As you may remember from my last post, which stated very simply: “i got accepted and now I want to throw up.” I got accepted to my chosen University, which is great, because it’s the only plan I have. It’s also just straight terrifying, though. Why? Reasons.
So many reasons: loans, commitment, anxiety about how I’ll fit in, if I’ll prosper there, if I will be shown to be average in areas where I was previously enviable, how I’ll deal with that, if it’s the “best” choice, if I’ll ever end up doing something I’ll enjoy, if I’ll find out I’m not interesting and few, if any, will want to purchase a memoir about a sad, hopeless little girl.
On and on and on.
She’s hopeful, though, by the end. That’s something, right? I don’t just leave a reader dying inside, but it’s a sharp and acutely painful, sometimes joyous ride; truth always is, it seems.
I’m afraid by the time my life changes into one I may want professionally that everyone else’s will too. The only neighbor I like [I know right, crazy that there is one] moved across the country recently. My best friend wants to move to the midwest–which is adorable, because he’d be so out of place in so many ways–and the thought of us potentially not being nearby each other in the future is physically painful to me.
I had this idea that we’d all live nearby, my closest friends and I; and it wouldn’t be where we’re from, but somewhere the weather isn’t nearly as relentless.
I had an idea that I would marry him, and we’d have kids we’d try our best not to shame.
It feels a little silly. Pining is embarrassing, even if it is for someone kind enough not to point it out. I told him this, awkwardly and slowly. It’s not like we haven’t had this conversation before, of course, we have. I didn’t expect this one to go differently, and I’m not sure even what I want outside the idea, and I’m actually perfectly okay being the friends he envisions us ending up as, and I can see that future, too. I’m not sad to be his friend.
It even seems a little awkward at this point to start a relationship with a person you’ve been friends with for such a long period of time, and for that I actually feel relief. And of course there are fears along with that, a whole long assortment of “what ifs?”
I am deeply sad about the idea of a future that isn’t what I thought it would be, a future being experienced by a luckier version of me in one of Hugh Everetts’ Many Worlds. I’m jealous of her. I feel loss, even though no tangible thing is lost to me–I still have my friend, I just don’t have what I expected to have. And that’s actually okay in a lot of ways: I can let go of some expectations, I’m freed up to have a whole different life where I have absolutely no idea what will happen, and those things are exciting and scary [in a good and appropriate way].
I’ll be happy if we’re always friends, if we both love other people, if he moves to a small town in the midwest and I move to a house with a library and twenty foot windows; but I’ll be immeasurably unhappy if any of that means we’re no longer close friends.
I’m afraid that transitions are always accompanied by loss. I’m afraid that the dissolution of a long held idea, although freeing, will ultimately mean the dissolution of a most cherished relationship–one that, in many ways and very cheesily, taught me how to love, who I am, what a safe person looks like, the importance of boundaries, and how [remarkably] life is hopeful after all.
I don’t want to ever have let go of him, the person, regardless of whatever romantical instances might occur, and I’m really quite terrified that that’s what growing up is.
I’m all for being a normal amount of afraid and excited about the rest of my life,
but I simply don’t want that future.
And I know it’s not happening, not now, in this moment in time; he’s still four streets down, the first favorite in my phone, and accessible to me. But how far can time stretch?
Your twenties end and a different life starts; I see it happening. I always thought I was different, my life didn’t have to go that way–but I think maybe it goes that way because that’s its flow. I don’t just want to be married and have children, I want my friends. I don’t believe marriage completes you, but a whole community of marriage and children and friendship and God would feel fulfilling.
I was avoiding facing growing up for a considerable amount of time now, so it’s not surprising the fears surrounding it feel overwhelmingly sad. Thankfully they aren’t reality, and I’m actually pretty confident they don’t have to be.
But shit am I scared about t h e f u t u r e .