Monday, February 24, 2014

A Shocking Lack of -Teen

Since 6 o'clock this morning. Actually am the twenty-something I've been masquerading as for rather a long while.
Don't actually have any thoughts on this. Let you know if I do?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

On Growing Up, Car Accidents, and Bombing US History

Pictures showed up on Facebook today from my old church's Valentine's Day Banquet (two years after the one ranted about in this post) and, well, things change, don't they?
Time seems like it's flying so fast. School has been a thing and the little Mission hasn't for almost six weeks. Funny, that feels like equal parts five minutes and forever.
Life? Life is good. Life is living with my parents and getting to know them again and eating Mom's cooking and hanging out with my brothers and sister and looking for a proper job. Life is throwing myself into my studies and working hard and trying to keep up. Life is being around the little Mission, still being a part of it, but not being sucked down deeper into the vortex that was eating me alive.
But school is hard. School is harder than I gave myself permission to consider it being. The schedule's a killer, motivation is hard when I'm going it alone over the internet, and half my professors don't care if we pass or fail. I love it...but it's hard. Some things are, predictably, better than others. English has been a joy. I love the professor and have, conveniently, made a good impression on her. Government is surprisingly okay, I've been keeping up well, maintaining a good score, understanding the concepts, even to an extent enjoying myself. Another good professor. Sociology is, well, okay. The course is well structured, and I'm not having trouble with it, per se, but the raving humanism is a bit hard to stomach sometimes, as are the obvious liberal agendas and the teaching of evolutionism as cold hard fact instead of theory. But this is nothing new, and I will be okay. History, though? History sucks. The professor couldn't care less about the class, has barely communicated since day one, lets the online interactive textbook do the work for him, and only sets a deadline every two months. Is anybody going to actually do that work? No. Am I? Well, yeah. But between the poorly structured class and my own lack of care, the first couple quizzes aren't going so well. I'm going to have to make some adjustments to my approach.
Quitting my old life cold turkey is hard too. Trading the dizzying, yet constant, concentric orbits that were my life there for sedentary-ish and time to think kinda sucks sometimes. And, as hard as things got there near the end, I miss my friends. I miss my girls. Going from social overload to social...isolation, isn't easy. Some days most of the words out of my mouth are "Such-and-such said..." and here's the hook: I think my family's heard all my stories before. Already.
Going back to the mission is even harder. I've kept my afterschool program and everything that goes with it, and I still try to go to the Sunday night staff worship service when I can; but there's this sneaking, sinking, entirely unfounded feeling of being out of place. Not belonging. Being superfluous. Sometimes, I convince myself I'm being silly and it goes away. Sometimes it doesn't.
And, the whole thing'd be a heck of a log simpler if it hadn't been for the car accident last Friday night. Just a fender bender, hit-and-run, and I'm okay, but it's...complicated. See, Friday was youth gym night. I took one of my girls from the place I do Bible study. Borrowed a mission vehicle, picked her up, took her to the gym. Everything was awesome. Hung out with old friends, talked with the boy for probably longer than I should've, Bible study, took the girl home, perfect. Except that another Bible study leader needed help getting her kids home, van broke down and her car was over-loaded. So I drove back to the gym, picked up half of her kids and followed her out. Everything was still fine, we took the kids to McDonalds, then to their apartments, and the night was over. Just had to get back to the mission and drop off the vehicle. But pulling out of the parking lot to follow the other person back, a big white Ford pickup came flying around the corner, removed the front bumper of the vehicle I was driving, and conveniently deposited it in pieces strewn across the roadway.
Guys? If I had pulled out even a little further, this girl wouldn't be talking to you today.
And the more I try to move past this, the harder it seems to get. It wasn't my fault. The fact that he didn't stop says it wasn't my fault. All of the lovely people who stopped to make sure I was okay, who picked up the pieces of the vehicle, who tried to chase him down to get a license plate number, told me it wasn't my fault. But what does it still feel like? My fault.
I haven't been back to the mission since. I feel this ridiculous notion that I don't want to show my face. Scared somebody will say something. Embarrassed that I'm that chick, the one that wrecked a company vehicle her very first time. What does it mean for next month? I promised the little girl I'd take her to the next gym night, but I don't know if they'll let me. I don't know if I can. Except for driving back to the mission after all was said and done and driving myself home that night, I haven't been behind the wheel of a car since then, and I'm not looking forward to it. I've got this knot of anxiety in my stomach that explodes every time I think about it.
Guys? I'm gonna be twenty in a couple of weeks. Twenty, well, it doesn't have the word teen in it, does it? First time in a decade that's happened. And I don't know what to think. I mean, I've moved 1500 miles away from my family by myself, lived alone for a year, held a (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually devouring) job down for a year, got my drivers license, opened a bank account, and started college. And yet, here I am, living in with my parents, doing school from home (not, though, home-schooling, really!), without a job, and scared to death of driving. The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. And, in a lot of ways, I feel like I've got even more question marks about the theoretical concept that is the rest of my time on planet earth than I did in high school.