The thunder and the rain drizzle down outside, and there is nothing in this room except the glow from my lamp and joy that I can be alone and enjoy the sound of the rain. I was thinking about what it means to keep moving today and to see things shift around in my friends again as this day dragged on. The routine I love with school being coolly interrupted to celebrate, I had some extra time to think.
The rain has been gradual throughout the day, but it’s pouring now. I can hear it hard on the roof. The gutters right by my window sound thirsty as you can parse out the enormous drops from the sound they make on the driveway. I love days like this, because there is less pressure to do anything. The rain sound soaking the earth has become my distraction, if only for a little while. With the first little leaves falling to signal an oncoming autumn, it’s still a relief.
Have you ever noticed how some people never cleanse out their Facebook? I have a habit of keeping only the people who I am in direct contact with, who I enjoy seeing on a here and there basis, or who I feel the need to stay in touch with on that silly social media sorting bin. Like cleaning out your closet, the rest I often cull out of there. For me, it doesn’t make much sense to keep people on there who I don’t speak to indefinitely. It’s like never vacuuming your carpet. If I’m going to be honest for a second, I also really like moving on. I like have more space in my life for new people. I like not being haunted by the past. It’s not really that I end friendships or burn bridges, its mostly that so much naturally falls away at this point that I’d rather trim away the peripheral contacts that I can’t cherish. By senior year, we have all inevitably cast our lots. There are quite a few people that you will never have time to be friends with. I don’t think that’s sad as much as it’s predictable and somewhat healthy. In nine months or so, we will almost all have to break ties, and it makes you wonder who all you will need to stay in touch with. How much time you will need to devote to making sure friendships don’t die. It makes you realize the value of the one’s you’ve kept intentionally in the first place.
If I go back to school, it will be a while before I go back to school again. I am probably going to be different by the next degree I get. I imagine quite a lot will have changed. So much has changed every semester I’ve been in college; it’s one of those natural and reoccurring forces in my life that I try to lean into. I like new people and learning new things. I like expanding the places that I can consider “my space”. I like learning from people who I would not have been friends with sometime before. There is a certain amount of peace that comes with that.
I imagine that I’ll probably make some decent friends once I leave college, but really, who knows? To some extent, I still feel like I never left high school. I have never been one for excessive drinking or losing my mind, so most of what I call college has centered around making good friends, working, and doing my best to learn something that I will be able to use to make more of myself. Faith has been a major influence. When I look back on all the drinking and parties the world would insinuate I’ve been “missing out on”, I’m grateful for what was left out.
I guess I’m just sitting here writing this mostly because I think the need to move on is more common than many people anticipate. I don’t think it makes us terrible humans to want to learn more than we would be able to if we stopped in our tracks and decided to never move on. I don’t want to be afraid of the future, especially not with my faith on my side. Seeing college start to end is really exciting, actually. It makes you glad that you’ve made it far enough to see some of the discipline pay off. If I get to teach, there would be nothing more beautiful than being back in a classroom with kids who have so much more of life left, even if their starting portion hasn’t been good. The older I get, the more of my inner child I see resurrect, and it gives me relief to think that I could spend some of the best years of my life investing in something I care so much about. Teacher’s have one of the most vital jobs in working to pass on all that must be shared with the next generation. It gives me a sense of purpose in the world to see that the one’s we teach will not be far off, and that they’re right there, trailing behind us so closely. What an enormous responsibility. Still, it’s one of those questions of where you invest your worth.
You get to this place when you realize college is ending, and you just hope that the things you took for granted were worth their stock in their season. We will never be able to live these years again, and after all that work, it’s a peaceful thought to know that they’ve been worth something. Nobody could have anticipated all that would have come to pass over the course of these four years, but at least the bulk of it didn’t come easy. Having to work hard makes it so I’m not so afraid when I look to the future. I can comprehend the uncertainty that I’m facing without being destroyed. So much of the need to find more meaning out of my life is rooted at the core of my faith, and I’m grateful that that can never be taken from me. We’ve still got some months left, and with any luck, I’ll be ready to go. I’m just glad that the grace in all this is that most of my time wasn’t wasted. God knew what he was doing. And because of his steadfast love, I have peace.