Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It Goes Fast

I guess I thought that everyone was lying.

Three summers ago, I was on the brink of the Next Chapter. I craved something new, something different, something way bigger than the life that I knew at home. I bought things for a dorm room, for my new existence at college, and I learned to answer The Questions on autopilot.

"I'm going to Grand Valley... I got into their Honors College."
"I'm going to double major in English and Creative Writing."
"No, I don't want to be a teacher. I think I want to go into publishing or something."
"I'm going in blind. My roommate seems nice."

Rarely was I forced to be more creative than that and rarely was the final statement of the conversation any different. "Enjoy it," the older, wiser person would say. "It goes fast."

When I finished my freshman year five minutes later, I thought it was kind of a joke. I blamed it on poor choices, distractions from paying closer attention to my time. When that first summer magically dragged on and on and yet drew to a close before I actually required antidepressants, I was a little more confused. Then my second year came and went, blending seamlessly into my third, and now the summer is over and I'm sitting here in firm and complete denial that I am on the verge of my last year of college.

It's partially terrifying, because I just can't figure out how. time. did. that. Seriously -- how did time just stretch for eternity during high school and then race past during college? I don't understand that. It's also terrifying because once this year is over, then what? I have no idea what comes next. I don't know if graduation means more school or some sort of job or a long-term volunteering thing -- I have no idea.

Those things all pale in comparison to how strange and scary it is to be finishing college. As in, it's ending. As in, this chapter on my life is closing. I'm suddenly nervous, thinking about the past three years and worrying that I didn't wring every bit of experience out of them. I think about my friends and how everything is changing this semester, let alone next year, and how our time as quasi-adults is drawing to a close and before we know it, life and Jesus and opportunities will whisk us away to different parts of the world to do whatever He wants us to do and we're never going to get to have this prolonged season of simple togetherness ever again. At least, not as far as we can see.

The point is that I'm tired of wasting life and then writing about it, but I'm even more tired of writing about how I want to change that and then not doing anything. That's why I haven't posted in so long. The point is that it does go fast and I don't want to miss anything else. Things are changing and seasons are ending soon and I'm not going to sit around this year and cry about it anymore. The time is ripe, the day is still full of potential and I choose to be thrilled about the opportunities in front of me instead of the mistakes behind me.

My life looks very different than it did a year ago and infinitely different than it did three years ago. I don't know what is going to happen this year or in April when I graduate, but I know that Jesus does and that's good enough for me. So what if college goes by fast? I'm getting a sneaking feeling that life goes by even faster, and it's not meant to be wasted.

Starting today.