post-Bethel: the beautiful unknown

Wow, okay. I need to be better at keeping this whole blog thing updated. It’s been another month and then some since the last time I wrote anything…oops. BUT, spring break is coming up next week, so hopefully the whole writing deal will happen a little more frequently then!

Anyway, the purpose of this post is just to give a quick life update! I’ve run across several people this past week who I’ve been meaning to connect with that mentioned to me that they’ve really only been able to keep up on things through Facebook, which is terrible, and sometimes confusing because I never ever post statuses. So that’s where this post is going!

Quick recap. I’ve been back in the country from Spain for a just under three months now, which just sounds crazy to say, because it feels like I’ve been back much longer than that and much less than that at the same time. Those first two months were a little crazy, but I feel like I’m back into the swing of American life and all that at last.

Anyway, where I’m at now. Currently, I’m in thick of my last semester of undergrad, which is insane to say the least. In order to make this really my last semester, I’m taking 21 credits until spring break, with four-ish of my classes and Bethel and two online linguistics classes that last for six weeks and go through the Monday of spring break, so it’ll be hectic for a little while longer, but after that things should calm down for a little bit. On top of all that, I’m working as a TA for two classes, tutoring Spanish, and also sort of working at Gap on the weekends sometimes when that happens, haha. Combined with trying to make sure I get my daily dose of people, the plate is pretty full at the moment, but if you know me, you know that I like to keep things interesting and busy, so running around and being at Bethel from at least 9am-9pm four days out of the week doesn’t feel too unusual for me.

And now on to the title of this post, after Bethel. I think I would describe that area of life as being marked out but not really structured at all, which is a little scary, but also really exciting. I’ve been accepted to grad school in the MA program for forensic linguistics at Hofstra University in New York, but I found out recently that I can defer my acceptance for up to two semesters. So…I’m going to be taking a gap year starting May of this year after graduation until about August of 2017 when I’ll probably be heading out to New York for grad school, which just sounds like complete madness to me on multiple levels.

First of all, the entire concept of grad school and moving across the country are just mind blowing. Other than having studied abroad with a group of people that I already knew from school, the farthest I’ve ever lived away from home was in North Dakota last summer, and if you’ve talked to me at all about that, you know that it was basically a hellish experience that I’m taking the blow of 21 credits in one semester to not repeat again. It was pretty bad. So, coming off of that experience and Spain Term with Bethel, moving across the country for a good two years just sounds borderline unbelievable, so it’s a good thing that I’ll have a good 12-14 months for that massive change to sink in. I’m definitely excited about it, because the prospect of living in New York for two years sounds like a dream to be honest, but it’ll also be so much change and so different, two things that I don’t exactly always do the best at handling. So, I’m saying right now that will be a process that’ll be starting now, haha.

Secondly, anyone who knows me knows that my life has never really been super calm. I think I’ve probably been going 1000 miles an hour every day since I’ve been in college, so the idea of having 12-14 months off just seems like such a foreign concept to me. Like, what am I going to do? Am I going to work the whole time? Am I going to have friends during that time? What on earth is my life going to look like after graduation in May? I honestly have no idea, and that’s exciting and terrifying at the same time.

At the moment, I’ve been applying to various jobs, trying to find something for next year, with probably half of the jobs I’ve applied to being in higher education in some capacity or another. Ideally, I’d love to be able to have some kind of admissions job at Bethel, since this is practically my second home at this point, but I guess we’ll see where I end up.

To be honest, and to switch gears a little bit, I’m not super worried about what life will hold for the next year, which is something that I force myself to be okay with every day, because I’m a planner by nature, and I like to know when things are happening, what I’m going to be doing, etc. My life essentially lives in my Google Calendar and my physical planner, so the concept of having 12-14 months completely unmapped out doesn’t exactly sit well with me.

However, I think that I’m choosing to see this as a faith exercise. Though my life doesn’t exactly lend itself to spontaneity on a regular basis, I have seen through experience that any time I’m able to say to God, “Okay, Lord, I’ve got this one free day or I’ve got this one free week with nothing planned; You do You and show me where You want me to be,” He tends to do some pretty insane things. Last year around this time, I was on spring break with absolutely nothing planned and I put this blog up and it’s been sort of a crazy whirlwind of a time since then. Over the summer, I told God that I didn’t really have anything planned other than school, and He had me walk through and face a lot of old demons that I thought I was done with, and the same thing happened while I was in Spain, where I also had a fair amount of downtime.

So, that being said, I’m trying to see this gap year as an opportunity rather than something to stress about planning out. I like to think that I live for spontaneity in theory, and God has made it abundantly clear that He will do things if I commit the time and freedom to Him, so that’s how I’m choosing to view the upcoming year. I don’t really know what’s going to happen, but I’m confident that He’s going to work it out and that I’ll be where He wants me to be. I might not necessarily be making a lot of money in a real job or traveling around the world again, but I can already feel that He has something planned that I can’t see yet, something that I’m going to be so glad that I set aside a year of my life to do.

So, I guess this blog post is serving a dual purpose. This is my quick, comprehensive life update for all those people that I’ve been meaning to connect with, and it’s also my public commitment to being open and free to do whatever God wants me to do over the course of the next year. I might not necessarily know what that is, and it might not be what I’m expecting, what my family is expecting, what my friends, or anyone else is expecting, but it’s going to be where He wants me to be over this year of my life that I’m giving over to Him in the realest way possible and I’m excited about whatever that may be.

Yup. That’s this blog post. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get on top of some things so that I can write a little more often, because I have some thoughts on a couple things, but life goes on.

Until next time!

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