Questions young whippersnappers get asked frequently:
- What year of college are you in?
- Ohh, what do you plan to do after that?
Lately I’ve been seeing a bunch of parents’ friends and relatives for the first time in a long time. They’re really sweet and it’s fun to see them. They’re flatteringly complimentary about my (vastly improved by comparison) looks, and I know it just might be all downhill from here anyway. What is it? At age 25 the body begins dying? 😂 Every time this happens, I turn to my mom and say, “It helps when you start ugly,” and she gets all ruffled. 😂
But they do ask the above questions more often than not, and of course it’s all in good nature. Just yesterday, I had to apologize to a friend at church because every week I ask her the same question: Wait, have you started school yet?
It’s kind of like once you’re in college, and everybody’s super done with being asked what their major is, and probably super over having to say they’re a freshman over and over. No? I’m not sure. Don’t ask me, I’m not that much of a whippersnapper. I mean seriously, the other night a 14-year-old was asking me how old I thought “that hot guy” was. Sixteen, I guessed—the same as my BABY brother. Not cool! There are illegal implications to this, people.
Cliches arise at every stage in life, and it just happens that this is one of them. No, not the 16-year-olds!! What are you going to do with your life? …What are you doing with your life? I request that you read the last question again, but with Captain Barbossa’s voice.
My dad and I sat at Starbucks Sunday afternoon talking about his work and about our community. He’s retiring soon, and I’m on my way to my senior year of college. “Our family is certainly in transition,” he said.
Change and I have never been close friends. We’re kind of like, say, distant cousins that see each other at dinners maybe once every 2 years. You know, it’s awkward being reintroduced when you know someone just a little, but then when you hit it off, you hit it off for real. Then you’re so glad your parents will keep talking over coffee. Yeah, usually I stick to my shy guns, and I don’t give change much of a chance to warm up to me. Then there are times I dive into the deep end of surprise and those have been some of the coolest, best moments of my life. I was cleaning just a little today and read a few yearbook entries from my high school senior year book. More than one friend wrote a very gentle, direct, “I’m really glad you were on ASB.” I kind of forgot that running meant something to my friends who were like me—not most likely to stand up in front of ~800 peers and give a speech requesting a vote.
It was a risk to run against someone significantly more popular, assertive and equipped with an equally assertive, but kind, boyfriend. It was a risk to tell everyone I had no experience, but all the desire to do something good for them. Maybe that’s all we need to show up with everyday.
“Everyday” doesn’t require a gameplan to be meaningful. My relatives and parents’ friends don’t need me to tell them I’ve grown to become a Renaissance genius with the YouTube-training to make my face look as shiny and alive as my insides. They just want to know I’m trying, while enjoying this gift of life. And I just need to believe this life is a gift.
So for now, I’m only planning for what’s in front of me: this semester, and barely even that lol. A lot of crazy awesome and terrible things can happen to you in a given amount of time. But I’ll save a seat on the ride just for change, and pray with hope, because I know it’s gonna be good.
Speaking of loosening grip on plans, check dis: