Feelin’ 22

“It’s miserable and magical…”

That Taylor Swift; she knows what she’s talking about. Being a twenty-something is not as easy as I thought it would be when I pictured my life out of high school. Paying bills sucks, responsibility is hard, and growing up is a constant push and pull between who you used to be and who you want to be. But there are bright points—sparkling, everyday victories that make the bad stuff suck a little less.

If you eat bagged apples from a fast-food chain anywhere between Pennsylvania and Arkansas, I may have seen them go down a line into a shipping box. Orders are always coming in and out, so my crew and I are consistently busy. Depending on the apples, machines, and staff count, we can have really freaking good days, or horrible, put-me-out-of-my-misery days.

Today’s start was truly awful. So bad, I nearly broke my #1 rule of “No Crying on the Production Floor.” Instead, I spent half an hour of my break sobbing in the bathroom because I had lost all control of myself. This isn’t the first time, and it most likely won’t be the last.

We were short-staffed, boxes were falling off of lines everywhere, and the lack of communication between Room 4(packaging/boxing) and Room 3(bagging) was crippling the whole system. My supervisor was too busy to help, Maintenance was working on a pick-packer machine, and there were trucks waiting for orders that weren’t done yet. My trainee was doing his best, but our palletizers(box-stacking robots) were messing up, our paperwork was behind, and people kept calling over the CB radio to ask questions we didn’t have time to answer. Is that descriptive enough? It’s enough to make anyone to lose their cool.

While bawling my eyes out in the bathroom, I began to question what I really wanted. Did I want to continue working here? Where else could I go? Should I go to college? How am I going to afford it? What am I DOING?!

I am so thankful that God is patient with me through the rough patches. Beneath all of the tears and frustration, God sees my heart and my lack of self-assuredness. He sees my broken bits and the potential I haven’t discovered yet. He has a plan and a purpose for me even when I can’t see past the blockade before me. He calms me down and reminds me of His promises.

As the day went on, God brought back to my memory the adventures we’ve been plotting together. The plan to be a supervisor. The plan to go to Discipleship School. The plan to see youth hungry for Jesus. God reminded me of who He is molding me into— a strong, kind, confident, independent woman with a heart for people.

The workday finished on a good note with a much needed hug from a friend and I blasted TSwift’s 1989 album in the car all the way home. My dog, bless him, was happy to see me when I opened the door and let me shower him with kisses. Dinner was delightful. Netflix? Oh yes. Despite a terrible beginning, these savory moments changed my day for the better.

10pm. I should be sleeping.

But here I am. Wearing a secondhand U of M shirt that Camille* and Jefe* would murder my for owning, sipping a beer, wondering what the rest of my life will look like. God has shown me pieces of His big picture, but plenty is left to my imagination. Where will I be next year? In five years? Ten years? I don’t know. I guess that’s the “miserable and magical” part about being twenty-two.