In light of recent "events" I'd like to share with you a few of my thoughts about life. At 23 my insights may be minimal compared to some but I have already lived a very full life and so I think some of what I have learned along the way may help some of you in your own journeys. May we all be lifelong learners together in the years to come.
You can't chose everything in life. No amount of planning, hoping, wishing, or even praying will make your life exactly what you wish. Like any journey there will be bumps & detours along the way. When you take drivers ed they teach you to drive defensively. That skill applies to life as well. You do your part & you always respect that you can't control everything around you and so you must be ready for things as they come.
I learned during my four years at Purdue that life is sometimes only what you make of it. It was a trying four years in my life full of hard times. The desire to be elsewhere lay heavily on my heart and often I found myself slipping into the world of the "what ifs". Wish though I did, I couldn't change where I was but I realize now, in hindsight, that my experience at Purdue (both the good at the bad) were largely determined by me.
When I chose to wish I were at FSU pursuing my dreams of being a Seminole it was easy to pick apart all of the things about Purdue I would have changed. The pity parties I sometimes threw for myself embarrass me to remember now. As is often true, when you throw pity parties they're usually parties of one. People do not want to wallow in your misery with you and if they do, they're probably not the type of people you want to surround yourself with...at least if you hope to find the light at the end of your tunnel.
I chose now to be thankful for the good that came out of those years. I built foundations for some friendships that have carried me through my 11 months in Florida. The Alyssa's, Meredith's, Amy's, and Eric's of my Purdue days are quite a consolation prize! I got a wonderful education that prepared my for my career in a way that many academic institutions could not have. I left feeling prepared and inspired for the world of social work and the skills I learned have given me success. That is in fact the point of college, no?
It gave me 4 more years of being able to cheer with all my might for my Dad, my family, and my Colts through some significant seasons. I was there to see us win the final game before the Super Bowl. To cry on the field with 2 of my best friends while I saw my families wildest football dreams coming true. I was there.
I was there to see my sister through most of her high school career. Being only an hour away gave me the chance to be involved in her life. To see her beautiful face. To have movie nights and lunches at Panera. To be there for sleepovers and birthdays. To see her grow as a Christian, a dancer, a student, a person. I was there.
I was there to love and support my Mom. To become more than just her daughter but also her friend. To be home for the holidays with her. To sit in the kitchen while she cooked my favorite meals for me. To laugh and to cry with her through so many different seasons in both our lives. I was there.
Being there, that is a gift I didn't realize would mean so much.
When I think back on that time now I can hear the song on the soundtrack of my life for that time as 'I Thank God for Unanswered Prayers". I thought being in Florida would make me happy, but I had plenty of happy right there. I just wasn't paying close enough attention.
Often people think that a relationship will make them happy. A better best friend. A boyfriend. Getting married. Their first child. Etc. This is a trap I've seen friend after friend fall into. The truth is if you're looking for a relationship to fulfill you than you've already missed out on happiness. Happiness, fulfillment, self-worth...they're not in another person. For me, they're in my relationship with the Lord, they're in my feeling good about me & being the person I want to be. They're in loving my family and friends right where they're at. And my happiness is always growing, like I am always growing. Finding and discovering new things, people, and places to love and enjoy.
I got what I wanted...I just didn't get it when I thought I wanted it. I did move to Florida, just 4 years later than I thought. I'm not at FSU and I doubt I ever will be. But I got to move back to where I belong, with the blessing of my family. And now I'm building a life I love and loving the life I have.