I swore I would never be that senior. But here I am, humming Ben Rector songs while a textbook lays open on my desk, having done exactly no work today. But, like, whatever.
Senioritis. I decided to relish that today, embracing the trope of the apathetic senior. I’ll play that card while I have it and keep listening to playlists I’ve titled after songs from musicals.
I graduate in a month. Soon my too-cool-for-school attitude – however ironic – will become “lazy freshman.”
Funny, because I can hardly imagine past this week but I’m constantly thinking three months ahead.
This, my friends, must be transition.
Don’t groan. I know how little that word means. I know it’s a puckish joke, delivered with a smirk and received with an eye roll. It feels like something we know, the same way we can write a five-paragraph essay. It’s a formula, with minor situational adjustments.
It seemed clear to me too. And then I found the messy in-between, where I find myself now. Transition is at best a familiar discomfort, and I always seem to forget how hard it is until I’m lost in the middle of it. Someone suggested that this was living with one foot out the door. There’s truth to that. I’m the picture of the bright-eyed, fresh-faced high school senior who knows that life is at their fingertips and the world is their oyster. I have a school, a roommate, and plans to go to a ton of concerts. I’m looking forward to the freedom and the experience and the chance to do what I love. Opportunity calls. I’m really excited. Like, really really excited.
In that regard, a month feels like an impossibly long time.
But a month is all I have left.
And that is so very short and I want more time.
That’s the in-between.
That’s the awkward and occasionally overwhelming part.
I can’t wait to take on the world, but navigating it seems like a big task for a newly-minted adult who sometimes forgets to fold her laundry for several days. I switch between the chill bravado of a senior on top of the world and a fragile kid who has no clue what the world is like. Saying goodbye feels heavy and hard, and the idea of losing the rhythm and habits I have is petrifying. But I’m ready to go.
The urgency is equal. And two equal forces acting on an object…well, I feel pretty immobile sometimes.
But there is a third force, to continue the metaphor, pushing from a third direction. Time. In the words of dear Ben Rector, life keeps moving on.
It’s a promise and a warning, and I’m choosing to see it as both.
The promise: I’m going to get through, only if by the virtue that time goes on. I will leave, having said whatever I say and leaving whatever’s unsaid as such. I’m going to grow up. This is just high school. It stops mattering after a while. Life continues here and there. I will start college in the fall, figuring out classes and relationships and America; a new group of people will sit in the desks I’ve sat at in front of teachers I’ve had, learning material I know. They’ll do the things I’ve done. We’ll coexist in our own little bubbles, overlapping now and again because I will still love people and they will still love me. It won’t matter that this isn’t my world anymore.
The warning: Although I’m halfway out, I’m going to stay in while I can, so I don’t need to be pried from the doorframe later. I’m going to do this right. The time is mine to spend, but it’s fleeting. The ways I do that, the words I say, the choices I make, they matter. And I have a responsibility to myself and everyone to do justice by the last couple years. This is a really good place and leaving it will be hard for all the good reasons. It’s the kind of hard that’s bittersweet because it’s worth it. The pain sucks, but I’m thankful for it. It means it matters. But it’s time to leave. The admonition with time is not to waste it. Every second counts. Don’t regret not doing things.
And Jesus – he’s constant. That’s a theme that keeps coming back, and these last few months have been no exception. God doesn’t change, from year to year, from country to country, from high school to college. He can deal with my craziness, too; all the teenage angst and grown-up fear and frazzled control freak gone wild. He wants to. And he’s faithful in that. That’s a fact that takes a lot for me to believe, and I don’t always act like it’s true, but boy is it humbling. Encouraging, too. If I leave here and I have nothing, I will have the all-sufficient grace and faithfulness and presence of Christ. Which is worth it.
Not that I dwell on that much on the daily when I’m fighting to reconcile all the fear and excitement and anxiety and anticipation. Not that I haven’t and won’t grieve leaving. Not that I haven’t priced season passes to theaters and theme parks and lamented that I still have work to do and wondered why I was still here. Not that I have this figured out or down to a science (because I 100% do not), but I think there’s benefit in a reminder that everything is going to be okay. I hope this last month is everything it should be and needs to be, and everything we want it to be. I’m right here with you, along for the ride. It’s a really good one. There’s lots to see and do. I’m excited to see where it takes us. Let’s go.
We’ll get somewhere eventually, and it’ll be home too.