Tomorrow morning, I begin a new job as an academic advisor at a large local university. I am SO excited about this job--both because I have been
To be completely honest, the picture-perfect aspirations I had for my life at the beginning of this year differ substantially from my present reality. After graduation, I had plans to move away to a brand new city and state with a fabulous new job, and start a shiny new life as a chic 20-something woman in a big city. It was going to be awesome. I was so sure and so confident in my "Plan A".
However, life is nothing if not unpredictable--and one thing after another began to crumble until it became unavoidably obvious that Plan A was, in fact, hurtling toward the trash to make way for Plan B. Mostly, I'm okay with Plan B as long as I know what it entails...but in my particular situation, Plan B felt like it was just a huge, blank piece of paper with "NOT Plan A" written across the top of it, staring me in my slack-jawed, bewildered face. Sheesh. What the heck am I supposed to do with that?!
Though I would not have chosen it myself, I realize that I had far more to learn during this season than I ever could have imagined. A few choice tidbits I've gained during this time of waiting include the following and many more:
- My worth is not defined by any job. It never has been, and it never will be. Ever.
- Rest is good. Rest is necessary. And despite my consistent efforts to defy the obvious, I NEEDED TO REST.
- Spending time with God is so, so important. I had lots of priorities before, and though God was never far from my mind, He was also never at the top of my list. I have since adjusted my priorities to place Him first, as it should have been all along, and I am all the better for it.
- Transitions can be really hard. Really, really hard.
- Rejection sucks. Ugh. But...
- Attitude is everything. I have so much for which to be thankful! I cannot make room for bitterness or resentment in my heart--they're so toxic and quick to permeate my life if I allow it.
- It's okay to change direction. Isn't that what you're supposed to do in your twenties anyway? From what I hear, life is often more fun without a plan! While I'm still not entirely convinced of this, I'll admit that it has been interesting and challenging to live my life day by day rather than months planned in advance. Though it's not my preferred method of living, I've rather come to appreciate the looseness and flexibility that this lifestyle provides! :) Balance is key.
- Living at home is cheaper. (Again--it's not necessarily my preferred method of living--but I have a wonderful, gracious, generous family, whose company I thoroughly enjoy. They have made this season much easier to walk through.)
- Grieving is a natural process--and there's nothing wrong with it. I was SO EXCITED about my plans, and I was deeply devastated when they didn't work out. Sometimes, my grief manifested in inexplicable tears or (less often) searing anger. Still other times, it looked like apathy (refer to my mention of "The Big Bang Theory" above!). I've felt sad and mad and confused and totally aimless. Regardless of how it looked, though, taking time to mourn that loss was one of the wisest decisions I have ever made. I realize that having this job doesn't change or fix everything, but a little acceptance and big change in perspective have gone a long way toward forming my present mindset.
- Life goes on. As cheap and cliche as this last one sounds, I have found it to be truer than anything else I have encountered this year. Plans are fine, just as long as I remember that I cannot control everything. The more willing I am to embrace the ever-changing nature of life and trust that God knows what He's doing, where I'm going, and that everything happens for a reason, the happier and more content I will be.