Reeling from a two-week vacation on the beaches of Mexico and a lovely stay in my hometown, I'm finally back home and prepping for the first day at my new job tomorrow! Though this past year was filled with trying times consumed of an unexpected series of events, I'm super optimistic about the times that are ahead of me. For context, I went from losing my job to moving unexpectedly for a new job that didn't end up being a great fit, to trying desperately to figure my life out while growing in ways I wasn't expecting—it seems like the past few months have been one big question mark after another. I've doubted myself, cried myself to sleep, and felt consumed with fear more days than not, and started to find comfort with the lack-luster feeling of discomfort. Nevertheless, amid all of the chaos of job hunting and drying my late night—and sometimes early morning—tears, I was gearing up for my annual spring break girls trip to lie on the beach with no other care in the world than keeping my beach hat from flying off my head.
Not a bad problem to have if you ask me.
To rid you of the boring and at times—gloomy—details of the past few months, I'll keep it short: In the span of two weeks, I quit my job, accepted a new job, and packed my bags for a much-needed vacation from life. I was mentally exhausted from riding an emotional roller coaster through weeks of job hunting and networking and interviewing, and despite finding exactly what I was looking for in a rather short period of time, I still managed to lose my sense of self. I felt weak, confused, and so alone. Deep in my heart I knew that by putting all this pressure on myself I was neglecting the greater truth that life doesn't have to be as hard as I make it. I began to ask myself a series of questions that all centralized around the same theme:
Why do I force myself to take life so seriously all the time?
While lying in my beach chair, my salty hair blowing in the wind, I had a glorious epiphany:
We have only been given one life to live. I am 24 years old, and a quarter of that one life has already passed in what feels like a single energetic blink of an eye. The days will never stop passing by us, and we can choose to go through the motions of our jobs, our relationships, our workouts, and our daily obligations... or we can choose to be the artist of our life, painting the picture of ultimate contentment that we all know we are worthy of.
The life of your dreams isn't something you wait to come across one day.
It's something you have to go out and get.
I got to thinking about my life, and the masterpiece that it is, and how often I overlook the beauty of the small things that I've unknowingly come to cherish. Being on a beautiful beach, with waters stretching as far as the eye can see, it’s miraculous seeing God’s work. It’s kinda like the feeling you get when you’re standing in front of a true piece of art; perhaps it’s the Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre or the infamous Starry Night painting by van Gogh. But this? This beauty that is right in front of us, whether it be your nature-filled walk to work when you take the long route or the way your stomach fills with butterflies when you lock eyes with the one you love or seeing your child smile for the first time, to watching the waves of the ocean wash up onto shore. We get to see these simple illustrations of great beauty every single day of our lives. What a wonderful gift!
Despite all the terrible things that we see happen day in and day out on the news, in our schools, on the streets, and perhaps even in our own homes- how can anyone watch the sun rise atop a crystal blue ocean of water and question God’s almighty power and greatness? The same God who created this beautiful ocean is the same God who created you and me. And you can rest assured that we weren't created to live a mediocre life. We were created for much more than going to the 9 to 5 job that we dread, living in the town we can't wait to leave, and surrounding ourselves with the people we know aren't making us better. We were made for more, and it's up to us to go out and get it.
Watching the waves crash into shore just after reaching their tallest peaks, to then flattening into a soft brush in an attempt to wash away all that remained in it's path got me thinking about where I'm at right now. I was reminded of all the times I’ve been misguided by outside voices and sometimes even the negative voice in my own head, both stewing up unwelcome stresses, leading me to doubt my potential at becoming the woman I dream of being. But lucky for me, it's never too late to leave that girl in the past. I'm sure there are many of us sitting at home tonight, scrolling our phones or watching our Netflix wishing we could start fresh, become new, and go get that dream life we know we are destined for. Just like the ocean’s waves, we too are only a simple washing away of yesterday's doubts from waking up a brand new girl of tomorrow, the world ready for her taking.
I feel so blessed to live a life that is completely my own. How lucky are we to live in a time and a place where the world is infinitely ours! It's a beautiful gift to be educated, informed, and in the driver's seat of your life. Take advantage of this blessing, and build the life you've always dreamt of living, because no one else is going to do it for you. Tomorrow might be too late and yesterday has already gone.
So book the trip with your girlfriends. Quit that job you hate. Give your heart to the person you love. Chase every dream you have at full-speed. And most importantly, always buy the shoes. Life is way too short not to.