There is one rest stop in the middle of my hour commute from home to work. It is gloomy and right beside a very large and nice gas station, which I’ve always thought was kind of odd. Why would someone go to a dirty rest stop if they could stop at a gas station? Anyways, I see this rest stop every time I drive to work. It is a reminder to me of my own rest stops.
When you arrive at college, you think your life is going to begin, and all the wonderful dreams you had are going to become reality. But really, college is full of rest stops. You are allowed time to think and behave a certain way. There is freedom and many abuse it. You can avoid responsibilities and yet gradually ease into them.
Real life doesn’t have very many rest stops.
Now that I’ve graduated, I find myself with a choice. I can live in the past–the one I swore to burn–and search among the ashes for pieces of my old self. This might mean acting like a frightened college student who is allowed time to think about risks. She is able to make excuses for not stepping out of the box because college is, in a way, a giant box. I can dig myself a pit and stay stuck in there until I decide to come out. This might mean becoming overtly emotional and nostalgic, wondering why things have to change. OR I can take a third route, the one full of darkness and webs. It is not a road I cross often because I do not like walking with a blurred vision. It is a road without clear rest stops, one that begs me to keep on even though I may not know what lies ahead. But what if I need to rest? What if I need to stop? It screams, “You’ve stopped for too long now. You’ve filled up your tank and have worked your legs. It’s time to move forward.”
Forward? That dreaded fate. The truth is, I’ve been waiting all my life to do the things I’ve started to do – write, minister the Gospel, raise awareness about human trafficking, become a somebody in the film industry. And yet, I can feel my heart beating, my breath growing heavy, and my body tempted to turn — no, run — around. I want to go back. I want to stop. But I can’t. The only way out of a rut is up and onwards.
So forward I will go – with shaking knees and blurry eyes – but forward nonetheless.