Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dream. Try. Do Good.

I am officially a wayward son.

My time at North Park has heartbreakingly come to a close. It all hit home when I had to fill out my (final!) medical form for the Peace Corps and the line for ‘Occupation’ stumped me.

I looked over at my mom who was waiting expectantly to rattle off the exact dates of every vaccination I’d ever received in my life. She had all the answers for when I had my last dental x-ray, pelvic exam and eye appointment. She wasn’t expecting what I asked.

“ Mom, what is my occupation?”

I had been filling out ‘Student’ for the last 4 years. The Christian education I had just finished wouldn’t want me to lie. I was now a graduate, with no plans for another month. What to do?


Professional Unpacker:

As this was my final move for a while, the ninth in 5 years, it was a high stress move. I expressed to my very frustrated mother yesterday, that I wasn’t intentionally being a high maintenance pain in the ass, but I wanted everything in its place when I came back from Africa. As such, I’ve been up to my ass in an only child’s amount of excess. Where the hell did I get so many books? I think I might have an intervention coming up soon.

Party Girl:

While there is a certain frowning upon that many adults will get when reading this, I urge them to remember that I am a 22-year old recent college graduate with a very serious job on the horizon. You can bet your bottom dollar there will be top dollar drinks being had for all this next month. I plan to spend it in the sun with my friends, not entirely sober.

Peace Corps Volunteer:

I wasn’t technically one yet, but the flight arrangements were made. The checks had been sent out and President Obama had stamped a letter thanking me for my commitment to our country. It was feeling pretty real to me. I was down to the wire, to the point where my suitcase was open with some things already in it, my departure from all I know on the horizon.

Boy Meets World Fangirl:

Much to the delight of the handful of girl friends I have, I have slipped down the treacherous slope into Boy Meets World. Never having watched it as a kid, I slid quickly into the world of true love that rarely irritated me (which for a show about teenagers is high praise) best friends whose bond I eerily understood and parents who reminded me a lot of my own. Before I knew it all seven seasons were stacked sloppily by my DVD player and I was laughing at the Feeny call late into the night.


The most honest answer for me at the moment, yet something I hadn’t been since I was 15.  The word unemployed, although unfortunately becoming more ubiquitous as time goes on, was never something I wanted describing me. I would have to add a line underneath assuring them that I had a job on the horizon, I promise. While honesty has served me well I the past, pen poised, I couldn’t do that this time.

Truth is, there were a lot of things I was doing right now, but none that the doctor wanted to hear about. You never know when your requisite bout of existentialism after your graduation is going to hit. Mine was between trying to remember who invented the polio vaccine (Jonas Salk! Take that college) and where we were going for lunch.

I ended up putting Student. I may not be in the city, tearing my hair out about student teaching or drinking an alarming amount of coffee with my friends, but I was still learning. I was sitting on the steps of my childhood home, smelling the air that I would recognize anywhere and waiting for the rest of my life to start. I was learning how to be patient, and enjoy where I am today.

“Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good.”
            ~Mr. Feeny