Tuesday, April 17, 2012

{Nostalgia} The Reality of Reality

I didn't sleep that night.

I was too busy shoving everything I owned into white trash bags and plastic bins.

My move-in time was 6 AM, it was about midnight, and I had only just begun packing. My mind was intensely focused on those trash bags--on my clothes going into them, on the stack of my belongings growing in the corner. Somewhere in the very back of my mind was that nagging, that fear. I guess you could really just call it reality. But I was so determined to ignore that uncertainty that I buried myself deeper and deeper into those garbage bags, furiously packing, with an occasional pause to look around, to reminisce.

I lived with my aunt and uncle that summer. About 20 minutes from where all the goings on were happening, since everyone I knew hadn't moved to Springville with me. I worked full time at my dad's dental office, and kept one of every kind of outfit in the trunk of my car. In hindsight, I realize that reality came more gradually than it felt like it did. It just pretended to not see it until it was all that I could see--shielding my eyes to everything but the last speck of innocence until that, too, had faded.

I was scared. I didn't admit it to myself or anyone else, but I was absolutely terrified. So much was ahead, and I didn't know anything. At 5 AM, my sister and I loaded up my uncle's old beater truck, and I spent the entire 20 minute drive in filled with an emotion that came nothing short of ecstasy because I had so missed driving a stick shift. We pulled into the lonely parking lot, and spent a good half an hour searching for someone--anyone--who could help me check into my new home for the next eight months.

I didn't want to call the number that was posted on every single door. I didn't want anyone to have to wake up at my expense. But, when it had been long enough, I finally caved under the logic that the phone number was posted for a reason. Five minutes later, an RA had walked me through the basic mechanics of a fire extinguisher, and I had a key to my apartment.

We made it into the apartment just fine. But, try as I might, I could not get the key to turn in my bedroom door. I sheepishly called that poor man again, asking if there was a magic trick to make the door open. He came to help and quickly informed me that I was trying to open the wrong door.

Tori will never let me live that down.

This is my, "What are you doing over there?" face.

The reality of it all is that it was always reality. Every moment just as real as the next. Every moment growing and climbing and learning. Falling, too. In fear or inadequacy. But always picking back up and continuing onward.

Still, this moment felt especially real. Starting something absolutely new. I was on my own, but I came armed with a drive to succeed that came from who knows where. I guess I'll have to find it again, though, because this is going to happen all over again on Monday.

And even though I've done it before, I don't feel any less afraid.


Conference Weekly talk found here.

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