On June 4th I was a guest blogger at Blossoming Brilliance for the Women's Circle. This is a crazy week so I thought that this would be a good opportunity to share that post.
One of the biggest questions in life is ‘Who am I?’ On job applications, facebook, blogging profiles you are given a small square of information where you are supposed to adequately describe who you are. Is this even possible? As I go through my quarter life journey (QLJ) I am realizing that this is a question that doesn’t have a simple answer.
What do I mean? I am a sister, a daughter, a teacher, a friend, a Christian. But does that really tell you anything about me? I could tell you that I am a chocolate eating, coffee drinking, music listening, book reading, social studies teaching, Christ following, story sharing, task perfecting, cookie baking, family loving, sunset watching, experience acquiring, ambling 23 year old. But is that me? Is that all that I am? That is what I am learning on my QLJ. I am more than just words on paper. I am more than just thoughts in my mind.
I started blogging in January and spent hours trying to think of a title and theme for my blog. I realized that I was spending all this time just trying to come up with a name. Is it really the end of the world if I don’t have the perfectblog name? Of course not. This led me to think of a book that I had recently read where the two main characters are talking. One is busy with phone calls to make, when the other says to her, “those will wait, the sunset won’t.” That really spoke to me. I realized that this is exactly what I was doing. I was stressing out about finding a job, moving out of my parents house, having the right clothes, paying off student loans, coming up with the perfect blog name. But the sunset wasn’t waiting for me. Just like it doesn’t wait for you.
I am learning that there is a plan for my life that I might not be aware of. I am sure you have heard the saying “if you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans.” I have learned along my QLJ that this is SO true. I had planned to graduate in December and get a long term subbing position, which would lead to a job, then I would be able to get an apartment. Five months later I am subbing day to day, still living at home, praying the phone will ring for a job interview. But you know what, that’s ok. Because had I gotten a long term position I might not have had the desire to go back to church. Had I not gone back to church I wouldn’t have started helping lead the HS Youth Group. Had I not done that I wouldn’t have met the new Pastor. Had I not met her I would have missed out on some very sage words of wisdom. There is a purpose for everything. The sunset isn’t waiting for me to get my life in the perfect order that I think it should be. That would be absurd. Think of the chaos the world would go into if the sun waited to set for every person that didn’t have his or her act together. Would it ever set?
I am a perfectionist who, as I am getting older, is realizing that perfection isn’t always perfect. Life is meant to be messy. When you were little didn’t you love to play in the sandbox? Splash in puddles? Jump in the pile of leaves? Are those things organized and clean? No, they aren’t. But they sure were fun, weren’t they? That’s what life is supposed to be. Fun. Messy. Now I know that life sometimes will seem clear-cut. Sometimes it isn’t fun. Things will happen that will throw a roadblock in your path. But roadblocks are just put in our path to show us our own strength. Can you figure out how to get over or around that block?
As I go on my QLJ I am learning that I am stronger than I thought. I am learning that it is ok to make mistakes. It’s ok to say no to someone. It’s ok to tell people how I really feel. It’s ok not to have a full time job right now. It’s ok not to be perfect. It’s ok to not know where the path leads as long as I am moving forward. As long as I keep going.
There is a saying “if you want to hear God laugh tell him YOUR plans.” He has his own plans for me, though sometimes I wish that they would match up with mine. But there is a path that we are all one. All of our paths intertwine together to make a beautiful web. You might take a wrong turn, but that doesn’t mean you fall to the ground. Someone else’s path has led them to be there to hold you up.
So, where am I headed? Who knows. Who am I? I am me. I am exactly where I am meant to be whether I see it or not. What am I learning about myself on my quarter life journey? I am learning to value life above all else. I am learning that a picture sometimes really is worth a thousand words. I am learning that though it may feel like my life has no direction I just need to look outside to see the beauty all around me. The world keeps spinning; the sun rises and sets, even if my life feels like it is a mess.
We are all the roller coaster of life. Sometimes there are ups. Sometimes our lives seems like they can’t go any higher. Then, it may feel like the bottom falls out as we plummet downward. There are crazy curves thrown at us. The ride may go fast, or there may be moments where it seems as if time stands still. There are times when we are on the ride alone, or we may have people on the ride with us. We are always buckled in. We are safe as long as we don’t take off the belt. I am learning to remember to sit back and enjoy the ride. I only get one. It might not always be perfect, or go where I think it should. But it’s my ride. What is yours? Are you loving life? Are you living life? Are you at least trying? I hope I am.