I remember walking out of my last final as an undergraduate. It was in the middle of the afternoon, and I still had about a week until graduation. The campus was quiet, and the sun was shining bright because I don't know if you know this, but Georgia is beautiful in May. Beautiful! I stood right outside the door and couldn't do anything. I couldn't do anything because I didn't know what TO do. What do you do after you accomplish something for which you've worked so hard?! Do you cry? Do you run down the street screaming? Do you keep drinking the cup of bubbly you snuck into your final?
I imagine that every single one of you has gone through similar emotions when you (excuse my French) badass it up and accomplish something big. There's that moment, or moments, when you can't believe you are done. When you can't believe that this time of "being completed" has come. Whether it's successfully cooking a hard recipe (pb&j's don't count), graduating high school/college or graduate schools, achieving a career goal, or even finally taking the leap and dyeing your hair a really cool color---all these situations can create the craziest, most exciting, most messed up groupings of feelings. Ever!
Just pretend you are all Pilates nerd for this next paragraph and geek out just a little bit...and maybe Google Lolita so you can really geek out...
I was on (and still am on) that emotional roller coaster the past few days. After thirteen or fourteen (but who's counting?!) months of studying for my comprehensive Pilates certification, I finished. I spent two days down in Florida testing out with the Pilates elder, Lolita San Miguel--one of two elders still alive, and the only living Pilates elder who has a training program. I was getting to soak in the knowledge of an 81-year-old woman who actually trained with Joseph Pilates! The 81-year-old woman who would get up on the equipment and flawlessly demonstrate Joseph Pilates' movements to us. The woman who would run her fingers under my under butt and said, "Emily! Where's your kiss in your glutes? Don't be lazy!"
We also lounged on the Cadillac. NBD.
We also lounged on the Cadillac. NBD.
This certification was a goal I've had for about six years, and I was finally done with a "hurdle" that had been coming up for months and months. Months during which we moved halfway across the country. Months during which I travelled back to the East Coast every eight weeks to complete my training. Months during which we randomly got the cutest dog (what?! How'd that sentence get in here?) Any time I heard a date for future weddings or future events of 2016, I always classified those dates as BTO and ATO: Before Test Out and After Test Out. I spent countless evenings trying to learn anatomy, memorize the muscles that move every joint every way, and understand the modifications for people who come in with stenosis, sciatica, spinal reconstruction surgery, and just about every other crazy thing that can happen to bodies. I made Ricky test me on flash card after flash card (his favorite!). I ignored Lupe so I could learn movements (and he still managed to crawl into my lap every. single. time). I practiced movements so I could try to get at least one of my arm muscles to look stronger before test out (spoiler alert: I still have baby muscles).
I think we, as Americans (or really anyone anywhere in this day and age), always have to have a plan. We always want to know what's next and to have that next hurdle to jump. You finished something for which you've worked hard?! Awesome. Now go do something else hard! And that's great. I love that attitude! As soon as I finish scrubbing the nasty toilet I'm like Heck yes! What's my next cleaning hurdle?! Baseboards?? But I also think there's something to be said for taking in everything for a hot minute post-big accomplishment. Every feeling, every emotion, every detail of the day you are living. Not letting your brain go to the next thing, but making your brain stay on that feeling of WHAT?! That feeling of I DID IT! That feeling of OMG SLEEP. Even if it's just for a minute or two.
But in my opinion, kids, the adrenaline high is too great to be wasted on sleep!
In my case, I plan to soak in this feeling for at least a week, and then I'll go back to planning my next step of kicking butt Pilates. My next step of life (like do I want to wait seven or eight years to have kids now?!) (Wink. Kidding.) My next goal will come, and I'll start working hard on it.
But for now, champagne and some Ricky/Lupe snuggles are in order. And maybe picking out the wall on which I should hang my diploma...;)
Now after writing a whole post about me me me, I do have to add in that I could not have gotten here without the help, support, and love of SO many people, mentors, and teachers---big time bloggy shout-outs to Mary Ann, Heather, my mother and entire family, Rick Rick, Caroline, and lots of others. <----best group of cheerleaders right there. Congratulations Lynn and Meaghan! In the words of Elle Woods, We did it!