“You know what it is? It’s St. Elmo’s Fire. Electric flashes of light that appear in dark skies out of nowhere. Sailors would guide entire journeys by it, but the joke was on them… there was no fire. There wasn’t even a St. Elmo. They made it up. They made it up because they thought they needed it to keep them going when times got tough, just like you’re making up all of this. We’re all going through this. It’s our time at the edge.”
I love that line. It was delivered by Rob Lowe’s character Billy in the movie St. Elmo’s Fire, with an understated tone of hopeful poignancy, if there even is such a thing. It took me a while to really, fully understand what he meant. Considering I first watched it when I was 12, it figures that it took me another 10 years to really be able to get it because of experience.
That’s the thing with humans. We get all up in our heads and we forget that we are not the center of the universe. We are not the main plot in a movie. We are not love stories being told. We are just human beings all trying to make it in a “big bad world,” and we all gotta go through crap sooner or later. Sometimes we don’t win, sometimes we don’t get what we want.
When March 27 rolls around it will be the one year mark of my being a graduate, along with thousands of my peers who walked on that state before and after me, and I think there is a collective state of emotion right now that is pretty hard to describe. We’re no longer “fresh grads” so it’s not like we can keep pretending to be idiots who don’t know what we’re doing just because we’re afraid, but we’re still practically fresh off the boat because our one year of experience still doesn’t mean squat in the big picture.
Or maybe I’m just using “we” instead of “I” so I don’t feel so alone and pathetic right now. Maybe.