When I was 19….

 

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photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dkalo/

 

This morning I was looking through Facebook’s “On this Day.” I always find it interesting to see what I was doing on Facebook in the past. One of the entries from 10 years ago was a Facebook “note” I had written, back before I was blogging or doing much writing at all. Below is that note:

I have just finished reading “Tuesdays with Morrie,” by Mitch Albom. I love his books and I have never read this one. I could never find it in the bookstore with the rest of his books but then I happened upon it in the “Inspirational” section and I now know why. I just read this quote and had this insane epiphany about my life especially since I don’t know what I’m doing or what I even want to do.

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they are chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to the community around you and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

That is exactly it! That made me have to stop and make me write this. How true it is. I’ve spent the past year trying to think of majors that will make my mom happy, which majors will get me a job that pays the most. But why? It’s not going to make me happy. I’m a modest person, I do not need a lot of money to get by. I have been living modestly my whole life not having what everyone else had. If I got it I earned it myself, but it wasn’t that I necessarily needed it or even really wanted it. People think I’m “too happy,” is that even possible? Is it that they are too sad? I want to major in English writing and everyone keeps telling me not to “What are you going to do with that?” “Can you even get a job?” “If you get a job, will it even pay anything?” I don’t even care! I love writing and if I could develop my skills even further I’d be happy.

Also, to join the Peace Corps you have to have a college degree. That is what I want to do eventually. Everyone knows that I want to do that kind of thing with my life, but I’ve always been worried about what everyone thinks. I always thought “well you can’t make money doing that.” It’s not about gaining money it’s about gaining self.

People laugh cause I have high moral standards and lately I’ve been trying to convince people I don’t. Why? I do and that’s something I am proud of. That’s what makes me who I am. Which is why this quote from the book also struck me:

“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”

I’ve always tried to do that, but then people think that I’m ridiculous. There it is again me thinking too much about what others think. This is not something I can fix about myself overnight, but it certainly is something I can fix over time. I need to have faith in myself to be able to accomplish whatever it is I want to do. That is also something I need to work on with myself. Having the confidence to say that whatever I choose to do will be the right thing for me and if it isn’t then hey, I have time to figure out what that is.

A few things:

1.) I’m really glad I didn’t go the English major route. I mean I did, but it was K-6 Literacy Instruction. I still write and I definitely have gotten better over time, not because of schooling. I never would have imagined being published either. There is so much more I want to accomplish in my writing life and I have done this in tandem with teaching.

2.) Not going into a career with money…well I definitely did that. Be poor- goal accomplished! However, I am teaching and I do love it and I have a lot more goals in my life centered around education. Every year my passion for teaching grows and I learn more and more.

3.) Peace Corps- This was something I wanted so badly when I was younger. However, I have found my passion in education as well as helping people from around the world by working with various refugee resettlement programs. Though I wouldn’t mind teaching abroad some day.

4.) There is something written here that makes me really sad. I remember people telling me I was “too positive” “too innocent” that the world was going to harden me and make me cynical. I was sure it wouldn’t. For the most part, I feel like I have remained mostly the same person, but from time to time I do find myself being cynical and being a little hardened. Not as much as some people, but still more than I was. I’d like to find that eternal optimist again. She was a definitely a light in a dark world.

5.) My fear of what other people think has definitely been tapered. I am a lot less insecure, but I think that comes with age. I have a better sense of who I am and what life I am wanting to lead.

While my life didn’t turn out exactly like I was planning, I think it’s been pretty great so far and there is so much more to accomplish! I have amazing people in my life who support all of my current aspirations. I’m in love with this beautiful mess of a life and am so grateful for every moment of it. The ups and the downs have definitely made it what it is right now and have made me into the person I am. The person I am is ever growing and changing and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years create.

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