“Yeah, that’s why I’m trying to get you out of bed,” my dad says half-laughing, framed by the door.
And I roll out of bed. For the omelettes.
Every Sunday morning, my dad makes omelettes for the family. It’s become a tradition, and trust me when I say that they’re amazing: I have yet to find a chef that can out-omelette my dad.
A couple weeks ago, as I rolled out of bed on a Sunday morning for the omelettes, I thought about college. I thought primarily about the fact that, in a couple months, I wouldn’t be able to roll out of bed for a hot, pepper jack cheese-filled omelette.
I hadn’t even committed yet, but the idea of my impending omelette-less life placed me in a very weird, sad place.
To me, Sunday omelettes represent something much larger. I really love my life right now: baking nights with my brother (I make lava cakes, he makes oatmeal cookies), laughing with my mom and dad about something funny that happened at school or work and taking day trips to try new restaurants in San Francisco.
I realized just how much I’m leaving behind. There’s a certain finality to it: once I get on that plane in August, I will never live the same way I do now. So I decided, three days before May 1, that I did not want to go to college.
But I knew that I must. And that I would. This, to me, was the tragedy — I did not want to do what I knew was inevitable.
The day I committed, I cried. I was so sad and scared, and angry that I was sad and scared. All of my friends were absolutely ecstatic to leave Cupertino, to leave their parents and never return. I brought my pity party to my college counselor, Nae.
“The fact that you’re fearful does not make you ‘not ready,’” Nae said. “It means you see and feel so incredibly grateful that you have so much to leave behind as you move forward in life. And that’s a huge gift that you have built with your family together. It’s amazing. Your fears are valid, but another way I see your fear is the immense gratitude you feel for the life you have right now, and that’s nothing fearful, anxiety-producing or sad.”
Even when I was presented with this eye-opening, positive outlook, it was still really hard for me to change my perspective. I didn’t want to leave the security of my life here behind, to start all over; it’s scary to uproot your life to chase an uncertain future.
But Nae was right. Instead of being fearful of an omelette-less future, I should be thinking about how grateful I am that my dad makes me omelettes every Sunday.
Once I had this seed, this inkling that maybe my worry was just a reflection of how great my life is, I was able to think a little differently.
I am still so scared, and the inevitability of it all has started to sink in. I’ve realized that while I won’t be able to sing loudly at my brother across the hall, there are a lot of moments I’ll continue to have as I adapt to my new environment.
So, perhaps when I’ve long graduated college, I’ll fly to wherever my brother is, and we’ll do baking night again: I’ll make lava cakes, and he’ll make oatmeal cookies. In college, I’ll be FaceTiming my parents, laughing about something funny that happened at school or at work. And, perhaps, I’ll learn how to make my dad’s omelettes myself, and start a new tradition with my roommates in college.
More likely, I know I’ll be back home the Sunday before Christmas – and I’ll be able to roll out of bed again, for an omelette.