It has been over a week since my last post, so first and foremost, I apologize for that. My hope for this blog was that I’d post something three or four times a week. Twice at the very least, if I could help it. But that fell through this week. My schedule changed quite drastically and I was busy adjusting to that. During my “free” time, I was so drained that I couldn’t muster enough energy for a blog and was in bed by 9 on most nights (which I was totally okay with).
I saw a photograph recently of a person standing in front of a display of flowers. In the space between their feet and the purple, white, and yellow buds, there is a text that reads, “You are exactly where you need to be.”
Over the past year, and especially quite recently, I often find myself worrying about what I am doing with my life and whether I am following the right path. For as long as I can remember, there has been a “plan.” Go to school. Graduate from high school. Go to college. Study abroad. Graduate from college. And I proudly accomplished all of those things. That structure was reassuring and gave me a feeling of ease because I knew what I was doing and what my next step would be. Since then, with the addition of so many different options, the plan has sort of fizzled out and left a multitude of questions in its wake. Do I go back to school for a Master’s degree? Do I work on establishing my career or dabble in as many different jobs as I can? Do I move back to the northeast (where I spent four wonderful years for university), the west coast (where I was born and raised for nearly six years), or somewhere entirely new? Do I even stay in the country, or should I venture abroad again? Do I do something familiar or do I take the road less traveled and forge my own path?
Then I question the choices I’ve made in the past. Those choices have led me to the person I am today, but I wonder how different would my life be and how much of a different person would I be had I made other choices. If my family had never moved from California to New York, what would my childhood have looked like? If I hadn’t quit soccer in high school, after playing for eight years, would I one day make the US Women’s National team and play in the World Cup? What would I be doing if I had not gone to college for writing?
My life is not as put together as I’d imagined it would be by the time I was (almost) 23. My life feels very similar to the lives of my friends and peers up until a certain point, and then it feels like we’ve entered vastly different worlds. I feel like I’m spinning in circles trying to figure things out and everyone else has confidently moved ten steps ahead of me. I am clambering to find a path that fits me best, constantly worried that I will miss an opportunity and go tumbling down the mountain. Something I know, and have known for a long time, is that things hardly ever go as planned. When I went away to college and when studied abroad, I was without my usual safety net so I finally learned how to really deal with things when they didn’t turn out how I expected. When no one else was around, I learned to be okay doing things by myself. I learned to follow through with things I was scared or unsure of. I slept on cold airport floors with friends when we needed to save our money for food and transportation.
Life happens when it does for a reason. I believe that every choice we make influences the next. I ate a refreshing strawberry, raspberry, banana smoothie bowl topped with granola and chia seeds for breakfast this morning, but the rest of my day would have happened differently had I eaten cereal or oatmeal instead. It’s okay that I don’t have it all figured out quite yet; I’ll get where I get when I get there. Maybe I’ll travel for a while or pick up some new hobbies. Maybe I’ll find my dream job tomorrow or work three different ones at once while I decide what it is I like best. Maybe I’ll learn a new language or five.
The one thing I am sure of is that I am exactly where I need to be.