“Lord of the Rings,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “A Song of Ice and Fire,” are some books I easily classify as favorites.
In addition to being famous best-sellers and widely successful, these books have one thing in common: they all have sequels, which is the main reason I was attracted to them in the first place.
I started reading them because they, like other sequels, promised me a feeling of steadiness, and that’s a promise I can’t resist. One of my character weaknesses or strengths – depending on the situation – is that I like continuity, which means I like to see things through and therefore I am left feeling a void when I find myself wanting more from a book or anything, really.
The same applies to my television-watching habits (and even if I don’t like to admit it, I am a television junkie). But even a television junkie has standards. Therefore, to make my life easier, I don’t start watching any television show with less than two seasons under its belt. That way I know, when I’m done with one, I have at least another one to fall back on.
Unfortunately, avoiding cliffhangers in fictional literature or television is, unsurprisingly, way easier than it is in real life. And right now, I am left facing one.
My life here has kind of been its own special sequel – each year its own “season.” The first was tough as I tried to adjust to an unfamiliar territory; the following two rolled by comfortably, for the most part; and the last season of my series is now coming to an end with the fourth one.
Its audience (my family, friends, professors and other people I know) now wants to know what’s next.
I don’t know.
And I am slowly coming to peace with that fact; that I have nothing lined up and that the only thing I know for sure is that I will be boarding a plane back home in exactly two weeks.
And despite my confusion and frustration, I am coming to the realization that it’s OK to have nothing waiting – and perhaps that’s the last lesson Gannon University will teach me. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t intend to sit around doing nothing for the rest of my life, but I am actually looking forward to taking a break.
And while my professional path remains blurry, my social one is as clear as day. Truth is, I have a loving mother who’s been counting down the days to my arrival, and I can’t wait to see her and the rest of the family. My sisters tell me my spot at the earth-colored couch in our living room is still reserved.
My friends back home are also waiting, and after remaining friends for four years despite the different lives and time difference, I am looking forward to being a more constant presence in their lives as well.
I was going to write this column and thank people who’ve helped me through these four years, but this isn’t a speech and no words will be enough. But if you’re reading this, then you’re one of them and I full-heartedly thank you.
I am now off thinking of the next big idea of my next sequel – stay tuned.