I should be working on my applications.
I am getting ready to apply for PhD programs. This was top secret until a couple weeks ago when, realizing it was really happening, I started asking advice from everyone I knew. I feel totally unprepared for the realities that are going to come from this: probably getting several rejection letters, but even scarier, getting accepted to a program and moving—again. Making a new life, new community—again.
Lately, I have noticed how settled a lot of people in my life seem to be. It is no longer only that my friends from school are more settled than me, although that is certainly the case. Yesterday I visited a couple of friends from grad school who have bought a house—not just renting their first home, but actually bought a house. They will live in that house for a long time—it’s theirs. They can paint, remodel—do whatever they want. And, when the oven is broken (as it is right now), there’s no landlord who will come fix it. They are homeowners—at 26. But no, this is not what overwhelms me right now. Instead it’s the fact that two of my past students are homeowners at 23 and, frankly, they are doing grown up life a hell of a lot better than me. They have a dog that they remember to feed, budget well enough to travel well, have adventures, and just generally rock at life. Supposedly, being their campus minister for a year and given that they said I had a great impact on them, I must have had some something to do with this, but I can’t do that myself. Heck, I forget to take my own medicine and my water kefir is hibernating because I forget to feed it most of the time. And when you can't even keep a bacteria healthy, that's a problem.
My friend who just bought the house told me yesterday that she feels like she’s playing grown up. So do I. I feel like that a lot. And then, then I have to turn around and help my students grow up and pretend I know everything when, in reality, I’m just about as clueless as they are. I might have six years of ministry experience under my belt, but I’m surrounded by people with more experience than me. I have an MA, but so does everyone else, apparently. I’m living in a house by myself and have been for four months, and I’m still utterly confused about how to do it. I keep wondering when my imaginary roommate will come home. It's terribly lonely and I am 100% responsible for everything-- everything.
But, I guess in the long run, I’m doing grown up okay. I mean, it’s still playing pretend, but I’m not totally failing. I pay my bills on time and am getting far better about cooking and living on a budget that is really not big enough for my rent and electric bill. But, alas, in two months the loan payments start.
Honestly, does this ever get any easier?
And, does writing application essays ever become simple? I mean, seriously. How many times can I come up with clever and effective ways to sell myself when I know that the next person is probably more qualified.
And then, then when I think, well at least I can articulate how frustrated I am with decent eloquence... then, my students show me up again (read Alaina's witness).
At least I know that the holy spirit will take care of things. He got me into this mess, right?
All will be well. All will be well. All manner of things shall be well.