It’s been two and a half weeks since I packed up too many shoes and expectations and moved to Chicago.
It’s been two and a half weeks since I’ve felt comfortable.
It’s been two and a half weeks since I’ve been very sure of any decision I make.
It’s been two and a half weeks since I’ve started college. (I did take online college classes last year, but I’m not sure what to count those as. They are hard to compare to this. I was a college student last year, but I consider myself a ‘real’ college student now.) My A+ college roommate likes to play this game she calls “True Confessions” where we just freely admit things to each other and then laugh them off. And after two and a half weeks of school in this beautiful, scary, diverse and challenging and overwhelming city, I have some true confessions to get out so I can start laughing again.
I don’t know how to do life here.
I don’t know how to make new friends. I love friends, and I even love new friends, I just don’t like making them. So please excuse me if I come off weird, or rude, or worse and more likely, awkward. I DO want to get to know you, and I want to be your friend. I’m just not good at this.
I don’t know how to be myself. If you asked me to describe myself, I’d be a little at a loss for words. I’m in a stage of transition where even I don’t really know who exactly I am, and so I have no idea how to communicate to all these new people who I am. I know a lot of us probably feel like that. I’m more than happy to listen to you. I love hearing people’s stories. I do care, I really do want to know you. And I want you to know the real me, but she’ll probably be hiding for my first few months here. I’ll let you know when she’s back.
I DO know how to do laundry, and I did my first load of laundry EVER a week ago. Please applaud or show your praise however you see fit.
I don’t know how to say “no” when someone invites me to explore the town. Because, Chicago! Which is okay at this point since I’m not being crushed under an insane amount of schoolwork yet, but I should probably start to work on that soon…
I don’t know how to feel God here. I’m in a middle of a lil spiritual funk (at Moody Bible Institute, of all the places!) and I know the foundation truths about God and His Word and I’m clinging to those. I just haven’t been feeling them recently.
I don’t know anything about the cultures here. I’m a uncharacteristically short but otherwise very distinctly Dutch girl who grew up in a strongly white, upper middle class, and Christian family, church, town, and school. I don’t understand anything other than that. I want to learn, serve, commune, and care about the hugely diverse people of this city who are vastly different from me in every way imaginable. I just don’t know how.
I don’t know how to walk past a man in a sleeping bag on the sidewalk on my way to church and then buy myself a $5 coffee on the way home from church. I don’t know what I’m suppose to do.
I don’t know where I’m going. I know asking majors is just a way to try to get to know each other, and asking where you see yourself in the future a roundabout way of seeing what people’s passions are, but I don’t know. I don’t. I’m an undecided major, undecided career path, undecided future, undecided life. I’m just a generally undecided person. I only know that I care about people. I want to love people, and I want to love Jesus. I don’t know where or how or what that looks like.
I don’t know how to live for Jesus here. There are exactly ten million and two organizations providing ways to “minister” and “serve” in this city, and some nights it’s all I can do keep myself from falling apart in my dorm room. I realize I’m privileged beyond what I could ever know. I don’t know what to do with that. I don’t know where taking care of myself and serving others should meet.
But…I do know that I am here for a reason. I do know that I have every reason to be thankful and then ten more. I do know the One who has my future. And I do know that sooner or later this will feel less awkward, I will feel less lost, and He will feel more present.
Sooner, please. I’m ready to start laughing again.