I finished my last final on Wednesday. The strangest feeling I have yet experienced was walking out of said final to discover that I had just finished my first semester of college. One second you’re hanging out with your friends and family, thinking that there will always be someone who will do everything that needs to be done (buying groceries, working, driving, managing finances, and etc.), the next your finding yourself being an adult simply because you tore your first real paycheck from the rest of the receipt.
Before finals week, during “Dead Week,” I was coming to realize two other things about adulthood: one, you don’t change. You will always be the same person you always have been. You don’t magically become a super responsible robot who automatically knows everything that all adults seem to already know. Basically, you are not reborn (or remade, or recreated, or whatever) when you become an adult. Growing up is a process, a very long, boring and depressing process, not nearly as fun as you think it will be as a kid, but also more fun than I’m making it sound. For instance, driving for the first time by yourself adds a wonderful independence that you’ve never felt before.
Two, Childhood and Adulthood are like two different worlds. One is comfortable (you did, in fact, grow up there), while the other is foreign and unknown. And there comes a time when you have to leave the world you know and venture out into the strange and busy, boring yet exciting, Other World. Much like Narnia.
Imagine you grew up in Narnia. It was home, it was comfortable and known. But then a time you knew was coming finally came, and suddenly, you’re in the real world. Dark, grungy London and away from all the fairy-tale and imaginings of your childhood — but still the same person. Lucy, Susan, Edmund, and Peter did all experience this at one point. They were kings and queens in Narnia, they had been there for so long that they had even forgotten where they have come from, but then they were reminded and later, (SPOILER!) they could never go back. Growing up is exactly like that. You finally feel like you’re getting the hang of things when BAM! Adulthood hits and you have to move to another place, with different responsibilities and you can never go back.
But then I guess there are some pretty great things that come with being an adult as well. Adulthood is not a bed of roses (teens beware!) but it is not completely a bed of thorns, either.
Merry Christmas! May you discover yourself found by God and closer to those you love.
– Jessa Winter