Spring of 2015 showed up sooner than expected and May 15th was the day I kept wishing for all semester to take its sweet time. Now it is June and while things are different and new, I still feel quite similar as I did when I embarked on my four year adventure. Crazy how a four year finish can change you during the longest haul but leave you feeling your same old self at the end. Because aside from a flipped tassel and thousands of flipped pages I am still me. Just a better, brighter, truer version of me. Less- baby-faced, less tethered, less hesitant me. One with 22 candles with eyes looking bravely at what is coming my way and hands palms-up waiting and expectant to receive what is next. Like a whole year off!!!!!!!! Like the unknowns of upcoming grad school applications, like this new “big girl” job of serving and loving on foster children who aren’t sure of what love really feels like, or trying long distance friendships on for size, or nurturing an income from scratch.
But still I’m me. Still a kid at heart and height. Still sporting bright colored mismatched socks and the highest of ponytails. Still scribbling out pro-con lists. Still using my hand as my favorite recycled post-it note to etch down reminders. Still love being under the sunshine. Still convinced my mom is the only person who reads this thing. Still and always thankful for numerical and alphabetical street signs so I don’t stay lost for long. Still, I prefer college football field-side but know watching from up high will be just as fun too. Still continuing my Monday night membership of dinner, wine, and reality tv with the girls, and STILL never knowing what we want to eat that night. Still fighting the tendency to appear that I have it all together and planned out. Still letting out heavy sighs and soft smiles when His grace intervenes with perfect timing. Still me. Despite a four year season of all things new, unpredictable, exciting, chaotic. All things excellent and absurd.
“thank God for the excellent absurdity which enables us, if it so happen, to play great parts without pride & little ones without dejection, rejecting nothing through that false modesty which is only another form of pride, and never, when we occupy for a moment the centre of the stage, forgetting that the play would have gone off just as well without us“. | CS Lewis
If I sit still long enough to press pause and rewind the film I can’t help but notice that even with changed addresses, faces, settings, feelings, career plans, back up plans, and priorities not once did my Playwright step out of scene. Steadfast He stood, watching His craft worry and muddy herself and stumble through missed lines and miscues, crave bigger parts and louder applause, and sometimes forget whose show this really was. Forget that this whole production would have gone off just as well with out her. Playing back and participating in almost every part. Scenes of off-stage, backstage, and center stage. Scenes of solitude and whiny monologues. Scenes of big audiences and loud cheers and those of dim spot light lighting, and curtain pulling. Scenes spent as supporting cast polishing others for their big roles. Steadfast He stood. Through every misread, every hesitation, every hint of anxiety and doubt. All the while being way proud as He added, altered, erased, and perfected her.
I have learned way more than what my transcript or inked up notebooks could tell you. I’ve learned just as much inside the classroom as out. I’ve learned about others and and I’ve learned about me. Oh the things these past four year have taught me. I have learned: Little ol’ Lubbock isn’t a little small boring town, even though my “con-side” of the college decision making list would have previously said so. Never put on lipgloss if your hair is down and Lubbock wind is blowing. Getting ready and dressed from head to toe for a football game on a moving bus is in fact possible. Ski Trips are way fun minus the actual skiing part. Nothing compares to West Texas sunsets. It’s probably best to limit oneself to a two drink max at Chimy’s. Defensive linemen who are three times my size are way more friendly than scary, and funny too. Being a student, twirler, and part-time employee has perfected my pack-an-extra-pair-of-clothes, take meals-on-the-go from amateur to professional. I’ve learned to be at peace with the fact that I will never know who A is on Pretty Little Liars. Putting my phone on airplane mode for 30 minutes to “unplug” has become the most rewarding part of each day. I have learned to invest, relate, and seek out intentional relationships with others from down the street, out of state, and around the globe, because a mere service project or a poorly thought out social media post will not suffice to make a true change. When my heart is stubborn, unreceptive, thankless He still sends surprises my way because I am no exception to His sweet grace. Grow up only in the good ways. When you mess up, own up. When everyone else is doing the same, its okay to just do you. Future Red Raiders pay close attention to this last bit of knowldge… Ready?… If you park at the Football training lot TTU parking services wont ticket you because they don’t check. Shhhhhh!!!!! Oh, one last thing, telling yourself you won’t be friends with the older girl who has the same nike shoes and practice clothes fearing she’ll think you’re trying to copy/be her is the biggest lie. Not to spoil anything but you might end up being best pals and may write a blog together.
So cheers to the past four years and the One who wrote all reality and remembers it more clearly than I do. Who never stopped watching, polishing, and applauding. What an adventure it has been! I wasn’t needed but You thought it would be way more fun to include me and You were first to high five me after I crossed the final stage of my four finish. Now as post grad I am training to work with foster children and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I am still able to tutor Tech athletes. I’m currently helping two freshmen prepare and embark on their four year adventure and I can’t to watch in the audience and see how it all plays out.