Life. I thought I had it all figured out. Now at the age of 27, I’m coming to realize that I still have a lot to learn. Out of everything that’s happened so far, I thought that I would at least have a career in my field of study, be married, even have the house and a dog. (I love dogs!).
I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in English. (Yes, I said ENGLISH, and I’m very proud of that). I was in a promising and committed relationship. Right before graduation, I was accepted into American University’s School of Journalism. Unfortunately, I didn’t go, and I can honestly say that it was fear that kept me from going. Yet, after, graduation, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my degree.
That first year after graduation, I suffered from depression. I thought that if I went to college, AND graduated with a degree, there would be a great job waiting for me. Man was that a lie! Questions arose like, “What did I do wrong?”, “Did I get a degree in the right profession?” “Why don’t I have a J.O.B.?!” No matter how hard I searched, applied, and got denied. I kept hearing, “You need experience”. Well, how was I going to gain experience if no one was willing to give me an opportunity?
Things began to turn around the next year, as I was accepted into graduate school for English Education. In the midst of that, I didn’t pass the Praxis, BUT I was hired at a school in my hometown. I focused on work because let’s be real: I needed the money. We all do. I enjoyed working at the school for nearly three years. Last year, the six-year relationship that I thought was so promising and fully committed to came to an abrupt and tragic end. I realized that, in that relationship, I had lost sight of myself and what I wanted.
I don’t have the house or the dog. Now, I’m reevaluating what I really want to do, how I’m going to get there, and how I can still be successful doing everything I love. 2018 has been the year of self-discovery and learning for me. So far this year, I’ve gained new friends, rebuilt old relationships, traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, completed a marathon, joined a financial business, and traveled to Orlando where I met some amazing, successful people. I plan to continue to pursue my itch for creating arts and crafts. I’m getting back into healthy habits, and I’m returning to my passion, writing. I’ve also left depression behind and have returned to the fun, loving and caring person I used to be.
I say all of that to say this: Life is a beautiful journey. No matter how it goes, there’s always a silver lining. Here are a few things that I’ve learned along my journey and am still learning.
God has a clever way of throwing life’s curveballs at you.
- You have no control over what’s going to happen in the next second, day, or year. You have to learn how to adapt, and embrace change, no matter how much you try to fix things or stop them from happening. You can’t see everything coming.
Be proud of what you’ve accomplished so far.
- No one knows your journey except for you. Take pride in all that you’ve done. Remember, there are people who are in the same position as you, or have it worse than you do. Life is not that bad.
Do what is best for you and trust the process.
- It’s okay to take advice from people. However, too much advice can be overwhelming. That’s when fear can kick in, and you lose sight of what you want to do. Follow your own path. You’ll get there. Only you know what you need.
Try new things. Step outside of your comfort zone. Go for it!
- Change your hair. Change your wardrobe. Learn something new. Meet new people. Go out. Travel. Date. Don’t overthink, that’s fear talking. Take risks. You’ll learn so much about yourself, things you never even knew.
Negativity should not exist.
- This is an issue most people struggle with. There are plenty of naysayers out there. Don’t let them stop your blessings. And don’t allow those thoughts to creep in your mind. You’ll only become those thoughts. Positive vibes only!
Find your mental and physical happy place.
- Nothing is better than having a clear, calm mind. Read a book. Do a crossword puzzle. Take a walk in the park. Meditate to some music while cleaning or cooking. You’ll also feel amazing after a great workout. Yoga, cardio, pilates, boxing whatever it takes to sweat the stress away! Develop your own healthy meal plan. Plus, when you look good, you feel good!
Set goals and keep pushing.
- We may not always reach our goals on time, but stay resilient and persistent. Failure should never be an option. If you fall, get up, and go even harder!
Surround yourself with positive, like-minded, and different people.
- Having a great and positive support system helps you feel motivated during your life journey. Those around you that think like you will always keep you involved in what you love to do. So can the people who are different from you. You can always learn something from different minds.
Last, but not least, LIVE, LAUGH, and LOVE more!
- There are times when we feel that all hope is lost. But remember, it takes more energy to frown than it does to smile. A smile will transfer that positive energy to someone else who needs it. Find the beauty and happiness in everything.