“Are you ready?”
In the helter-skelter preparation of paperwork, truckloads of dorm supplies, timid contact with a roommate or two, fulfillment of a few bucket list items during the waning hours left with my hometown, and so much more… many technical questions are raised regarding monetary matters and plans for that oh-so-intimidating “Move In Day”. But I have yet to be asked the point-blank question: Am I ready?
The knee-jerk, textbook reaction? No. NO, NO, NO and perhaps another “No” tossed in (bolded and underlined and in very expressive italics) just for emphasis. How could a girl like me, one who has yet to grow out of her knack for tree-climbing, possibly be ready for college? How could a girl like me, a triplet who has barely gone a day in life without the other two thirds, imagine living solo for an entire week? An entire semester has barely factored into my reckoning.
The word “impossible” scrambles to mind at the thought of setting out on my own into a world that holds innumerable discoveries. There has never been a doubt among my family and peers that I was bound for college life. However, knowing that the transition of a lifetime is lingering on my doorstep has made the reality far more intimidating. Suddenly my life will be flipped upside down, backwards, and inside out with the passing of a single day.
This, my dear friends, is the mind of a college freshmen as she sits in limbo, and not just any limbo. Having just departed from my fourth and last year with the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir, I sit in my hometown unable to settle in at home but unable to embark on my college journey. Of three places I desire to be, I can only sit on the brink of each. My limbo is threefold.
Fortunately, I have taught myself to manage limbo like a true professional. Born with a child-like spirit of restlessness and a constant desire to be in motion, I have saturated the weeks of waiting with bike rides and river walks and bucket list items with friends and family as I zip-line, kayak, and float in a hot air balloon to my heart’s content. For several days I was mollified. With such adventure on life’s delicious menu, how could I not be?
Mission accomplished. Unintentionally, I suppose I had been looking for an epiphany among all of the distractions I had chosen to adopt. But when “readiness” found me, it was not something I felt I had discovered so much as something given. Until then, I wasn’t ready to be ready, which leads me to believe that every college freshmen needs their time to worry, as it makes the feel of preparedness that much better. You can’t appreciate solid ground until you’ve felt it shake a bit beneath your feet.
Running across such firm ground only a day ago, I was on my way to the river and another day of splashes and glee. I found myself blessed ten times over, so lucky to be able-bodied, at ease, and full of youth on a day so pregnant with possibility. It occurred to me, what is a mere “threefold” limbo when compared to the unlimited opportunity that exists every hour? As I spend this last handful of days not quite at home but not quite apart, who am I to worry away my existence in the name of nervousness when I am so blessed to have so many destinations on my life’s map?
Limbo, in my case, is a gift. It is the reminder that I am lucky enough to possess not just one place that I can call Home, but several. The Youth Choir, my family’s 56 acres, and my future college campus all hold unlimited potential for growth and rest, and I find it hard to begrudge thistime of limbo knowing that I am blessed to have destinations well worth any duration of waiting.
I was not born patient. But my first discovery of a college freshman is that letting my nerves win the showdown between the jumping-up-and-down-with-anticipation and the so-terrified-I-want-to-crawl-under-a-rock-and-stay-there sides of my spirit would be a shame (and a far bigger shame than forgetting the ironing board or fridge). Somehow, I’m sure that if I can learn to enjoy the restlessness of Limbo, making a home of a college campus will be effortless in comparison.
It’s time to enjoy the Waiting Game.
By Hannah Kelling 10:31 Life Ministries Writing Team