I recently came across a quote that said, “You may not always end up where you thought you were going, but you will always end up where you were meant to be.” It got me thinking of just how dramatically my life is not where I thought I was going, and how quickly life changes. If you had asked me 5 years ago where I would be in 5 years, I would not have said anything about where I currently am. 5 years ago I was living in California (where I was born and raised), engaged to the person I thought I was going to marry, and anticipating a life that I thought would soon hold marriage, family, and children. Fast forward 5 years: I am living in Atlanta, Georgia, single, and working on things I really never would have dreamt of. While I am not where I thought I was going, I am definitely going where I was meant to be. At first glance it may seem my life 5 years ago was more ideal (to some), it was anything but. At the time I was insecure, had zero self confidence, and while I knew I wanted to have a family, I didn’t have any big dreams beyond that. Yes, I had hopes for myself; but they mostly revolved around things like getting in shape and keeping my New Year resolutions. My fear and anxiety was almost crippling. I didn’t even consider most opportunities just because I was afraid, and the rare new thing I did try I would usually ruin by letting my anxiety get the best of me. It wasn’t a great place to be, and I was in a constant cycle of self-doubt and destruction I didn’t seem to be able to escape.
Since then, my life has literally turned upside down. I moved across the country. The relationship I was in ended. The fear and anxiety I had of the world transformed into a love of adventure and excitement. Where before I always classified myself as a “homebody”, I now thrive off of experiencing new people, places, and things. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the comfort of home and will probably always be an introvert at heart, but my mindset is totally different. I am now confident, happy, and secure in who I am. I might enjoy snuggling up on the couch with a good book, but I love getting in the car and setting off on a new adventure even more. The fear of the unknown doesn’t hold me back anymore. My life is just totally different, and I am full of such hope and joy for both today and the future.
In the light of this change, I have become incredibly passionate about making a difference in the world. I passionately believe every person on earth has the power to make a positive change in the world if they set their heart on doing so, and I want to be one of those people. Not only do I want to continue to transform myself into the best version of me possible, but I want to be the type of person that encourages other people to be their best too. I think our culture is riddled with self doubt and insecurity, and I want to help others to not make the same mistake I did. To help them not waste years of their lives because they are anxious about who they are or what they look like. To let them know that I understand because I’ve been there, and it isn’t worth it. Lately something I’ve been noticing a lot is how many people talk about dealing with “anxiety”, specifically young women in their 20’s. At first it might seem like it is just the “hot” diagnoses of the moment, but I actually think it is much deeper than that. I think our culture is feeding this cycle that is taking root in our hearts and lives and not letting go. And if the pressure was great in my generation, I can’t even begin to imagine what the young girls are feeling now when the world revolves around social media and seeing how perfectly curated and aesthetically pleasing you can present yourself. The (perceived) expectations are something no one can live up to, but everyone still tries and inevitably will feel disappointed when they fall short.
Ok, so I kind of went down a rabbit trail there, but the moral of the story is I am not where I thought I would be, and that is ok. If you aren’t where you thought you would be, that is ok too! It is actually better than ok, it is amazing. It can sometimes be hard to see the big picture when you are in the moment, but at some point it will all make sense. I know I have endured trials I wish I hadn’t gone through, but they changed me, grew me, and planted seeds in me that would have never been planted otherwise. They made me strong in ways I never expected to be, pointed out my weaknesses, and filled me with passion and compassion. They inspired me to not only see the bigger picture, but make sure I am a part of it.
They didn’t get me where I thought I was going, but they brought me to where I needed to be.