so hard to gain? Will I lose everything to the fog of time? The answer is of course, yes. Time will take everything as it moves forward to the ultimate end. But for now, I am here. I will continue to improve my skills, strengthen the ties I have, and gain new knowledge of the world I must move through.

If by some chance I lose everything, I will still approach however many endings I have left. I will remember the kindness I have been shown. I will approach the end of my education with gratitude, and some sorrow, but what is ahead is not something to fear too much. My life and future as a technical writer is one I will continue to work on as I go. The work of improvement is never-ending, but I cannot hesitate any longer. My ending is not near, it is here.

Paul Rainwater

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