- You marvel at the sheer number of people populating the streets. You've lived in cities before, but never one quite like this.
- You search for an ATM because half the stores only accept cash, get lost, get angry, then find a lovely park where you settle down to have lunch and pretend you don't need money.
- You cram all of your laundry into one washing machine, without separating, because one load costs $1.75 and despite your earlier blissful ignorance you know you do, after all, need money. Sorry not sorry, mom.
- You have a panic attack on the subway because YOU MOVED TO THIS CITY ALONE, HAVE YOU NOT SEEN ENOUGH EPISODES OF "CASTLE" TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DO THAT??
- You watch "Friends" on a loop and wait for the six of them to enter your life so you're not always alone.
- You cry in bed on your fifth morning in the city because you're so lonely and you didn't think it would be this way.
- You wait anxiously for classes to start so you can be surrounded by people again and have a purpose.
- You hope classes never start because what if you're not cut out for this big life you dreamed of? What if you fail and have to go home in shame?
- You remind yourself why you made this crazy move: because the only way to land on the moon is to fly toward it, ignoring whatever scrapes and bruises the meteors you run into on the way will give you.
- You realize that it will be okay because you were called here for a reason and there is no failure in doing God's will, whether you land on the moon or thud back to Earth.
- BONUS: you remember that the Earth is pretty doggone awesome so if the moon doesn't work out, well, there's always that.
- DOUBLE BONUS: you wait for Taylor Swift to come back from tour do the two of you can be besties.
I have one more semester left as an undergraduate. One. Just one. So that's weird. In a few more months, this will be me once again:
And after that? The dream plan involves a summer internship, grad school at one of my dream schools in New York City or Chicago (technically Evanston, but let's call it Chicago just for fun) and then a job.
At this exact moment in time, though, I have no idea what's going to happen. It is possible I won't get an internship. It's possible I won't get into grad school. I'm planning on sending my novel to agents--maybe one of them will like it and we'll sign a contract. By this time next year, I could be an almost-published author. Or maybe once I send my poems and short stories out, someone will accept them.
The point is, anything could happen. The world could shift on its axis and all of my plans could flip flop. For the first time in my life, I'm standing at a true cliff, and I don't know if a bridge will magically appear to the other side, or if I'll have to fling myself into the air and hope for the best. As scared as I am by that prospect, I'm also totally excited. I don't know what is going to happen in the future.
All I know right now is that I'm taking exams next week, going to Italy next Friday, and finishing college in May 2015. These are the certainties--well, as certain as anything can get in this world. I'm very excited, though, that I don't have any definite plans right now.
Don't get me wrong: if some plans came my way, I would snatch them out of the air so fast I can't even think of an apt metaphor for them. In the meantime, I'm choosing to embrace the lack of plans. I'm choosing to live one day at a time. I choose to apply for internships and grad schools. I choose to work on my novels and attempt to get them published, as well as my poems and short stories. I choose to believe that whatever comes is going to be brilliant. And I choose to enjoy this final semester of college.
No matter where I am, I know nothing will be anything like the four years I'll have spent at Asbury. Some experiences will be better; some will be worse; none will be the same. I'm going to embrace every second of this crazy ride and love my friends as wildly as I can. I'm going to live in the moment and, when graduation comes, I'm going to step into the unknown with a smile.
It's going to be great. My words to the future are: "I've got a blank space, baby, and I'll write your name." (I also really love Taylor Swift. I felt like that should be mentioned).
Bring it on.