It was a very Waco summer.
[Ok, before that, I had to pack up my whole life–dorm room and Dallas room–and move back down to Waco, bumming around with my now-roommate until we found an apartment. In the blazing Texas heat.]
I worked in the same office that started my college career–proselytizing for a program in the Honors College (with the number of the Great Texts department chair in my back pocket all the while.) Alright, other people call it recruitment. My office-mate and longtime bud Maggie and I worked long hours, decided margarita happy hour was a definite benefit of postgrad life, and listened to One Direction on the sly when our bosses weren’t listening. Yeah. The freedom was intoxicating. We were so adult.
[Also maybe I wasn’t trying to think of the fact that Erica was in France for a month, and that a cluster of other good friends were in Houston.]
I turned 22 on the 19th of June. My roommate asked me what I was looking forward to in my twenty-second year, and I couldn’t give her an answer.
But that same week contained the sudden upswing highlight of the summer: my dear wonderful friend Jenni got married to her pyromaniac partner-in-crime. [We are a blind Facebook friendship success story, ya’ll.] She made the most lovely bride. I alternated between squealing (pretty sure that’s why I was in the wedding party) and crying. It was a beautiful beginning to witness.
The next day, I got a midmorning call, a tragic report that one of my favorite professors died far too young. I carried the grief around.
In July, my job slowed down, my parents finally moved to New Mexico. I started to feel a little lost, a little lonely, a little bit unsure. Scrambling for Grace that was there all along.
Erica came back (I told her Duke Divinity was a thought. She said that sounded about right.) I got to see my family in NM (and say goodbye all over again.) Not one, but two jobs for the rest of the school year landed in my lap, right after I found out my mom finally got a job after a three-year forced hiatus. I took lots of lovely weekend trips. Freedom. Adulthood.
Jerry got into the MBA program at Baylor–he would be staying in Waco after all. I cried.
I said goodbye to Preston the day before he jumped oceans. I cried.
Waco was flooded with students all over again, and I saw shadows of my student self, my student life walking around beside me as I ran errands for my campus job and punched numbers at that favorite coffeeshop that practically defined my college experience.
As I kept telling people, I was circling the same places but with a different function.
And then I think one day I looked around and realized everything was alright. Somehow, He kept me afloat even when I felt floundering, thrashing about in all my panic and irrational darkness. Somehow, I found myself surrounded by the most amazing Waco circle, even amidst all the change. I woke up and went to work every day and didn’t fall apart (with no small thanks to that circle. and a lot of grace.)
I audited a Dante class (as anyone who pays attention to anything I do online certainly knows.) We talked theology and poetry and somehow Duke Divinity kept pounding in my ears. (It had been a long time coming.) A few choice divinely appointed coffeeshop conversations and a whirlwind trip to North Carolina later, it felt right. And I’m running with it. (I’ll let you know in February, OK?)
I know it sounds like I spent most of the year crying in my yoga pants, but would you believe me if I said I look back over 2012 quite fondly? That despite all the discomfort and growing pains…I’ve grown? It was the best year on the books bar none for friendships (like I said, I’ve already gushed about some of them here and here. Don’t make me get weepy. Again.) I moved off-campus, cooked a few meals, learned what a paycheck feels like. (And what bills feel like.) I have a glimmer of a next step, and maybe even the trust to make it even if it falls through.
For I am His. And He is Good. And that alone is worth celebrating.
Happy 2013, friends!
Thanks for bearing with me through way more words than I bargained for.
What are you anticipating in the new year? Drop a line in the comments!