Learning to Adult: The Waiting Place

In my last post I talked about my struggle to decide whether or not I should move to England this autumn for graduate school. I wrote that post because I was hoping for guidance. I was looking for answers. I was frustrated and tired, so I started writing. I started praying for answers. And I started asking not for the answer I wanted but the answer I needed, even if I didn’t actually know what that answer was.

I got my answer one week later. I thought about writing an update post to tell the world–and by “world” I mean the 12 of you that read this–that I made my decision. But the fact is that my decision was kind of made for me; the only thing I did was accept it.

What happened was that I got an email from Essex, the school that I was planning on attending this October. The subject line read “Discontinuation of the MA in English Language and Literature.” I took in a sharp breath, closed my eyes, and clicked on the email.

I knew what it said, but the words on the screen turned blurry. The program I had been accepted to wasn’t running this year. I could transfer to another program that was slightly related to my own, but none of them offered exactly what I needed. The answer I was looking for was staring me right in the face, so I clicked “reply.” This is the message I sent:

Dear Ms.____,

I received the email regarding the discontinuation of the MA in English Language and Literature program. At this time I will not accept a place in any of the other related programs for October of 2015. Instead, I was hoping that I could defer my place at Essex to October of 2016. I have been reevaluating my financial situation and feel that it would be wise for me to wait another year to work and save so that I am more financially prepared to participate in the program.

With kind regards,

Erica H

Short. Sweet. Professional. Detached, even.

95 words in total. It took me nearly one hour to click “send.”

I don’t know why It’s been so hard for me to talk about this decision. I’ve told only a small handful of people up until now. I know that this is the right decision for me. I know that I am needed at home right now and that waiting one more year for England is, in the grand scheme of things, a very small time to wait. And to be honest I am okay with waiting one more year. I am okay with having more time in the U.S., as much as it drives me crazy sometimes.

What I’m having a hard time being okay with is admitting that I was wrong. I broadcasted to all of my friends and family that I was moving to England this September and there was nothing that could prevent me from doing so. I was going to have my Master’s degree before I turned 24 years old. I was going to go work for a few months but then be the girl that went and did something with her life. I wanted to prove to everyone–but mostly myself–that hard work and strong determination could get me anywhere.

But you know what? It’s okay. I was wrong. I miscalculated. I thought I had my future planned out perfectly. I was prideful and a bit too arrogant to believe that my plans could change.

England is still in the plans. Grad school is still on my to do list. But I know that those plans might change, and that’s okay. Right now I just need to wait. Wait and work and wait some more. I need to learn how to live in this waiting place, something I’m kind of struggling to do right now. But God is teaching me a lot about waiting and trusting him. It’s not easy, but I know that it will be well worth it, even if I can’t see it now.

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