Monday, May 14, 2012

Quarter Life Crisis

Today, I went with some Cherry Street guests to the Heidelberg Project for a field trip. From what I understood, the Heildelberg project is basically art made from abandoned homes in Detroit to make a point about social issues. I really liked it, others sat in the van and waited to go home.

One installation there, however, was a river of shoes. I mean literally, a river of thousands of old shoes. People are encouraged to walk over said river of shoes to gain a rounded perspective on the piece. After we grouped back together and debriefed many discussed how they felt as if the shoes represented all walks of life, different experiences, different shoes, if you will. However, what someone else said made me crumble into a million pieces. He said that while the shoes may be different, and have different experiences, they are still in the same river. On the same path. At the core, we share the human experience.

It struck my nerves like a drum not because I resonated with it. It's because the moment he said it, I had never in my life felt more alone.

My entire life, since the moment I was born, has been basically laid out for me step for step. And while for the most part, it felt out of control and dysfunctional or like a train off the tracks- the next move was always planned for me. Sure, I had some involvement in the process of  driving through life but, can I really say what I chose had a whole lot of adversity against me?  My time in college was incredible, but looking back it seems as if these experiences where a mere chain reaction to each other. Tied to each other like prayer flags. I was a student, an intern, a leader of Cru. had a place in a community. I was a puzzle piece that vaguely and strangely fit into the world somehow, and even if I had to be jammed in, I was still there. Safe. There.

Between May 4th and May 5th, everything I had accumulated in order to create my identity had literally been ripped out from under my feet. I am not a student. I am not an intern. I am not a leader of Cru. I am nothing. I exist.

This has got to be the loneliest a person can be.

It simultaneously feels heavy on my chest, yet distant and airy. All day, everyday it's pick pick pick at the edges of my seams and everything is falling apart. I feel lost in this. I feel like I had just jumped off the dock into an ocean and swept to sea. My salty eyes see nothing but more vast blue. Vast blue upon vast blue upon vast blue.

This must be why they call graduating college a quarter life crisis.

And that's what it is, and this is where I am. I feel so incredibly alone in this. A speck in a universe that has no other specks in it. I'm unsure about who I am, and what I believe, and who I can go to for support.

This is where I am: I am confused, I am lost, I don't know what I want, I'm lonely, I'm angry, I'm depressed. I'm terrified. I don't think this is any kind of fun adventure. I'm not having fun. I don't feel like I have anyone I can turn to for support. I know my identity is in God but, I don't believe it and I certainly don't know how to live it right now. I don't believe things will work out, and sometimes I burst into tears for no apparent reason. I'm also really, really broke. That's where I am. That's where I really, really am. I am an old shoe in a river of other shoes who is afraid that none of the other shoes are in it with her. I am a busted up, partially spray painted person who's lost her laces. Sometimes being nothing sounds better than that.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

1 in Six Billion.

Today, marks my graduation day from Bowling Green State University. It means I'm the first in my family to get a college degree. It means that I spent 5 (one too many...) years writing papers, taking exams, and kind of studying. Oh, and a lot of day dreaming. It means I am part of the 2% of the world's population who has a college degree.

But, to me, it kind of means more than that. College ended up being my most brutal and rough yet my most beautiful and incredible times of my life. I remain astounded at the amazing things I got to do, be a part of or just simply happened to me. I feel woven into this part of my life. Plucking at the seams of it hurts. I feel heavy now that I'm graduated, and moving on to a scary part of life. I feel lost. Purposeless. Like the last leaf is falling off my tree. But during this time of grief, I want to remember. My time in college really was a blessing. I got to do things that really were once in a lifetime experiences. Let's remember.

1. GeoJourney. I got to spend 9 weeks traveling around the United States. Seeing the most beautiful sights a person can see, sleeping outside under the stars, dancing in big cities, and hiking mountains. It was by far the best experience of my college career.
2. Meeting my best friend, Rachael Holmes. Who is funny, smart and loves me.
3. Going to India, TWICE!
4. Spending a summer with the Seifferts. Who took me in like family. Showed me Jesus. Loved me a whole whole lot. Who continue to be my BG family today. They have been a HUGE part of my life here.
5. Accepting Jesus on August 2009. 3am. In my room at the Seifferts. I was sweaty, my heart was beating like the wings of a hummingbird and I didn't really know what I just did. I also didn't know how crazily and insanely my life would be transformed from then on.
6. Interning at Cherry Street. Teaching women art. Painting Listening to their stories. I was kind of shocked over how much they showed ME love. I feel really blessed by this awesome experience. I also met some great friends.
7. Being involved in Cru. This community is unmatched by any I have seen. They allowed me to be honest and open. They allowed me to walk were I was. But encouraged me well and spoke truth in my life. I will miss this probably the most. I wear heavy boots as I think about how my community will probably change as I leave college.
8. Spending a summer in Colorado. Hiking everyday.
10. I met Andrea Gibson!!!

These are just 10. I could list 100. I could list a million. A million things that make me and my experience truely 1 in six billion. How beautiful. Thanks to you who have integrated yourself into my life. Watched my triumphs and my train wrecks. Listened to my word vomit, and let me cry on you. (That was a lot of wet shoulders...) I love you guys.