I’m at the beach right now so I would like for you to join me for a little bit. Wherever you are whether it’s the indecisive Midwest or the dry west, or the sassy New England think of standing in the sand with just your feet in the water. The waves are a little fickle. Sometimes they’ll barely brush your toes, some times they’ll soak your entire shins, and other times they’ll barely touch you at all?
Are you there?
Now look out, way out over the ocean. Find the place where the blue of the water meets the blue of the sky, the place where the earth and sky meet.
I found this place when I was a child. I would find it on long car rides over fields, I would find it when looking over a forest, and I would find it when playing in the ocean waters. I’ve only been here one time and didn’t even recognize it.
I’ve been on one cruise in my life, and I can’t help but think that there had to be one or two times on that cruise that someone could have stood on shore and looked over the water, and found that place. And I was there. I was where I had always dreamed to be.
But I didn’t even notice.
This happens a lot. Now I know I was a pretty weird child and there aren’t many people who desired a metaphorical place the way I did, but haven’t we all reached for the next chapter of life with everything we have?
I remember my last day of elementary school. I remember how excited I was to start middle school where we got to have lockers and we got to switch classes. But you know what we didn’t have? Recess!
I remember my last day of eighth grade. I remember looking towards the high school. I looked forward to varsity soccer and Friday night-lights. I looked forward to winter formal and prom. But high school had it’s own struggles. In high school I met depression and my first broken heart. I met rejection and the loss of people who meant everything to me, so that caused me to reach for the next chapter.
College. Freedom. College is the first real freedom. But college doesn’t have daddy’s cooking or mamma’s advice. College doesn’t have anything I took for granted in high school. In college I’m under the authority of failing classes and maintaining dorm rules. So naturally shouldn’t I just reach for my career now?
The grass is always greener, but many times the green is just an allusion.
Want to know the pattern of every one of my chapters? Each place was something I reached so hard for in the place before. I have strongly desired every phase of my life at one time.
It brings me to where I am today, well not TODAY because today I’m on vacation where the Alabama grass is actually greener than in Indiana, but today as in my current chapter of life.
Today I am at the University I dreamed to be at for two whole years before I got here. Today I am being educated in the direction of my passions, an education I longed for when I was caught in the day to day of high school arithmetic. Today I am with a guy I’ve always prayed to meet, and with friends I’ve always prayed to have.
This chapter is ideal, but want to know a secret?
Sometimes in darker days of this chapter I can’t wait to be in a career?
Isn’t that bizarre?
I think it’s okay to be excited about the future, but don’t let it interfere with your present.
Buy a few work outfits now and then, but remember you won’t have your college body forever so feel free to express yourself in clothes you like now.
Read a few women in a work place books, but don’t forget to read a few like Cold Sassy Tree and Pride and Prejudice. They’ll teach you nothing about your career, but they’ll warm your heart in ways not even dreams of the future can.
Seek out career-based internships, but don’t be afraid to lifeguard, or camp counsel for a summer or two.
Plan for your tomorrow, be excited about tomorrow, but recognize where you are, and remember how much you wanted to be here yesterday. You’re always at a place you once desired to be, and you may even be at the place someone else is desiring to be. Live it well.
Tomorrow is inevitable, so don’t miss today.
Photo credit: Chelsea Sweet