“Senior year is a time for random road trips” Jordan said to me one afternoon as we made the decision to hop in the car early Sunday morning, drive to Austin, see our teacher at the Texas Book Festival, get lunch, and drive back. It wasn’t meant to be a long trip, or even an eventful trip. Just a trip. An adventure.
I was running late Sunday morning because geez I wake up early every day but I managed to make it and Jordan hopped in my car, ready for the day. We instantly stopped for coffee and I blasted Taylor Swift. “Are you a fan of Taylor?” “Yes.” “Good.”
Jordan and I are new friends. We met in my favorite class this semester and hit it off after she let the class know that “it only takes eight pounds of pressure to rip off a human’s ear.” Then I found out she’s a Ravenclaw, loves Harry Potter, is a writer, and an all around awesome human. If this road trip were the test of our budding friendship then I give it an A++.
We were able to go from deep conversations about the effect God has in our lives, to our past romantic lives, to our current fears and struggles, to Harry Potter head canons, to playing FMK, to Dear Even Hansen. Our friendship is so raw, honest, and easy. It’s a gift, honestly, because for a moment there I wasn’t sure what life would look like.
I wrote about some friends I valued above all else almost two years ago. Today marks over a year since I’ve spoken to one of them. Things have changed, but not necessarily for the worst. Life isn’t easy but sometimes there’s a pocket of time where everything seems simple. Your pressing obligations that are going to PUNCH you in the face tomorrow are taking a nap and for a moment, you are allowed to be a bit reckless.
I don’t know what my future holds. I don’t know if I’ll go to grad school and if I do, I don’t know where it will be (because as we all know now, it won’t be Oxford). I don’t know what city I’ll be living in two years from now or who I’ll be living with. I simply don’t know.
You know who does?
God. He knows. He’s always known. He will always know. He will never be shocked about where I end up. He won’t be shocked when I screw up, make rash decisions, and fail. He won’t be shocked when I succeed, either.
Our time in Austin was jolted, rushed, and so, so fun. We had a bit of trouble finding the book fair and then when we did I parked as far away from our teacher’s tent as I possibly could. It’s fine, though, because we got to see the entire festival, got a free book (that has horrific reviews on Goodreads) and met this PERFECT gentleman.
We talked to our professor, bought some of his books, and made our way back to the car. On that walk, we came up with the idea to co-author a novel that we already have planned out in detail. We sat down at lunch and came up with our characters, a predicament (obviously involving murder…have you met me?), a twist, angst, a relationship, and an ending. Both of us are very excited to get started.
Then we headed back, my phone died, I drove the wrong way for a while, we got turned around, and arrived home about an hour later than we both wanted to. We planned out a spontaneous road trip that didn’t go exactly as planned… but honestly was better than I was expecting.
As I write this, I have an exam looming in the near future. I’m unprepared and I have a trillion other things to do. I’m swimming in an anxiety but thanks to some difficult decisions, some supportive parents, and new friends that are willing to drive to Austin randomly, I’m surviving.
Life in November of 2017 isn’t what I expected it to be. It’s not nearly close to what I thought it would be two years ago. Nothing is as I planned. But perhaps it’s better.
I know it’s better. It’s hard, yes, but I’m healthier, happier, and safer than I was two years ago.
I don’t know where this road trip we call life is going. I don’t know what wrong turns I’ll take. I can plan all I want but life will never run smoothly.
Thankfully, I’m not in charge.