Monday, October 1, 2007
Unexpected Joy (the walking essay)
A light silence fills the air, instilling a quiet peacefulness in everything around me. What is usually bustling and tense now seems beautifully still. As I sit on this ancient looking bench placed here by the class of 1937, I realize that U of M has much more history than I originally expected. Suddenly my thoughts drift to a similar day 5 months ago when my dreams changed forever. I had been sitting on a bench under a tree on a rainy day like this crying because I knew that the life I had imagined for myself would never become reality. Two paths lay before me and, while I knew without a doubt which one to follow, I was terrified. My dad no longer had a job and I suddenly had a choice. I could forego my senior year in high school, graduate early, and stay in Memphis with my boyfriend and friends, or I could move for the ninth time with my family. Staying in Memphis meant going to University of Memphis because the money that I had planned on using to go to Rhodes College was gone. This is why I was crying. I had dreamed of attending Rhodes since my freshman year. I loved the trees and beautiful architecture at Rhodes; I could see myself fitting in there. I had never imagined that I would go to anything other than an expensive private college and U of M was impersonal and cheap. I knew that the only way I could remain in Memphis was to go to U of M. I had received enough money in scholarships to cover rent, food, car payments, etc. But I was scared. I wasn’t ready to handle adult problems. I cried incessantly for almost a week and then I stopped, moved on and haven’t thought about these things since. I am surprised to feel all of these emotions rushing back. I moved into an apartment before I was ready to say good-bye to my family, I gave up hope of attending my dream college, and I finished high school online. Sitting here in this peaceful atmosphere has suddenly helped me to accept my decisions as not only the best ones that I could have made under the circumstances, but as ones that will make me truly happy. I feel like I did whenever I visited Rhodes: quiet and peaceful. I trusted in God every step of the way and I finally see how He has brought everything together. I got all the scholarship money I needed to live on after the application dates had passed, my friend randomly decided to find a new apartment and needed a roommate, and I got my high school diploma in less than two months. My boyfriend, Sam, found out that he will most likely get a paid internship at an accounting firm that will pay enough money for us to get engaged somewhat soon. The way all these things have fallen perfectly into place shows me God’s hand in this and that He has given me things that I didn’t even know that I wanted. I have new dreams now. I want to be married instead of going to an expensive school, and I want to be a devoted mom instead of having an amazing career where I travel all over the world. Most of all, I want to discover God’s plans for me in Memphis. Sitting on this bench in the stillness of a normally busy campus, I am now seeing that God has given me the desires of my heart in a completely unexpected way.