December 9, 2012

Saying No

I'm relieved.

Around this time last week, on the train back from watching my school's production of Hamlet, I decided that I didn't want to do this commuting business anymore. Nope. I was sick of it - frustrated with multiple connections, with two-hour-long commutes, with forking over hundreds of dollars to sit on a train, with having to leave events no later than 9:30pm. So I've spent this last week calculating what it'd cost to move to Brooklyn, and asking people I trust for advice.

Tuesday, I talked with my mom about if I was even allowed to consider moving out. Was I prevented from exploring my options because my parents just were set on having me home? No, I discovered. They just wanted me to make a wise choice, and be able to afford it.

Thursday, Mary wrote me a letter that means so much to me, about her story of staying home and growing in independence. What she found to be most true is that God is sovereign. She's treasured the experiences she's had living away from home, but is also glad for the time she stayed back. And in her trust of the way God works, I felt so touched. She wouldn't scorn me if I made the choice to stay home, nor think that I was choosing immaturity.

Today, after spending a few hours looking for jobs on Craigslist, and signing up for my school's Career Services job finder, I'm realizing that though I'd like to get a job this spring, I can't count on it. I just don't have the money to pay for an apartment now, and any money I make this year would be better spent on funding the expenses I can't avoid paying for school, and to support my summer trip to China. (I'll have to tell you all more about that once it's confirmed)

And because I have enough information to make a choice, I am relieved, though it's not easy to say no. I told my mom just now that I'm prone to miss-out-a-phobia (a term my family coined, but you can probably guess what it means). Maybe it's because I've heard again and again the values of doggedly pursuing your dreams, instead of living an average life. Maybe it's because, until I've exhausted all of my options, I'd like to believe that I can make my life better, more meaningful. I won't be at rest in staying in a difficult place until I've tried very hard to get out.

Living closer to school isn't out of the question forever, but for this spring, it's out. I'm sad, because it's not too fun to anticipate the inconveniences I'll go through again. Still, King's is the school I'm devoted to, and I'm committed to making sacrifices to make it work.


Hayley Hutchins said...

While I don't have the train hassle to deal with, I empathize with your long commute to school. I hate the what-ifs, thinking of how my "college experience" would be different if I lived at/near school instead of an hour away. I hate being sensible, and sticking with what I can afford. So, ah, yes, this, I feel this!

And then, there are all those things I appreciate about still being at my house. And they help me find contentment. Making it work is not easy, but it's worth it.

Joanna Rutter said...

I'm actually looking at moving to Brooklyn in August/September with possible another friend of mine from school. I'll let you know closer to then what I've found if you're interested. Until then, chin up...I know how tough those commutes can be, those stiff NJ Transit seats, waiting on the platforms, shoving your way through Penn Station, the feeling when you miss a train...I've been there for two whole summers and I know what it feels like. Courage, my dear friend! It's just a season. There may come a day when those train rides full of time to pray, process, read and enjoy God's presence might seem like a faraway luxury. The rhythm and routine of those daily rides can become a delicious, refreshingly regular ritual if you let them. Love you!

Art said...

Hayley, Joanna, I am grateful for your understanding.

Jo - I'm going to email you :)