Tomorrow is the first day of my last semester of college. What was that? Yes, yes I sure do still look like I’m 15, you are absolutely right. Do I feel like I am? Absolutely not. I feel like I’m 12. But here we are, sitting at the starting line of our last semester of college. I feel like I’m in Mario Cart. Which honestly kind of sucks because I’m THE WORST at being the first off the starting line. Like really, I can never get freaking Yoshi to go. I think I’m a little bit like Yoshi in real life too. I’ve done a lot of tripping on flat ground and running in place. There’s been a lot of fingernail biting and getting lost in my own hometown.
I don’t remember when I got here or how I got here, I just know that I woke up one morning and I knew the world a little bit better than the day before. I looked outside and the sky and the trees and the grass looked at me with a nod of approval, as if we were old friends. And I think that meant growing up.
I think there’s a lot of learning that happens in considering the world an old friend. It means we’ve known it long enough to have inside jokes.(i.e.; my social skills).
It terrifies me to see these next 8 words laid out in the combination that they’re in, but I am really starting to believe that I am exactly where I need to be. And the best parts of that statement are; One, I don’t know what that means. And two, I have no idea where I’m going. But how refreshing is that? How terrifying? How vivid? These moments right now, these lasts turning into firsts, and firsts turning into lasts are so tangible. We’re holding them with these confused looks on our faces, as if to say “Where am I supposed to set these down?” I think that’s the hardest part, not knowing where to set everything down to make room for the stuff we want to pick up. I won’t pretend I know how to navigate that or that I have any answers at all about how to grow up. But I do know that it’s going to be good.
There’s something familiar about new beginnings, the way they terrify us and bring up a nostalgia for something old, something long forgotten. We’re clawing at thin air just trying to grab onto something we recognize, something that’s comfortable. But the funny thing is, that terrifying new thing eventually becomes the old comfort we find ourselves grabbing for.
21 years later and I’m finally starting to accept that life really doesn’t have an instruction manual that’s going to magically appear and give me all the answers. I’m learning that I really do have to make it up as I go. Yikes. But I say that out loud and then I remember all the times I thought I had no idea what I was doing. I think about being 13 and having my first crush and not knowing what to do with my hands when I was talking to them and blurting out adjectives that fit no where into the sentence I was attempting to use. And then I think about high school and having a personality too big for my bones and not being able to say one thing in class. Or my 20′s and being introduced to heartbreak and not knowing how to speak without tears or where to put all the old memories.
And then it dawned upon me- I made it through all of those things, I figured it out. And that’s just it, we always figure it out. Whether it be what our job is going to be, where we’re going to live, who we’re going to love- we’re always going to figure it out. We always have.
Some of us are leaving college with rings, some of us with broken hearts and some of us are just glad we got through CWC. Whatever it is we’re leaving with, we’re all staring at these piles in our hands, wondering when we’ll have to set them down. I want this to be a reminder that we don’t always have to hold so much. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in these last 4 years it’s that grace gives us much more room than we think it does. When we feel like we’re holding too much, grace presses delete on the things we don’t need. When our hands feel too empty, grace puts good stuff on our plate. I want to be like grace- I want to fill peoples plates with good stuff.
Just promise me this, as we go out and navigate this weird life lets put grace on the plates that look a little empty, and remember to dish up ourselves some too. And let's keep laughing at bad jokes and drinking crappy wine.