Follow bliss to what you already have

Shelley Blundell

For me, there’s always been something strangely calming about the beginning of the semester. While others run around in a tizzy, adding or dropping classes, buying or selling books, making or breaking friendships, I have always felt content to sit back and watch the madness flow past me.

Until this semester.

This semester marks the official end of my career as an undergraduate student. Having already completed my Bachelor of Arts degree last spring, I thought completing my Bachelor of Science degree this semester would be so much same old, same old.

Boy, was I wrong.

I now find myself experiencing symptoms other college seniors I have spoken to have experienced before me — some call it “senioritis,” some call it anxiety attacks, some call it a case of cold feet. For me, it’s more a case of “futuris conundrumus,” or “What the monkey am I supposed to do now?”

Although I’m sure some people would beg to differ, there’s something very comfortable about being a college student. Put aside all the deadlines, the exams, the constant state of frazzlement that plagues most students toward the end of the semester, and I’ve always had this prevailing feeling of safety during my sojourn as an undergrad.

I can’t lie and say I’m completely in the dark — I recently received a letter of acceptance to graduate school, so that’s at least some future vision. But after that?

Speaking to a friend about my feelings of fear the other day, she said there are two kinds of driven people in life: The first kind feel like they are wasting their time because essentially, they are (in other words, they haven’t reached their goal yet because they don’t quite know what it is), and the second kind, who are achieving a lot at the moment, feel lost because they don’t have everything they want right now.

Author Joseph Campbell once said: “When you follow your bliss … doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.”

That’s when it hit me: Maybe I don’t know what my “bliss” is any more.

My life has changed so exponentially during the last few years that the goals I initially set out to achieve and are now within reach no longer seem enough. Sometimes I wonder if I’m being ungrateful and just need to stop whining and figure it out. But I don’t think that’s it.

I think my major problem is that I’ve spent so many years chasing after what I thought would be my bliss, that I forgot to experience the bliss of the every day: a wonderful and loving family, a caring boyfriend, fabulous friends and an altogether very fortunate life.

The next couple of months will hold many new challenges and changes for me, but I am now prepared to meet them head on.

I realized I didn’t have to “follow my bliss” anywhere — it was here all along.

While the future may still be uncertain, my present is not. May each and every one of you discover your own bliss this semester.

Shelley Blundell is a history graduate, senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].