While I was busy making excuses for myself, people enduring much harder were making the best of their situations. When you meet a child battling cancer or an adult coping with a disability, it is humbling to realize that while they have found joy you can't stop whining. Looking back I'm embarrassed for myself at some of the 'stuff' I just couldn't get over...mainly, myself.
My senior year of college it finally hit me that waiting for my life to change itself wasn't working. I was reaping exactly what I was sowing. I had a bad attitude, bad habits, bad influences, and bad excuses. Guess what I was producing? Eck.
December of that year I sat down and thought about the life I was living and the life I wanted. The two clearly not matching up, I knew it was time for some drastic changes. I quit focusing on the past and the unchangeable and I looked forward to a future. I quit dwelling on what I didn't want and started focusing on moving towards what I did want.
By April I'd accepted a job in Tampa and was moving as soon as I finished school the first week in May. Moving itself won't fix your problems. That's a cop out far too many people have experienced failure from. The problem wasn't Indiana or Lafayette or Purdue. It was a heart problem. You won't be surprised to find out, that moved with me. So, I may have left some bad memories and even bad friendship choices behind but it didn't change how far I had to come as a person.
Our society has quit encouraging us to chase our dreams. It is easy to give up what you want and accept the role that is assigned you. Less energy is required to be a bystanders in your own existence but one must recognized that the rewards are far less exhilarating. I found that I had to quit 'chasing dreams' and start earning them.
I believe with all my heart that it was God's will for me to return to Tampa when I did. I rejoice that he has a plan for me that is far beyond my greatest dreams. It is hard for me to accept that I missed out on many blessings he wanted to give me, while I turned my back on him. Moping took the time that should have been his. When I realized that all of my efforts had still left me empty it was easy to understand what belonged in the void.
The struggles continue. Being 20-something in the hardest job market and economy combo our nation has experiences in decades is certainly no small feat. Weeding out that which my ecky years produced has also had it's share of hardships. Growing up comes with pains and challenges. Unfair circumstances and undeserved hardships are still here. In fact, the world itself has changed little in the last year and a half. The difference is how I view it.
I choose not to see myself as a victim in life but as a conquerer. The road has been long and the bumps have been many. The grace that has been given me is now finding it's way back out. It has taught my humility, patience, love, grace, strength, discernment, trust, faith, gratefulness, and most of all...when to hit my knees.
Here's a video of a song that sums up how I felt during the worst of my 'mopey, people-pleasing years'. I do love a good Alanis Morissette song.