Are there really no stupid questions?

Ah, the splendor of fall.

Summer went by like an out-of-control locomotive at a break-neck pace, and now fall is settling in for its months of golden glory.

I love autumn nights. (And Autumn Night, the scent of the new wallflower room smell-ify contraption from Bath and Body Works that smells like “crisp autumn nights come to life with nutmeg and cinnamon stick layered with applewood and cedar.”

So now I’m sitting here, smelling Autumn Night and reflecting on my summer. It seems to have been the summer of the question mark, filled with enigmatic inquiries and soul-searching and just plain figuring out how to do things.

Below, a series of questions that crossed my mind this summer:

My family helped me celebrate my graduation.
My family helped me celebrate my graduation.

Have I ever been this proud of myself?

I graduated college. It felt pretty freaking awesome to walk across that stage and know that I had accomplished something of distinction. The day was perfect, and my hair looked good, too, so that was a bonus.

What am I going to do with the rest of my life*? (*the next 12-24 months)

This still isn’t answered. I decided to avoid the question and just let it happen.

How do you say “conjoined trains” in French?

A casual selfie in Toledo.

I went on a dream vacation to France and Spain with my family and our close friends. (Let’s just call them cousins, even though we aren’t related.) It is difficult to express how wonderful it was. I drank wine, sangria and café au lait (with sugar, thank you very much) and I saw beautiful sights: La Sagrada Familia, the Bayeux Tapestry, the Normandy coast that played a pivotal point in WWII, the beaches of Barcelona. There were also some hijinks, or rather, unfortunate incidents, that are just now started to become funny.

(Other questions considered: Why did I never take Spanish? I’m lost; where is my group? Why did we leave so late for the train? Are pick-pocketers truly evil? Why can’t I bring a bag of pain au chocolate back in my suitcase?)

Why do people have to die?

After my trip, I had to deal with a sudden death of a colleague and mentor. I had never dealt with death on my own before. It really sucked, and I still think about it often.

How long can I avoid figuring out what to do with the rest of my life?

All I want to do is eat cupcakes.
All I want to do is eat cupcakes, not be an adult.

…self explanatory. Does anybody really know what they want to do for the rest of their life? Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?

What is the protocol to being “friends” with former professors and people you have looked up to?

Do you play it cool? Act sophisticated? Talk about your social lives, or keep it professional?

When do you go with your gut feeling?

The job search isn’t easy for anyone; it’s downright difficult. So many major decisions that you have to made BY TOMORROW AFTERNOON (no pressure). Discerning your feelings about something is difficult for me, because I am wishy-washy.

How can friendships last when everyone is miles away?

Does an occasional Snapchat really constitute a friendship? Why does keeping in touch with people require so much effort? Do mild cases of heartbreak heal quickly? Will our friendships ever really be the same, or are we strictly in a “good old glory days” remembrance thing?

Why is it worth it?

Because your friends are really awesome. Don’t forget that.

Can you ever really move back home?

Home is where the arch is.
Home is where the arch is.

Yes, you can, but you will have no friends, and no courage to put yourself out there and call up friends you haven’t spoken to in years. You will spend your free time reading about ancient civilizations such as Samaria and Egypt and watching the last seasons of The Office.

Is doing what you love always fulfilling and exciting?

I’m hoping the answer to that is yes. Stay ‘tuned.

And, the final question of summer…

How can I possibly wait until October 27 for the new Taylor Swift album to come out?

I mean, the first single is awesome. I’ve had it stuck in my head for two weeks straight, and I violently car dance to it in the radio without caring what other drivers think of my moves.


As you can see, it’s been a heavy-thinking night. Let’s hope the autumn isn’t full of questions or asterisks, but exclamation points! And semi-colons; I feel like I finally understand their usage.


Did anyone else grapple with some difficult questions this summer?


3 thoughts on “Are there really no stupid questions?

  1. Dan September 10, 2014 / 10:53 PM

    I’m so pleased that you didn’t include “hanging with old people” in your list of things done when you moved home…

    • Amanda Brandt September 11, 2014 / 8:12 PM

      I should have put “bar crawls with a select group of awesome individuals.”

  2. M F ASMUS September 10, 2014 / 11:09 PM

    Wow! What a summer–for all of us. But, for you, it is just a beginning with lots of peaks to climb and a few stumbles along the way. You’ll find, I think, that those friends from Creighton will last forever with a little effort on your part. The reason is that now they are ‘grown-ups’ too, and facing the same highs and lows that you are. It’s important to keep in touch–even it it is just a “hey, how ya doin'” type of communication. You can’t imagine how exciting it is to come home from work and find an actual letter from someone in your pre-adult life. Amazing, and so uplifting. So, just remember that they feel the same way when they have a “shout-out’ from you.

    You are the greatest!!

    Love you sooooo much, Granny

    Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2014 03:05:44 +0000 To:

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