Friday, May 14, 2010

As We Go On...

As of last Saturday, I am officially a college graduate!

It seems so weird that this huge chapter in my life could come to an end so abruptly. I can't really remember a time that I wasn't in school. All of a sudden, my life is no longer my education, but it's using that education. What will that look like? What will my life be like without classes and extracurriculars. I walked the stage, packed the apartment, moved my life back home, but i still feel like I will be going back to Tulsa in the fall. The last month seemed to whirl by, and it doesn't seem fair that it's already over.

So what do I take from this experience? What have I gained from my 17 years of education? I have gained myself. Through all of the ups and downs of school, I have found the person that I truly am, and the passions that lie deep within me. God has created me with a purpose in mind. I can see glimpses of that purpose. My love for faith and searching. My love for God's children and youth. All of these passions pulsate throughout my body and guide my every move.

I have been home for 5 days now. I grew up in this house, but for some reason, I feel like an outsider. Everything in my room remains the same, but the life that runs throughout has aged. I have aged. I have been away for 4 years, living my life in a room that is not my house. My freshman year I swore up and down that Tulsa was where I went to school, but it was not my home. I would always love Dallas more. Throughout college, I have learned to love them both. Dallas will always be the place where I grew up from a girl to a budding high schooler, but Tulsa is where I learned to be me. I learned independence and life values. I learned what meant the most to me, not just what was important in the home I grew up in. Tulsa was my ground to discover who I was without someone always looking over my shoulder or checking up on me. My independence was learned in Dallas, but held no merit until i learned to use it in Tulsa. And now, after 4 years, I have left Tulsa for good. Sure, I will come back for visits, but it is no longer a place I can claim as home.

The thing I miss the most is my Tulsa family. As college students, we leave our families in search of ourselves. We claim our independence, and run off to see the world alone, but we are never alone. At Tulsa, I found a family. I found a group of wonderfully fantastic people that love me for who I am and see me for the wonderful person that I can be. They were with me through some of the hardest times in my life, and stuck by me when I was acting less than perfect. There are no words to truly describe the impact these people have made in my life. The hardest part is leaving. Knowing that we are all spinning in a million different directions. Who knows what will become of the friendships I made in college, and that truly sucks. These people in my life really matter, and to know that our friendships will have to meet the test of distance is crushing. I don't mean this to be depressing or morbid, but it's true. How many people do you hear talk about their college friends and say 'I wonder what their up to these days." It's an undeniable truth that some of these friendships will wither away, but I am curious to see which ones will stick.

These are times I will never forget, but they are gone now. It's time to take the next step and see where my future will take me next. My past will forever be my present because it has shaped the person I am today.

The human mind may devise many plans, but it is the purpose of the lord that will be established. - Proverbs 19:21