Growing Up

So I graduated. And I got a full-time job. So I have officially started my adult life. Needless to say, I have mixed feelings.

Why should I have mixed feelings? I finished my last semester of grad. school with two A’s, got a job right after graduation, when I know many people don’t get jobs for years after their graduation. And it’s in my field no less. My job is relaxed (for the moment; I have been assured that it will get stressful as time moves on), I work with great people, and I have a great environment. Literally there is nothing to complain about. Aside from boredom, but that is easily alleviated. I have so much I am thankful for, and God has blessed me so much.

And yet I still have mixed feelings. There is a part of growing up adults don’t warn you about and kids never expect. There’s a certain amount of discomfort that is almost undefinable that a friend of mine recently recognized. There comes a point in every child’s life when, after spending long periods of time away, they come back to what has been home for all their life and suddenly realize that that place isn’t home anymore. And it has nothing to do with the people. Their families still treat them exactly the same. It’s just that they don’t fit there anymore. And the place where they’ve been is where they fit, where they belong. But what about when their time is up at that place and they officially don’t belong there anymore? Suddenly (or not-so-suddenly, because they’ve known this would happen for four years—or in my case, six), they need to find a new place to fit. A new place to belong. And making a new place can be scary. And sometimes it doesn’t work. And sometimes they still don’t fit. And there are people who get left behind. People they’ve loved for so many years that there’s a good chance they will never see again. People they fear they might forget.

When I graduated with my undergrad., I listened to one song over and over again—”We Have Had the Time of Our Lives,” by Tyrone Wells:

The hardest part is when you know all of these years when we were here are ending, but I’ll always remember we have had the time of our lives. But now the page is turned, the stories we will write—we have had the time of our lives, and I will not forget the faces left behind. It’s hard to walk away from the best of days, but if it has to end, I’m glad you have been my friend in the time of our lives.

The same song comes back to me now.

Even as there are things that I regret, that I’ll miss, or that will never be the same, I know that Frodo was right. There is no going back again. But I don’t really want to go back at all. I just want to take the best things that I have to leave behind with me into this next stage of my life, because I want all of my friends to be with me on this adventure, too. I’m writing a new stage of my life, and it is good.

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