I am now officially a senior in College.
Technically, this has been the case for quite some time. But numbers and technicalities are no match for the reality of things.
A lot has happened in the past few weeks. I’ve been baptized. I’ve gone to weddings and watched people exchange vows who I used to rant about relationships with. I’m starting an internship next week and am going to get a taste of what Psychology looks like outside the classroom. I’m doing independent research over the summer. I’m doing volunteer work. I completed therapy with my dear friend Jaymie. I’ve said countless farewells to dear friends. I’m studying for the GRE. I got a haircut.
I hate not blogging for a long time, because whenever I return to the blogging world, I tend to spend my time explaining why I haven’t been blogging, and then I end up sounding like a pretentious author who writes a book in which he explains his reasoning for writing the book. I’m in the middle of G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, and I hate what I’ve read so far. It reminds me too much of the “freethinking” books I’ve read by atheists when I questioned my faith in High School.
What I’m trying to say is that I’m not really sure where to start. Moving on is strange. Twenty-years old is young, but it’s just old enough for “adult” things to happen to your friends and yourself. It’s just old enough for “reality” to set in. I spent a lot of time this past semester soul searching, leisure reading, praying, meditating, and so forth. I stopped checking my grades, and studied in my classes not for grades so much as for appreciating and internalizing the concepts and ideas my teachers were teaching me.
Baptism is weird. Marriage is weird. Being done with therapy is weird.
These things are weird to me in the same way that watching The Office is now weird, in that Jim and Pam finally got married. And yet, the show still goes on. I said a bunch of things at my baptism to dear friends and a few plaid-wearing strangers. So much of my faith and desire to “get serious” these past few months culminated in one key moment underwater, and yet I spend most of my days complaining and doing double takes of cute girls who are way out of my league. I’m done with therapy, and yet still remain very anxious about the future, and have trouble viewing things in a positive light.
And yet, life goes on.
Thoughts of the Nose family often cross my mind. Where are they now? How are they now? Can they move on? Will they ever move on? And in these thoughts, I’ve been asking myself what moving on even looks like. I found closure this past semester in a friendship that turned to infatuation, and yet my feelings still manage to briefly make cameo appearances in my life every now and then, like lightning flashes.
In many late night conversations with dear friends, we have been asking each other,
I think the most frustrating thing about this question is that I don’t have a direct answer. When I asked Jaymie this question, I wanted a disposable answer that I could tuck away and hold onto. Instead, I got something bolder; something more frightening. And maybe, just maybe, it was something that I needed.
Jaymie shrugged her shoulders, and with a smile on her face, told me that what lay ahead was up to me.
And for this, I am thankful. I’ve been so busy lately with the noise of life that I haven’t known where to begin to be thankful, or even what to be thankful for, even. I’ve been so focused on balancing the millions of new changes taking place in my life and in the lives of my friends that I haven’t realized just how much of how I react to these things is up to me.
The other night, I was telling my friend Andrew just how much I hate not being in control, and how terrified I was whenever I thought about the future. I told him about how I was frustrated with my closest friends, in how I seem unable to be there for them in the ways that I have hoped; in how their lives are going in different directions than mine. I told him about how I hated that I wasn’t close to my family in the ways that I wished I was. I told him about how I hated how I felt that I ceased to stand out at all in the Psychology major; that as a student I feel as though I fall through the cracks.
And in sharing our grievances, the two of us realized that perhaps, in this life, none of us find the closure that we so desperately seek. In encouraging each other, I found that “moving on” is not so much an event as it is an eternal state of mind.
It is for this that I am thankful. I am thankful for the ability to continually grow and move forward with my life, despite daily stresses and anxieties. I am thankful for the many changes taking place in my life right now; for finding God in the silence that follows change. What are you thankful for today?