This weekend, and many weekends to come, people will be graduating from high school, college, graduate school, etc. My mom tagged me in a photo of 1 year ago from today, which was my 2nd college graduation. I remember that moment, it feels somewhat how I feel today. Afraid but ready. Honestly, it is much better than how I felt 3 years ago graduating from the same school, but much more worried and even more afraid. I had been accepted into grad school and decided that since I was in, this must be what God had for me. This was the only program I applied to and I made no other arrangements for after graduation. Honestly, I was terrified of what else was out there. I was in school for 5 years and had gotten comfort with where I was and who I was. Stability is something I value in school and relationships. I’ve gone to over 22 different schools and have found myself in and out of friendships. And I felt it slipping away. So I applied to the same program my best friend had heard about and when she was accepted, and I was accepted, I felt accepted. I felt that I had finally made a connection with someone and something and we would be together, and uncomfortable, together. The summer before my graduate program started, I remember looking at and applying to jobs in Chicago. I wanted to be in a big city. I remember looking at graduate schools in Chicago, beating myself up because I didn’t have the courage or the faith in myself to apply.
Needless to say, I learned that sometimes discovering the things you don’t like, is how you build strength to obtain the things you do like. Thats where I was last year, afraid but ready. I saw that I didn’t take a chance on life. I didn’t do something that would put me outside my comfort zone so I stayed with what was familiar, even though nothing was the same. Everyone I knew was leaving and my desire to be there was long gone. I promised myself last year that I would live my dreams. I would dream big and do whatever it took to do what makes my heart happy.
Today, I would say I’ve done that about 60%. I’ve dreamed big. I’ve done some things that have taken me outside my comfort zone and I’ve stretched myself. I’ve discovered that there are many things that make me happy. I learned to uncover things that make me uncomfortable while confronting things that do. There is no growth in comfort. I feel into the trap of wanting to be correct, perfect. Kind of a good girl. I wanted to make people proud, especially people who believe in me and look up to me. I stood still for some time and tried not to offend anyone. I wanted to do things the right way. I wanted to take the long road, because there are no short cuts. But even when you’re working hard, it doesn’t matter if you’re headed the wrong way. I am learning to take everything as an experience, as a moment for me to learn and grow. Not as something that is meant to take me somewhere, because everything we experience is often a result of our own actions. We choose things that were never meant for us and blame God, Life, the universe, and anyone else in close proximity for us not being where we want to be. So, today. I noticed, that at some point between last year and now, I removed the mask. I uncovered me. I got over wanting to be right for other people and got right with myself.
Today, I want to vow to live fearlessly. To not say, ‘when this happens then I will,’ or ‘If only I had this, then I would.’ I am giving up on comfort. I valued it more than I did freedom. Personal freedom. Love. Peace. Happiness. Joy. I want to be free. Living, loving, hoping, dreaming, free. One year from now, I hope to look back and think, ‘wow, I can’t believe I did that,’ with a huge smile on my face.
Because even now, I’m afraid, but I’m ready.