Apparently, “Where are you at in school?” is thee get-to-know-you question…as if this question sums up somebody in the five minutes we spend chatting. Countless, countless times while in Thailand have I endured this humiliating question. Humiliating because I don’t give the “right answers” and few people seem to be interested in knowing who I am beyond that point.
This morning, someone kept prodding for answers about my educational goals, but when I finally said, “I’m not sure” she continued to “encourage” obtaining a higher-level education by sharing the story that we’ve all heard a hundred times about that mom who has young children and is now taking online classes because she didn’t in the past…but wishes she would have. Personally, the only reason I’d wish to do anything instead of raising the children whom God appointed to me at that specific moment in my past is if they turn out to be little devil children.
Yes, God can do anything, including, allowing you to birth those exact same children at a later period of time in your life, but…think about it…if you had been studying for a final exam instead of conceiving your child, that specific egg would have passed from your body within the next 12-16 days. Your husband’s sperm would never have met its soul mate. And don’t tell me you’re a multitasker.
Anyway, this person went on to share that someone else had started college and “finally began thinking about life.” Wait, does that mean people who haven’t enrolled in college aren’t thinking about their future? Choosing a different way of life than the traditional, socially acceptable and expected route is not necessarily wrong and it doesn’t make someone less valuable. It also doesn’t mean that we are bad students. I graduated high school with a 4.45 GPA and all of my college courses were completed with an A. Granted, they are “community classes,” but I still went to class like a university student, paid attention like a university student, did the homework, studied for tests, and succeeded.
Choosing a different way of life does, however, suggest that I may or may not have commitment issues…thinking about dedicating four years of my life to one specific subject is like thinking about the movie scenes where they’re locked inside of a sinking vessel while water rushes through cracks as they pound the soundproof walls for help and that fire extinguisher just will not ever break that window and their faces are now pressed flat against the ceiling, trying to avoid gulping in freezing ocean water…in the dark with that single flashlight…which just fell to the floor. Yep.
As Katie Davis said after leaving her formal education, “Following God is an education of it’s own…there is a lesson in everything, big or small.”
So, if God is not clearly calling us to any occupation other than loving Him and loving others throughout our daily routine, should we force one? “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”-Micah 6:8 (I do understand that this is not a direct answer to my specific question about seeking an occupation).
I’m a borderline minimalist, frugal with my money, and have never needed more than God has given me. He is my provider. I pay my own bills and don’t have any debt. You’re correct; I don’t have a house mortgage or apartment rent. Thankfully, I do have a pretty awesome relationship with my parents who appreciate my company around the house. You say, “Well, moving out is part of growing up!” Yes. You’re correct again. But another part of growing up is knowing that a situation will overwhelm you with financial hardship and stress. Ergo, don’t do it if it’s unnecessary. In my opinion, it’s actually irresponsible to knowingly and willingly put yourself between a rock and a hard place.
There are plenty of other opportunities to grow up. For example, spending one and a half months alone in Prague as an 18-year-old who has never been that far away from her family for that long. Or enduring the type of human interaction that a shift-supervisor has to deal with at a hectic Starbucks in the ghetto. Or watching all of my siblings get married within a year and a half of each other while people comment on my state of singleness. Or living for ten weeks in Thailand as an introvert where I’ve had multiple strangers as roommates during various conferences and am now prepping dinners and enforcing bedtime for a 13-year-old who insists on contaminating my laptop with High School Musical and the Nae-Nae.
Though it may seem, this post is not meant to be a slap in the face to people with an in-depth knowledge of one specific subject. I know and love many people with university degrees. This post is simply my essay answer to the question, “Where are you in school?”
God is my higher-level educator. I choose to listen and learn from whatever situation he’s leading me through in life, and try my best to love those who decide that a God education isn’t enough. Where am I at? Well, it’s an extensive program and I will never graduate until the day I die. Cheers!