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The Journey Ahead

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“So…I’m not really sure what to do here? I’ve never had a professional talk with you.”

“Why don’t you start with your name?”

“Uh, Kathryn…”

“Your full name.”

“Kathryn Marie Edslar.”

“And why are you here, Kathryn?”

“Because…I’m scared.”

“What are you scared of?”

“Life.”

“What about life scares you?”

“Everything…college…bills…being a real adult. Everything.”

“Okay. Let’s start with college. What are you majoring in?”

“Vet Science.”

“You want to be a Veterinarian?”

“Yeah.”

“Is there anything else you want to do?”

“Play basketball.”

“What position do you play?”

“I’m a two. The university’s coach said I’m good enough to make the team, but I gotta try out.”

“It sounds to me like you’ve got a good foot in already. Why are you scared?”

“I don’t know. I’m just scared. I want to go to college, it’s not that. I just…I’m scared that I’m going to fail. Everyone in the family has at least a Bachelor’s. I don’t want to be the first to flunk.”

“Anything else?”

“…I’m scared I won’t make the basketball team. I’m scared of having a psycho roommate…classes…moving away from home.”

“Are any of your friends going to the same school?”

“Just my boyfriend’s, but I watch a lot of T.V. I’m scared he’s going to find someone prettier than me and cheat on me, or something. I’m scared that nobody’s going to like me.”

“Keep going.”

“I’m scared something bad’s going to happen while I’m at school. And even if I make it through college, I know the economy sucks right now. What if I can’t find a job? I don’t know how to buy a house. What if I don’t have enough money for bills? What if something happens to my car? What is something happens to me!?”

She began to get emotional and stopped. Tears streamed down her face as she covered her mouth with her hand. I offered her a tissue from the box on the coffee table between us.

“Thank you,” she said.

“Take your time.”

“I’m fine.” She blew her nose. “I’m just scared.”

I nodded. “Scared of life.”

She sniffled. “Yeah.”

I sat back in the chair. “Do you want my personal opinion or my professional diagnosis?”

“I don’t know. Professional.”

I shook my head slightly. “You’re not crazy. You’re a high school senior. Would you like my personal opinion?”

She nodded, obviously relieved that she was not a mental case. “Yeah.”

“I think it’s good to feel these feelings. It means that you care about your life. I think that if you use these feelings to drive you, to make sure you do your very best on the court and in the classroom, you will be a better student and athlete. As far as your boyfriend goes, things will work themselves out, for better or worse. Who knows, you might even get married.”

“I hope so. I love him.”

“I know. Life after college is not something you need to worry about right now. Just take things one step at a time. You’ve already been accepted, just worry about getting there, getting to class on time, and trying out for the team. I’ve got a feeling that once you get there, you’ll learn that it’s not as terrible as you thought. They say it’s the best years of your life.”

That brought a smile to Kathryn’s face. “Okay.”

“Do you feel better?”

“Yes.”

Together, we rose from the comfortable couches in the middle of my office. She collected her flower backpack from the ground next to her seat and walked toward the closed door at the end of the hallway behind her chair. Before she reached the door, she turned and smiled at me.

“Thanks Mom.”

I smiled and winked. She opened the door, disappearing into the busy hallway of students walking to their next class. I sighed as I sat behind my desk, swelling with pride at the possibly life-changing mother-daughter heart-to-heart conversation. Being a high school counselor had its perks.

 

Author Bio: J. K. Miller II was born in Mountain View, CA and began writing at age ten. His debut novel, Reborn, is scheduled to be released March 1, 2012.

 

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