one of the scariest (and humbling) parts of being a senior is the fact that i know the end of the familiar routines is near…change is coming and i can’t avoid it.
nor should i.
nor do i want to.
life is always changing, adapting, growing, shifting.
as a senior, i have a lot to accomplish in the little time i have left. i get to juggle coursework with finding a job as well as continually spending time with family and friends. i hope to soon be working full-time in a ministry position, which is something that i’ve spent the last few years preparing for. the fact that i am preparing to be a pastor is becoming real in a new way as i also prepare to interview with congregations who will look at me as their [potential] future pastor. i will soon shed the mantle of full-time student, which is something i’ve worn [proudly] for 20 years.
in about 6 weeks i will be done with formal education for the first time in 20 years. i started kindergarten in 1990 at age 5, and finally in 2011 at age 26 i will be leaving formal schooling to enter the “real world” where i will be working full-time, repaying my student loans, and living completely on my own and not in an instant community of peers (although i did this for internship, it too was terminal).
in some ways, i will finally be entering the last stages of being classified as an adult.
even writing that seems to belittle the life experience i have gained while living in academic communities where i learned to share, argue, debate, agree, care.
unlike some people i have encountered in my life, i do not define adulthood as living on my own, paying my own bills, working full-time, and having spouse or family. by those standards, i am far from being an adult and will not be for quite some time if i need to check each thing off my list.
but i connect adulthood with being confident in who you are and knowing who you are. being an adult involves an awareness of what responsibility i have to myself, my family, my friends, my community, my church, my world, my God.
i learned all this while in school and not the “real world.” i learned how to be an adult in a community that challenged me to think and grow and learn. i learned how to balance being a student with becoming an adult, slowing taking on responsibility for who i am, what i believe, who i believe in, and what i do.
even as i reflect on the upcoming transitions, i’m still nervous to leave my bubble (aka community at luther). but i’m also excited to see what i will learn in my next stage of life as i move from the people, place and routine that have become so familiar and dear to me.