You might think I am because I am twenty-one, almost twenty-two. But I am not really an adult. You might think I’m just being ridiculous, in which case you probably are correct.
I went to look at an apartment this weekend. For the first time ever. I didn’t feel prepared and was freaking out because things that are easy for normal people are entirely too overwhelming for me. Like, for example, driving on the interstate. People drive on the interstate all the time. I know right now you’re telling me I am afraid of it because I grew up in a town without any stoplights and the road behind my house wasn’t paved. But it’s not like I don’t drive on the interstate. When I go home, I spend eight of my ten-hour drive on the interstate. But that doesn’t mean I like it. Plus that interstate is through Iowa and South Dakota where there aren’t four lanes and you are like, oh hey, cows.
Driving on the interstate, especially toward cities, makes my palms sweat and I clutch the steering wheel real tight and have to give myself constant You can do this pep talks. It isn’t pretty.
So normal people drive on the interstate, but I freak out thinking my windshield will implode, and I will die. I am not normal. Also, I have lots of irrational fears.
I got on the interstate toward this place and spent the drive worrying about how I might accidentally agree to move in and sign the lease in blood and not get my deposit back.
Also, leases sort of freak me out in general because I don’t even buy cereal boxes for fear I will get sick of the cereal before the box is empty. I maybe struggle with commitments, so leases freak me out.
Still, I drove to the apartment. I tried to check out the neighborhood and count the numbers of pawn shops and jail bond places.
I knocked on the lady’s door. She showed me the place. I felt overwhelmed. But I didn’t cry because that’s not how adults handle situations. I didn’t even feel like crying, but now I kind of do. Because generally, I don’t feel too optimistic about the future. Even though I know the future has ice cream, and I really want to go buy some ice cream. I don’t spend a lot of my time feeling hopeful.
And that makes me feel like a bad Christian because Christians should be hopeful.
It’s not like I have run out of all options. I am fortunate enough to have options. I mean, my options include living in one of my professor’s basements which sounds weird, but believe me, I’m not above that.
And I know that my mom is supportive and loving and helpful, but she’s in North Dakota. And that just feels very far away right now.
But I know God has a way of working things out. I have had lots of experiences where I didn’t know what I was going to do or how anything could possibly work out but somehow I prayed and lots of other people prayed and it worked out.
My mom once told me: “It’s all deep breaths, attitude, and prayer.”
So I try to take deep breaths and watch my attitude. Sometimes it works better than others. Today my friend compared me to Eeyore so maybe it’s not working so well right now.
Mostly my prayers sound like: “God, I can’t do this. God, can I do this? God, I need help.” And then I take some more deep breaths. Then I lie down on the floor because it reminds me I am small and not in control.
Sometimes I wonder how obvious it is to other people that I don’t have it all together. I hope it’s not too obvious, but I’m afraid it is. I occasionally find myself wondering around Trader Joe’s about to buy maple syrup and I’m all, What am I even doing with my life? I can tell you what I’m not doing: I’m not making pancakes. I’m so not put together that I have maple syrup and no pancake mix.
BUT THE MAPLE SYRUP CAME IN A COOL GLASS BOTTLE. And I was thinking, I could decorate with that. Which is ridiculous.
Is this what being an adult is like?
P.S. Sorry if maybe this is too honest, but sometimes I feel like everyone thinks being brave is pretending like you have it all together, but I think that’s wrong. I think being brave is being honest about not having it all together, and in all your honesty, you allow other people to not have it all together and then they aren’t put off by your outside perfection and invite you over for pancakes and BAM! community and grace and love is found. Also you realize you are all brave because courage is the keeping moving forward even though you don’t know what’s next and you’re scared.