A year ago I attended the Illinois Reading Conference per the request of one of my professors. I was the only non-education major. I was at least 3 years younger than the other 1,000 attendants. I felt totally out of place. I think it was one of the first moments where I realized that I was reaching adulthood, a world where people work and attend important events and pull their lives together to be workers and wives (or husbands). I was terrified. I wasn't ready.
I've felt that same feeling several times since then.
I felt it when I was standing in the airport alone, about to leave for my semester abroad. I felt it when I came back from studying abroad and realized that I was four months away from living on my own and I had no money, no job, no car, no place to live, and no plans for my career. I felt it when I turned in my last paper on my last day of college. I've felt it in little spurts of fear since I graduated and realized that some of my peers have their careers already. They not only have a plan of action, but they have follow-through.
Thursday of last week my boss asked me to attend a breakfast this morning for a literacy conference on campus. My assignment was to attend and write a feature on it in the next issue of our quarterly publication.
An easy enough assignment, and one I was delighted to do. Upon arrival, I was terrified. What is this event for again? I had a distinct feeling of being the only person in a room of over 200 that had no idea what was going on.
I realized I couldn't skip out on the assignment. I couldn't sit in the back of the room unnoticed... I could ask questions, though. I could admit that I didn't know what was going on. So I did.
God could not have stuck me in a more perfect scenario than this breakfast on this morning, I've realized. I finally had an "Aha!" moment, even if it took me awhile. Did you know that the word "commencement" is synonymous for "beginning?" My college commencement was not an end; it was the beginning of something- an era, a period, a chapter of my life, my adulthood. (Am I being too philosophical for you yet?)
I thought that the beginning of adulthood would be the end of I-don't-know-what's-going on-hood. I was wrong. I think that having the confidence and the determination to make yourself one among a roomful of people who do know what's going on is a step, however small, toward being an adult.