There is a stage in everyone’s lives that we come to a crossroads and yet, it’s an interesting thing how life keeps blazing past. People’s weddings and careers and baby making and all the little things that make up the crazy beautiful mess of our day to day lives just scream past and sometimes we find ourselves in a place considering what are the next big and little things will be. It’s funny because a lot of us, definitely me, find ourselves not living in the present, but constantly asking ourselves “what’s next?”
I am a person who, until this year, loved the, “what’s next?” question.
A girl who has been staring at Style Me Pretty since it came into existence thinking, “Will I have lilies or sunflowers at my wedding?” A person who started networking with wealthy families as a country club swim coach as a 15 year old, because I knew these relationships(which run much deeper than just connections) would be useful to my future. A girl who had an internship where I wanted to work before senior year of college and a job secured before the 2nd semester of college. A person who has grad school applications in mind when I walked across the stage at college graduation, while knowing I wanted to work for at least 2 years. A girl who still schedules every second into a handwritten planner, as though google calendars wasn’t a thing yet. Needless to say, I’m a planner. “What’s next?” is a great question for me, because in the past I always knew, in some sense, what it was.
With that said, after rattling on about, “AH! What’s NEXT?!?” with one of my best friends, who has known me since our freshman year of high school when we met after I was so excited that we were both wearing berkienstocks(ahead of our time), said to me, “Look, in 2003, if you told me this is where we would be, I would have laughed in your face. Relax.”
She is so right. How things have changed.
- We skipped at least one class everyday of high school and cared way too much about our extracurricular activities (ie. YBIL, Swim team, drinking MDs, etc).
- I loved boys who played golf, dressed like dads and had big plans for life and hated that she liked the boys who played in bands, would likely get tattoos when they were older, and thought belly button rings were sexy.
- I was texas forever and she was bound to live somewhere across the pond.
- I wore florals and ribbons in my hair and she was obsessed with all colors/fabrics that looked like the typical grandmothers sofa.
- We both kept journals of what our futures were going to hold: mine full of how many kids I would have and poems about how much I loved the high school dreamboat I was sure to marry one day and hers letters to the artsy/angsty boys and dreams of traveling.
- I take my job and class seriously. Education is one of my biggest values and I spend my days trying to convince kids that skipping school won’t get them anywhere.
- Texas is forever in my heart still, but I’m not sure my California adventure is quite done.
- I finally have the confidence to rock a romper, but still love me some florals.
- As you know from reading my online journal(aka this blog), the whole kids and marriage thing stays true, but not on the same time frame and Emmers, you may have had it right all along, because I am really running fast towards men with tattoos these days and have 1 of my own(sorry dad).
Ironically, the thing I have the most in common with my 15 year old version of myself, is that I clearly have no idea what is next. Someone told me recently, “Do you wanna know how to make God laugh? Make plans.”
There is something terrifyingly wonderful about that. I don’t know what happens after May 15th, but because I am blessed with a support system of people who even when I don’t think I can, they do, and I know I will be fine. For now, I’m going to work hard, play harder, and keep on getting’ on. And with that, for me, right now, the answer to “what’s next!?”
Is I don’t quite know, but I am sure it will be a good ride.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. … —Theodore Roosevelt”
― Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead