I didn't want to go. I told myself over and over again that I didn't HAVE to go. I am an adult now, after all. I call the shots. I could just forfeit the $15 and say that something came up.
But I did it. I walked into a sports bar and shook hands, hugged awkwardly, people that I hadn't seen in ten years.
Probably the hardest part about all of this growing up, getting older stuff is that I don't feel like I'm growing up...I just feel like I'm getting older. So many of my old classmates had stories about living outside of Boston and working for a law firm, investment firm, publisher. They are married with condos and houses and some even have babies.
And none of the things which I have chosen for myself makes any sense to them.
What are you doing now, Alyssa?
Well, I'm living in central New Hampshire working for a ministry based up there. There's not much to do but I really like my job and I like the people that I work with. I have a really cute dog and a whole lot of roommates.
On my way to the bar, I started a list in my head, a list of tiny victories. Little reminders of the things that I have accomplished, the adulting that I've done, the spaces where I've grown to remind myself that I have done things, I have gone places, I have changed in the last ten years.
I bought my own car. I signed my own name on that dotted line...and didn't even need my parents as co-signers. That MUST count for something, right?!
I moved. I packed up my always has been life for a new state, new church, new job, new community. My body shook, my eyes welled with tears but I freaking did it.
I adopted a dog. I house trained her, slept beside her on the ground after surgeries that prohibited snuggling. I've been faithful to my promise to take care of her. I think I'm a pretty good dog mama.
I've learned to ask for help. I know that I can't do this, any of this, alone and I'm not afraid to admit it.
I've learned to rest...the hard way. I know what it's like to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, to carry the weight of so many things at one. I've know exhaustion and I've learned to rest.
I've carried the cross of leadership. I've made hard decisions, tossed and turned trying to figure it all out. I've felt the crushing weight of responsibility for something much bigger, greater than myself. It's changed me and hardened me.
I've learned humility. I've learned the people won't understand the choices that I make in pursuing a call into ministry. I've learned that I can't chase the nods of the masses, that I will never be able to make everyone happy or make everyone like me.
I guess I've done more, seen more, grown more than I thought. I guess that I have more to show for the last ten years then I let on.