"You're going there? But it's dangerous!"
"That's so far away! Why didn't you look at schools that were closer?"
"Are you sure you're ready for the Real World out there?"
"What's your boyfriend going to do while you're gone?"
"He's just letting you loose out there with all those college boys? So far away?"
Most of these questions are probably more rote than anything else - just conversational. Standard questions that we don't think much about, that don't mean a whole lot.
But I've spent like a month answering these questions over and over and over and over and over and over. . . you get the idea - and in all that answering, I started thinking about what was really being asked. And because I'm one of those people who chews on an idea for hours and hours and works myself into a total stew until I get it on paper or screen or something, I decided to type out my honest answers to these mostly-unassuming questions. Because they've gotten less unassuming over the last twenty-four hours, and I want to issue a little challenge at the end of this. Let's roll.
- "You're going there? But it's dangerous!"
Okay, so yeah, life is dangerous. But actually, the location of my next adventure is just a tiny bit safer than the location I call home at the moment. Really. PodunkVille beat out MetroZooVille on the questionable-characters and general not-niceness scale. And campus security is beyond thorough.
2. "That's so far away! Why didn't you look at schools that were closer?"
Fact: I did. I got mail from pretty much every school in the state, not to mention the surrounding states, and the states on the other side of the country. I looked everywhere, and everywhere looked back at me, and it was freaky. I looked at schools from three hours away to twelve hours away. I got mail from some that were farther away than that. And only one of them clicked. Only one of them yanked my head up as God practically shouted, "HEY! THAT ONE!" It's far, but it's right. And it's only like a day's drive. Come visit me. I'll be back, too.
3. "Are you sure you're ready for the Real World out there?"
One thing I've learned over the past two years (probably more like seventeen years) is that God doesn't really care what I'm ready for, and I shouldn't either. The point of living in His plan is not that I'll be ready for everything that happens - in fact, I've very rarely been ready for Anything that's happened. It's so Not About Me that it's not even my job to worry about what I'm ready for. I'm sure of where God has called me, I'm sure of His perfect plan for me, and I'm sure of His constant presence and protection wherever He calls me. The Real World is absolutely nothing for me, or any of God's children, to fear, because we are promised that our God is bigger than whatever boogeymen the Real World can come up with.
4. "What's your boyfriend going to do while you're gone?"
Ah. This has been one of the hardest questions for me to even think about without turning into a boiling pot of wrath (and sadness). Here's the kicker: he doesn't need a babysitter. He doesn't need me to watch over him and make sure he eats right and goes to bed early. He's a grown man, he lives on his own, he's been feeding and dressing himself since way before I knew him - he's going to be fine. He is not dependent on me for survival. When we miss each other, we can call. I'm not moving to the Arctic Circle. He'll work, train, watch movies with his mom, and do pretty much all the things he does now - just without me. He doesn't lose all of his motor skills when I leave the room. He's independent, he's intelligent, and he's going to be totally fine. Probably sad. I'll be sad too. But it's not the Apocalypse.
5. "He's just letting you loose out there with all those college boys? So far away?"
Well. . . yeah? And no? I am, after all, 50% of any decision we make about our relationship, so it's not like it was all his decision (it was more mine than his all along, to be fair, and if he'd for one minute decided it was all his decision, we would have had a very long serious talk). He respects that I'm my own person with dreams and desires, and possibly even more than that, he respects that God has a plan for me that I am totally committed to following. If that plan means we spend some time at opposite ends of the state, then that's what we do.
Another big part of this question is the trust issue. He's not "letting me loose" at all. And it really bugs me when people say that - whether or not they mean it in any offensive way. The simple fact is that he trusts me (and if you can't trust your Person to handle themselves around people of the opposite sex when you're not around, quite frankly, you're already screwed). He knows me, he trusts me, and he isn't under any delusions about me "belonging" to him just because he said so. Any "belonging" of me to him is solely by my choice, and that's a choice that I make all by my big girl self. He is so respectful of that . . . it's freaking awesome. He also knows how much I respect him and our relationship, and he trusts me to be as faithful and respectful of him from across the state as I am from across the room.
To be clear: this is not in any way directed at any individual, and it is certainly not just me throwing a fit and getting my panties in a wad about the amazing people in my life who want to know what my plans are. I love talking about my plans, answering questions, and all that jazz. These are some of my thoughts about how the questions we ask could be interpreted and answered. This is me trying to politely and coherently type out the "long" answer to the questions I've been answering in thirty-second bits for a month. It's also just some things I personally want to keep at the front of my mind because (here's a shocker) I'm really, really terrified of this whole moving-across-the-state thing. I'm so so excited! And so so scared.
It's gonna be great.