In Their Own Words

I’ve Been Graduating

I graduated in 2020. My graduation ceremony is this December if I want to have an in-person commemoration. I don’t think I’ll go. We already had one online. The degree I earned was in Cinema Studies and I thought it was apt that instead of having people walk across the stage, our names scrolled down a screen, reminiscent of the rolling credits at the end of a film.

Post-grad blues were a particular shade: a light, baby blue, with a white border that you could hook around your ears. I moved back with my parents for the summer, then moved out, then moved back in again and then moved back out again. The pandemic was a haze across the last two years that made scenes blur together. I’m unable to pinpoint where the first act begins or if the third act ever ended. Has it ended?

If I were to compare it to a movie genre it would be a time-loop film, the type where something happens over and over again. However, it was one where the point eluded me. There was no rising action, except in the number of cases I diligently Googled every day, as clockwork as brushing my teeth. The only climactic moment I can recall was that the highest recorded cases of the second wave was on my birthday. I keep this fact to use in casual conversation, as the questions have turned from inquiries about school and what I studied to the difficulty in finding work post-pandemic. This indicates to me that some time has passed even though I am not certain how much.

Groundhog Day is probably the most famous example of a time-loop movie. A self-absorbed television weatherman played by Bill Murray eventually comes to learn about the infinite ways he can spend his day. It leads to heroics and ends with him getting the girl. From its conception, the movie hurtles toward the finish line, predestined the moment the writers had the idea and decided to do something about it.

But, as the old saying goes, life is not like the movies.

So, I have to leave you mise-en-scene, dropped into the middle of the action without a chapter-closing conclusion. I have not gotten the girl and my time spent in lockdown was hardly heroic in comparison to the epic figureheads of those in capes and scrubs. The moment of revelation may be in reach but the past couple of years have left me slightly out of touch.

It’s difficult to reflect on something that doesn’t feel done. I think I might go to my graduation ceremony.

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Tasha Lee

Toronto, Ontario

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