So here we were, making friends with our fun waitress, counting down the seconds until 2014.
If our lives were a movie, Rivers and Roads by the Head and the Heart would start playing silently in the background and our seventeen years of formal education would flash before our eyes. But our lives are clearly not some cheesy chick-flick with hunky male counterparts. So here we were ringing in the New Year in an average restaurant with less than average friends, accepting that New Years is always a weird anticlimactic-sort-of new day.
We also accepted the strange reality that in a year from now, we could, quite literally, be anywhere in the world. Doing anything in the world, alongside anyone. We could spend New Years Eve with friends we know now, with each other, or with people we have yet to even introduce ourselves to. We could be in California, we could be in another country or another continent. We could have our dream job and be in love with our new post-grad adultish life, or we could be struggling, realizing that post-grad life is hard and strange and new all at once.
Our lives are so up in the air, it's weird.
As I sat with my girls ringing in the New Year, we talked about something I never really fully processed yet: we have always known the next step. And this year, that next "obvious" step, well, it vanishes. And it'll never really come back.
There are no obvious steps anymore. Traveling or Grad school or a job, no obvious step. A firm job, a non-profit job, a retail job, no obvious step. Move away, stay local, nothing set in stone, nothing clear.
These are our lives now. With the knowledge that we have to go make a living for ourselves, we can do whatever we choose. Other than the fact that money is stressful (ha), it's liberating to have that weird next step disappear once and for all.
I used to find comfort in being able to say what my plan for the next semester was, or the next school year. It was always revolved around school, a safe ground to fall upon, a step that had to be taken to finish my education. I knew what commitments I had in store for me, I knew who my roommates would be, where I might travel, what ways I felt on my heart to serve. There was little room for anything to really shock me when it came to where my life was headed personally and academically, I had it all mapped out.
In that moment, 12:10AM or whatever time it was, it really hit me: the map ends here.
Like this weird make-believe map we've relied on for so long... it no longer exists.
As much as we hope that wherever we end up after graduation turns into a home so that we no longer long for the bedroom we grew up in and the hometown we've always known, we can't really make any guarentees.
That seems to be the state of my life right now: no guarantees. I have nothing set in stone, other then the fact that I want to follow Jesus and end up right where He wants me to live and serve and love. I mean I have puny plans, plans that could translate into a lot of different jobs (all of which I cannot predict right now.) But for the most part, my future is as unsure as it ever could be, and as it ever has been.
While I may have no idea where I'll be... I know, I JUST KNOW, it's going to be good.
And it's going to be fun, daingett.