That Awkward Phase

Life has so many phases, and arguably, most of them have high potential for awkward. Falling over your shoes on the way to your first day of kindergarten, that haircut you couldn’t wait to grow out. How about looking back at evidence from middle school picture days? The transition into high school, then things seemed to smooth out heading into college. We all seemed to get the whole “new school” routine down by then. Puberty is right at the top of that awkward list, but I’m willing to bet there another phase even tougher. That post-college age.

Leaving high school and heading into college was one of my first experiences with friends moving in any kind of different direction than I was going. Friend groups expanded, shifted and finally settled just in time for heartbreaking good-byes as we each accepted one different scholarships, pursued different areas of passion and potential. My personal story was a little different. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study after high school so I spent the summer working in Yosemite National Park. Yet another one of the many directions my friend group split.

So here we are now. 6 years after graduating high school. Those who graduated from college are among the many racers searching for that ideal job, utilizing the degree they’ve finally been awarded after all the years of hard work. Others are continuing their education, applying to graduate programs and masters programs. Some are married with children, others (like myself) just have the kiddo part of the family. We are all busier than we could have ever imagined we would be. One thing brings us all back together; one thing most of us have in common. A great many of us are living with roommates who also raised us. Yep, we “moved home” to our parents place. glory.

I’m pretty sure this part of life is the most awkward. A large addition to why this season of life wins the awkward turtle trophy is because we are the first generation (on such a grand scale) trying to navigate life this way. This is one of the only things we have in common with the community who has walked the majority of life (so far) with us.  We have all found ourselves so busy, we forget to connect in a meaningful way with our peers. This may be one of the first seasons of life when we need community and friends most, but they aren’t convenient anymore. They aren’t the next dorm, or the next tent-cabin over. They are hardly doing the same things in life, so we have to actually try to make time for them amongst our busiest life.

So life is awkward, because we have no idea what we’re doing and we’ve lost touch with any outside opinion we will actually listen to because we’ve all learned long ago to only listen to our parents selectively.