Yesterday I took my nephew to the playground at the school with my Grandma before graduation. As we were walking the old hallways that held so many memories I glanced over and saw a rather professional young woman in a red dress. She looked happy, and confident, as if she had somewhere to be.
It was a mirror. (Not that I always, or even usually can see myself that way). Being in a place that essentially raised you up into the world is a good place to really see how far you have come. I looked over and exclaimed to my grandmother with a random urgency, “I’m going to be a teacher! In four years, I’m going to be a teacher.” I reflected to myself, a teacher of nursing, a field I had come to love. As I stood on the wooden bridge watching my nephew play and trying to not get stung by the wasps of springtime, I looked out over the playground. I had spent twelve years here. Twelve years growing and learning and becoming. From a child that was really quite precarious, to a woman in a stage of life where I seem to be evolving in much the same way I had years before.
Strange to be back in a hometown where everyone knows you, or at least they think they do; not always realizing people are in a constant state of change, or at least I am. Maybe some day I’ll “settle down,” but today is not that day. Not yet. I’ve got too much life to live. Too much breath and energy in my lungs. Too much excitement and strength in my bones.
I’ve always been different, I’ve had different ideas, an alarming amount of passion and some serious lacking in reality. I guess you could say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not sure so many people would know that, considering I’m not much of a hippie, I’m extremely organized, and may even seem fairly normal. Which I guess is ok. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret. My worst fear. Are you ready?
Simply living an average, run of the mill, life. It’s just never seemed like something I wanted. I craved adventure, passion and to live life to truly make some sort of difference in the world for Jesus. When I worked in ministry that’s the life I was living, but it was so exhausting as a single woman I knew I needed a change. But now, I’m just so…stable. And to be honest, it’s a bit unsettling. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, my cozy apartment, my friends, my church, and just knowing the lay of the land here in Sioux Falls.
Maybe that’s another reason I started this blog, and even a reason I decided to go back to graduate school. I needed to be challenged. I needed my life to have some sort of meaning and purpose that reached farther than the skirts of the hospital. (I know, being a nurse should have purpose enough…yada yada. And it is, but it isn’t. Basically I’m just a difficult person). Maybe it’s just part of the lostness of being in your twenties. After all the work I’d done to graduate high-school, then college, then adventure into ministry, and then to finally start my career. I had arrived, essentially. But I was’t ready to arrive. I wanted more. I don’t know why. It’s not like I don’t totally value and appreciate those who arrive at their career, because I do, and sometimes I wish I could be more like them. More settled. So I’m really glad I have outlets to pour my time and energy into.
Thanks for reaching into the depths of my messy brain as I try decipher the meaning of life as a twenty-four year old with a whole lotta life ahead of me.
**Photography Credit: Julie Yang Photography (She loves photography and showed up one day insisting I take pictures for the fun of it, I’m glad I let her. She is pretty amazing!)