If I had a dollar for every time I was told, “Enjoy this time of your life because it flies by and you’ll never have anything like it again.” I’d be rich. Like, really rich. It’s one of those cliché things that older, married people say. People who are in their late 20’s and nostalgic about the years before “adult life,” also wear this phrase out. They’re not wrong, but let me tell ya, right now is a weird time.
I am 22 years old with a part time job. I’m still dependent on my parents. My friends are having kids, getting married, and working full time, or they are also dependent on their parents, living at home, and/or committed to more years of school. Having a net worth of negative $20,000 is normal. We can all buy alcohol, finally, but we can’t really afford it. We all want to get married and travel, but we can’t until we figure out what the next step is. Dating someone and getting married after one year of dating is more normal than it was four years ago. All of the friendships we’ve spent cultivating in the last 3 years are becoming long distance. I could keep going…
To better explain why right now is so weird, I need to flashback to senior year of high school – it was stressful. It was long days of school from 8am-4pm, filling out endless scholarships, working show animals, extracurriculars, sports, and writing thank you letters. We were about to make the transition from living with our parents to being full blown adults… in college… who were still dependent on our parents (at least most of us). However, senior year of college is much scarier. There is no guaranteed future, no more scholarships, and the expectations from everyone around you are much higher because you’re not a kid anymore. You’re competing for jobs against the other 20 million U.S. college students with a bachelor’s degree. This next life transition is going from a dependent, jobless, ballin’ on a budget college student, to a completely broke, on-your-own, full-time employed actual adult… hopefully.
Right now, I don’t know what’s happening. At this rate, I could be moving back in with my parents (which my dad made pretty clear isn’t an option unless I’m paying rent). Don’t be surprised if you see me selling all my clothes and random crap on Facebook Marketplace.
Despite all this, I think there is beauty in this weird season. I really can’t think of another time where there will be this many question marks for every aspect of my life: Job? Long-term career? Living space? What city? Starting my own family? Boyfriend?? More school? Travel for a while then work? Or work then travel? I have the rest of my life to answer these questions, which means I have so much freedom right now and that is so awesome. There is nothing stopping me from packing up and heading north… or moving to another country. God is using this freedom in my life by opening doors and letting me be completely capable of saying “yes” to whatever He is telling me… if I’m willing.
In theory, all of this freedom sounds nice. Realistically, there are barriers like money, scary people and my tendencies to doubt God’s faithfulness in providing. I’ve always been laid back, but I still need structure, answers, and a plan. Building up to now, I’ve had a lot of restless nights and questions about every decision I’ve made thus far, wondering if there’s anything I could’ve done differently. For example: why didn’t I try harder in class, contact the recruiters I met at career fairs, apply for internships, and been more involved in professional organizations? Everyone around me seems like they have it together while I’m 100% winging it.
Well, I finally did it. It’s taken me all semester and I’ve executed this in small chunks at a time; I completely surrendered my future to the only person who knows what my future holds (aka God). I didn’t have a breaking point or any extravagant come-to-Jesus moment. I just knew that I would never have peace about my future if I carried it all on my shoulders by myself (Matthew 11:28-30, Romans 15:13, Proverbs 3: 5-6). Whenever I started stressing about it, I surrendered it. It’s easier said than done, but it’s completely possible.
He’s also shown me again and again that every season of our lives is unique and different in its own way. We over-glorify the seasons we aren’t in, whether that be the past seasons, before we gained those 15 pounds, or the future seasons of being married with a steady income. I’m not ready for some of the things that I know come with the future (i.e. paying more taxes, car insurance, phone bill, rent, bills and what not… I can’t even afford to breathe at this rate). I’m living one day at a time, embracing these question marks, and prepping for this upcoming season while staying excited for everything God will faithfully provide.
Don’t worry, Mom and Dad, there are career fairs next semester and I’m considering grad school. Trust me, I don’t want to move back home either.