I just finished my first weekend in graduate school, and hoo boy, am I outside of my comfort zone. I am leaping into something that I know very little about in the company of people who know much.
I alternate with flashes of panic and overwhelming excitement. I am at once wondering “what the hell am I doing here?” and thinking how lucky I am to be able to take advantage of such an opportunity.
For the next three years, the twenty-three of us in our “cohort,” will travel this academic maze together. I wonder how many will be at the finish line. This promises to be an intensive study, not only of the subject matter (theology) but of ourselves as we go through the process, sometimes in rather intimate engagement with each other. The instructors have promised us that we will change in the process.
I’m all for change.
I like who I am these days, and think I know myself pretty well, but I am not afraid of further examination. Instead, I am afraid of stagnation. And, truth be told, I’ve been languishing in my cushie comfort zone for way too long now.
I am seriously outside of my arena in this particular academic setting, but I relish the newness of the experience, anticipating astonishments and profound insights, and welcoming whatever personal growth that will result.
It’s like that old roller coaster. Will I sit in the back car, gripping the handrail with whitened knuckles, my eyes closed, cringing at each spinal twist, just hoping to survive– or will I sit in the front car, trusting the handrail over my knees to keep me locked in, my hands high in the air, eyes wide open, screaming at the top of my lungs, taking advantage of every thrilling turn?
Today I choose the latter. I hope I always will.