I'm graduating college. Like, alarmingly soon. On one hand, I have no idea where the past four years have gone and I certainly don't feel like I could possibly be at this point yet. On the other hand, I've grown so much and I'm not entirely the person I was in high school (thank goodness- there were definitely some things that needed to change). From the writing perspective, I've published three books in the past four years (that's nice to see in writing) and have embarked on a new series with messages and stories that I am so excited about. As a teacher, well, I'm about to actually be certified. And I've spent the school year working with the most incredible kids, having an amazing time, and completely solidifying that this is absolutely what I want to be doing. And just in general as a person... I'm not even going to get into that. Just know that it's a lot about confidence and knowing who I am in Christ and all that good stuff.
But now I'm at this interesting sort of juncture. Up until this year, I kind of figured I'd go back home after graduating, get my master's, and then figure out what comes next... in that area. That nice, safe area where pretty much everyone knows me and my family, and where I know pretty much everyone and everything, right down to the spots you have to be most alert for deer jumping into the road.
But now there's this wonderful school that has welcomed me this year and has job openings for next year. There's this community that seems nice to be a part of and these new places to explore. And, of course, there's the allure of being on my own and sort of carving out my own place in the world.
At this point, the issue is not so much making the decision of which direction to take as it is about just working through the implications. The unknown of establishing myself is more exciting than frightening for me. But being unknown is an entirely different matter. I'm extremely introverted, so it's not even that I want to know a whole bunch of people. But here in this new place, a couple of hours away from what has always been my home, nobody really knows who I am, what really matters to me, what makes me tick. And there's just something about the process of people discovering those things about me that seems simultaneously exhausting and terrifying.
I'm not sure if any of that really made much sense. Honestly, I'm still trying to figure out what exactly it is that I'm saying. I'm still processing. But to my fellow soon-to-be-graduates, and anyone else out there on the cusp of the unknown and being known... congratulations! I'm rooting for you.