I looked up to the skyscraper and closed my eyes. It was the 4th of July and I was in a big city. I was following my dreams and the person holding my hand believed in me more than I did.
Two years ago, I was sitting in a high school classroom and I was absolutely uncertain about my future. The people around did not have the same vision and I was happy because I didn’t really want to be around them anymore.
Here I am though, two years later; I moved away by myself, I got into the college of my choice, and I am at an internship in the horse capitol of the world. I did pretty good, huh? 🙂
It was not that easy and simple, however. I have realized and learned a few things along the way.
1. Roommates are nerve wrecking for an introvert, but I learned to appreciate the small things like, Disney movie nights at 2 AM and long discussions about how “Our lives are going nowhere” and “We will never make it through this course”.
2. I learned that writing letters to my friends means more than sending a text every now and then, but then again, those simple group messages got me through my first semester of college.
3. I learned the hardest part of leaving- is coming back. I left my family and friends, but I kept in touch and became closer to them. I believe I have a better relationship with my cousins than I ever have, but sometimes when you leave, you mean to leave the past behind, but it does not always happen that way. I left memories that I did not want to remember. These memories walked right through the door and slapped me in the face as soon as as I crossed that Alabama line. I left someone who truly loved me and cared for me. Someone that let me go because they knew how important my goals were. That is dedication and the first semester, it took everything in me to not turn my truck around and stay.
4. In Alabama, Walmart at midnight was a norm for me, but when you move seven hours way you probably should not do this until you make some friends.
5. Start saving now. Do not splurge because the sorority girl next you can afford everything monogram and highlights every two weeks. You can’t. Get over it.
6. Isolation is EASY, but so is doing EVERYTHING. Find a balance. You are not a superhero. With this, do not just follow the latest thing to do on campus. Fall back in love with your passions and pursue them or find a new one.
7. Do not put your value into your coursework. Yes, work hard and go above and beyond, but that D does not define you. Your value is not in a grade or a major. You will figure this out and you are not a failure.
8. Just because you think your dreams and goals are awesome, does not mean that people are going to support you. Your family can be the most toxic people if you are not careful. Find an amazing support team and be THANKFUL. There are people who will sit at Waffle House until 5 am with you just to talk or people who will go out of their way to give you an opportunity. Hold on to these people and return the favor. Never get “too busy” for them.
9.Don’t be afraid to work. I’ve worked 30 hours, 15 hours of school, and written an essay in the same week. I do not recommend this. Again, find balance, but do not give up. Do not settle for easy. Go out and get some experience.
10. My latest realization is that I’m slowly realizing people are treating me more as an adult. I’VE WAITED SO LONG! Yea, until you aren’t expected on the family vacation or you have to buy your own tires. Seriously, I realize that I’m no longer daddy’s little girl, but I’m daddy’s woman to be. A part of me always wants to ask for advice and to be taken care of and I want someone to hold me when I’m scared, but that is not the case anymore. I’m making my own decisions and people are getting used to it. Sigh.
11. Lastly, wait for God’s timing and trust Him. Do your part, but at the end of the day, you need God. My family’s past does not have a good record and for awhile I was afraid of repeating history, but I see now that I can change the cycle. I’m at my favorite college, I have had tons of adventures, I have amazing friends, and I have someone who genuinely cares about me more than anyone has ever showed. I trusted God and he rewarded me with a life that is unbelievable. For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a home. A great home that is not completely dysfunctional and is filled with grace and love. Do not settle for anything less.
“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving. I didn’t want to destroy anything or anybody. I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, without causing any fuss or consequences, and then not stop running until I reached Greenland.” -Eat, Pray, Love