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American Dream

Two old friends (who don't even know each other) got in touch with me this week and I spent some time catching up with them. Even though I am only three years out of my undergraduate days, it is so interesting to see where where my peers and I have come to this point. So many are married, having kids, working jobs, owning homes, making money, settling down, and... growing up. I know that it is purely a self-made perception, but sometimes feel like I am simply behind the curve. Of course, I know this is not true. Everything I am doing in life right now exists because I chose it. Nevertheless, I am having to grow into a mindset that recognizes that many people who have school behind them, toddlers running around their feet, 8 to 5 jobs, and mortgages are no longer those "older" people but folks my age. And younger. Somewhere along the way I made some serious choices that simply meant that those things would not be part of my life at this time. Not that I am wanting them to be, it just means that I have to accept that many of the things that a lot of people unconsciously accept as makers of typical "adulthood" are not true of my adulthood to this point. As I reached the end of college I embarked on a path that simply took me in a different direction. I pretty much stayed a college student, and not just by becoming a grad student. Undergraduate students and the college experience have pretty much become my life. So, the challenge for me is how to maintain a connection to that world while still becoming a real, well-adjusted adult. We all know people who could never move on. I certainly don't see myself as one of them, but I don't want to kid myself either. If I become a "real" campus minister in the near future I am going to have a special challenge to overcome because I'm not quite an established older guy with his own life and family, nor am I a peer of the students. Right now I'm a quasi-student/adult who is going to have to find the real boundaries. Something tells me this is not going to be easy but will be very important to do.

So, here's to old friends who are living the American dream (even though one is Ukrainian). May God bless you and continue to guide you in all your ways. And to those who see their lives as having taken a somewhat different path, well guess what, you are living it too. Don't ever let yourself think that you are not.


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