So I'm not particularly religious (at least in the sense that I shy away from committing to one religion over any other), although I grew up in the Methodist Church. However, I've found that I'm also not particularly good at navigating this transitional period I've been in for the last 6 months, so I've been looking for some inspiration to see me through this stage of uncertainty.
I came across this bible verse and I think it talks about an important lesson that I need to learn.
When I first read this verse, I almost just cast it off and continued on my google search of bible verses dealing with transition. Why? Because if you know anything about me, you know I'm much better at focusing on the future and diving into new things than I am at finishing something and living in the present. I never thought there was anything wrong with the way I was and in fact, for the most part, this characteristic has helped me in life.
When you are a kid, you get a fresh start every September, where you can reinvent yourself through your style, hobbies, habits, etc. And you only have to push through 9 months of school before you get to the reward of Summer. Even through high school and college, looking to the future is what helped me stay motivated through it all. Especially my senior year of college, I kept thinking, "Just four more months and I'll get to go home and everything will be wonderful!", "Just three more months...", "Just two more months...", "Just one more month..." and all of my problems will be solved.
And then I graduated. Looking back, I feel like I was pretty unceremonious about the whole thing. I didn't really let the magnitude of my acheivement hit me. I'd always assumed I would graduate college, so to me it was onto the next thing! Find a job, find a house and get married! I was so close to everything I ever wanted, and I wished I could just press fast-forward and "get to the good stuff".
But then life happened. It was easy to complain. I was living 4 hours apart from Anthony for the summer. I didn't make enough money at my (awesome) new job to afford an apartment on my own. My car decided to break down several different times which resulted in me switching cars every day for over two weeks, at a time that I was also going back and forth between different "home bases", none of which really felt like home. My three best friends moved to California, Missouri and North Carolina. I didn't (and still don't) have a kitchen that is more than a mini fridge and a microwave on a table while I work at a showroom of gorgeous $100K kitchen designs everyday. I had no home to decorate. I had nothing creative to write about on this blog. Planning our wedding, something I've been looking forward to all my life, suddenly felt overwhelming. I felt unsettled. I felt empty. I felt stuck. It was easy to complain.
It is easy to wish away this period of transition and just "get to the good stuff". Why? Because of my pride. As a person who dedicated the last 4 years of her life to studying interior design, I deserved to have a home of my own to design and decorate, right? As a person who's spent nearly the last seven years loving someone, I deserved to be married and have the stable life I always dreamed of, right? I deserved it all and deserved to have it all now. Right now.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
It's true that hard work will earn you the things that you want in life, but it was immature to think that my hard work in school would immediately pay off as far as having the life I wanted. My hard work in school paid off in that I graduated with a degree and gained a lot of great experience through my classes and my internships. I admit, this can be a bit hard to stomach for some with the fact that with the economy still recovering, so many college graduates can't find work in their field and feel like their degree is worth nothing... (watch this Jenna Marbles video to comiserate/laugh about it). I was lucky enough to find a job in my field, but even so, now I am back to square one. Knowing nothing and working my way up from the bottom again. Well, I do have a bachelor's degree and a good idea of what I want to do career wise, so we'll say I'm at square one and a half. But still.
There are a multitude of articles out right now about Millenials (my generation) and how they are basically lazy, big headed imbeciles because we got trophies for "participating" and were told that we were special. And while I don't feel like I am afraid to work and work hard, I do feel like my idea of reality and the expectations I have of myself are skewed by the same influences that these articles talk about. If you are someone around my age who is in the same transitional period as me, I encourage you to google search "The Problem with Millenials" and read the articles with an open mind. While a lot of articles may show exaggerated and negative opinions, there is definitely some truth to them.
Back to the bible verse. I need to start being as excited about the end of something as I am about the beginning of something. And above that I need to learn to be happy, regardless of the circumstances of my life. I am living, I am breathing, I am safe, I have people I love and people who love me. Millions of people are not so lucky. I need to shift my expectations to goals and work towards them in a way that is realistic, healthy and not all-consuming.
I need to replace my pride with patience.
I need to make time for myself and appreciate the little things. While I've been worrying and wishing these last several months away, good things have been happening. This beautiful thing we call life has been happening and I'm afraid that I've missed out on a lot of joy I could be having just by relaxing and appreciating that fact. I'm vowing today that these next six months will be a different story...