I have this theory (only loosely formed) that Google is on the way to taking over the world, and I don’t even really mind. It’s the go-to search engine, their email system is great, and I LOVE my Google calendar. I have it synced to my phone, so I can easily add appointments on the go and set reminders for important things such as “Go to the Bank.” If it’s not in my Google calendar, I’ll probably forget about it. Whether it’s my class schedule, doctor’s appointments, or an Applebee’s outing for a friend’s birthday—in the Google calendar it goes.
So when you ask to see my Google calendar for several months from now, I’d probably show it to you. But it would be conspicuously empty. Maybe a national holiday here or there, or a wedding that I know about far in advance, but overall, it’s a vast wasteland of
No classes, no homework, no part time barista job to fill the time—nothing. My roommate and I joke that we’ll spend the summer watching the Olympics at her fiancé’s condo, and there is humor in our voices when we do it. Underneath though, there is fear that it will come true.
Fear that these years I’ve spent learning and growing not just in classes but in life will leave me with no visible outcome. No paycheck to help pay back the loans I took out to help cover the cost of this education that I couldn’t imagine myself not getting. It’s not like I had other plans—I’d never had ambitions of starting a career right out of high school. College was the logical option, but now I find myself, at times, questioning even that decision. Should I have worked some factory job for a year or so that maybe would have bored me to tears, but would’ve helped to cover some of the bills I’ll now face after the education is said and done?
I’m a planner, which is both a blessing and a curse. Friends turn to me for ideas and directions, assuming I’ll know not only what to do, but at what time the store opens, and to take the highway to exit 78 and turn left on Main. If I don’t know how to get there, surely my trusty Mapquest app does.
So I find myself in an unfamiliar place. Usually I’m in the know, of what’s going on and what time and where.
But now, I find myself certain of only one thing: uncertainty.
To find my only friend to be the one thing I usually try to avoid is frustrating, terrifying, and a little bit…hopeful.
Some of my friends have grad school lined up come fall, others are off to various parts of the world or are still finishing undergrad programs, and those fortunate few have a job lined up, even if it’s not in the field they’d like to ultimately pursue. When I look at them, with their future defined for the next year or five, I envy them a little bit: at least they know what’s on the other end of that walk across the stage.
But there’s a part of me that kind of likes not knowing. With no set plan, I have no way to fail at what I intend to do, because there’s nothing there. I’ll simply make it up as I go. This appeals to the spontaneous side that I know exists deep down inside of me, but that’s usually covered up by my tendency towards control. There’s an air of adventure to the uncertainty. I can do whatever I’d like, because I have no other plans to live up to. No one to disappoint or impress, no clock to punch or deadlines to meet.
I am both consoled and irritated by the words of Jeremiah, who assures me that the Lord has plans to prosper and not to harm me, to give me a hope and a future. It’s not that I don’t believe it; the knowledge that God has something worked out is what gives me the motivation to get out of bed, go to my internship, take my tests, write my papers. There is a point to this, even if I can’t see it.
I still have several months before I don that silly hat and walk across that stage, so it’s not as though this story is done; there is always more to be written. There’s a tension here, between embracing the uncertainty and being terrified of it. I will continue to live in the land of uncertain for an indefinite amount of time, but I will do my best to enjoy my stay here. To take the time to breath in the hope of good things, and to not be overcome by the fear of the uncertainty. And to take solace in that I am certain of not just my uncertainty, but of my God’s plan in it.
Til next time…