The Dark Wood of Pre-Adulthood
Ah, how I do I begin? First, I suppose, an explanation of the above title. The Dark Wood, of course, is Dante's image (which the mod of this blog has been thinking about lately, and so brought it to my attention again): it is a symbol of fear, the fear that paralyzes. By "pre-adulthood," I do not mean immaturity, or adolescence. I mean a certain relationship to a community. This will become clearer later.
I am about to graduate from the Torrey Honors Institute. This is a great honor, an astounding opportunity...And I don't want it. This is not to say that I don't like Torrey; I do, and that is the problem. I don't want to leave. Granted, I have one year of college left during which I can at least pretend to be Torrey and hang out with my younger Torrey friends. But after that? I do not want to leave.
It is only in the past year, and even the past few months of this year, that I have come to love this community. I always liked it, but always kept myself a bit separate, not wanting to be vulnerable. But this year the separateness was ended, and I found myself in love (in the truest sense) with this community. So how do I leave?
It would seem that I have three options: 1. To leave, 2. Not to leave, or 3. To move into a different relationship with the program.
The first option is out for me. I cannot just cut my ties and go. It nearly broke my heart to sit through my last examination.
The second option, on the surface, is more attractive. I'll be living in the same area anyway, why not just stay around the program? Because that would be childish. I want to move beyond my college years in my soul as I move beyond them in chronology. I do not want to remain "one of the kids" forever.
This is what I meant by "pre-adulthood." I am not yet in an adult relationship with this program, and won't be until I am set free from it at commencement next week. I dread this setting free, and in many ways do not want it to happen. This is why I feel myself to be in a Dark Wood right now. I do not want to move forward, cannot move back, and will wither away if I stand still. I do not know where or how to go.
I don't know what an adult relationship with this program will look like. I've never loved a community like this before (except for my current church, but the love for them happened simultaneously as the love for Torrey), and certainly have never had to leave a community that I loved. I don't know how to say goodbye, because I am so afraid that it will be forever.
God have mercy on me. Speak the word only, and my soul shall be healed.