I’ve been open about my struggles, so I think it’s also important to note that I have some healthy coping mechanisms. Like seeing a counselor on a monthly basis. In the spring of my sophomore year, I started seeing Ashlee regularly, and I really learned that everything can change when you’re seeing the right counselor. I always look forward to my appointments (my Instagram and Snapchat followers know when I’m there because I always post a picture of this circular shelf in the waiting room that I’m obsessed with), and I know when things come up I can always schedule an extra appointment in between.
She’s one of my rocks. Naturally, when she told me she was pregnant over the summer, I was so happy for her. She mentioned she was due in December, but it was summer then! I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I graduate on December 16 (you know, tomorrow) and would be frantically applying for jobs at that time. I was excited for her! How amazing!
Flash forward to Thanksgiving break, when the panic of the real world started to set in. As I lay on my bed, my mind spiraling, I remembered at my last appointment I was told my next one was scheduled two days before her due date. That hadn’t worried me at the time, but it was making me feel uneasy now. Was I going to get insight from Ashlee before graduation? Would she settle my nerves?
The when I woke up the Monday after Thanksgiving, I had decided that I needed to move my appointment forward. It seemed like the responsible thing to do. I started to get up and get ready to drive back to Ball State. Not a half hour after I woke up, my phone rang and the caller ID flashed “Indiana Health Group.” My stomach dropped a bit as I answered.
She’d gone into labor and I needed to either cancel my appointment or schedule one with someone named Laurie who was filling in for her. I was so happy for Ashlee, but this felt so overwhelming.
We scheduled the appointment and I sort of stared off into space. I’m getting ready to graduate! Applying for jobs has been so stressful! The internship that changed my life just ended! My whole world is about to change! What am I supposed to do?
As I sit here typing this, I wonder: Is this a sign to be open to new things? Is this actually a hidden lesson about making sure I can stay flexible? Is this just one big metaphor for life?
I went to my appointment with Laurie even though I was so nervous and I knew it was going to be a little awkward because I was going to have to revisit a lot of stuff. Once we got past the initial weirdness, though, I felt really comfortable and was able to really open up. When I mentioned one of the ways I was coping with stress was by rewatching “Friends,” we started talking about how much we loved the show.
I know life is always going to throw me curve balls like this one, especially when these next few months are essentially a big question mark. Maybe now I’ve learned to be more prepared for them.