In many ways and in many different times this has been said. When life goes “not as planned” and then you wonder “Well, what do I do now?” I’m finding that at 26, I have done and not done a lot of things out of fear of failure. I have played it safe and taken the path of least resistance to avoid failure, backlash, or heaven forbid, making someone angry or disappointing them. But in my early 20’s I was nothing but driven. I had dreams and plans and to look at some of them now, I’m envious of who I used to be. When I “got into the world” I got a bad taste in my mouth for discomfort. I didn’t ever want to fall on hard times and I didn’t ever want to put faith in my own ability to make a successful life. I just wanted to be comfortable, safe, and secure. Well I’ve been that for about 4 years now and I’m miserable. Where is my life? Somewhere along the lines I forgot about living and just worried about money. My thinking converted from adventure to the almighty dollar. I feel like its a fairly common occurrence, but that doesn’t mean that I need to accept that as is and continue following that same path.
After coming back from Nicaragua, there has been a sense of “What more can I do?” I am so grateful for that opportunity.I renewed my sense of self-empowerment and I have a new found drive to make my life and the lives of people around me better. I am starting with me first. We shall see where I can go from here, but I believe in good things and I believe that good things are going to happen. Not amount of money, or people, or careers, or opportunity can provide me with happiness if my internal view sucks. I have felt like a butterfly tacked to a cork board for awhile now and when I take the time to reflect I realize that the life that I am currently living is made for someone else. Anything that I’m ever going to do or be starts with the internal question of “Am I living in my full potential?” and up until now, I haven’t been, but that train stops here. I’m excited and scared and both are valid.
As I browsed through the bookstore today, I saw an older couple walking in and I immediately felt self-conscious. I looked at the books I was holding and tried to hide them. Not that they were anything to be embarrassed of (A copy of Paine’s Common Sense, Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning, and Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance), but over the past 18 months there has been a cloud looming. A cloud of division and misunderstanding. As I hid my books along the other side of me, I realized how stupid I was. Not only had I judged them for thinking that they could be potentially judging me, I tried to hide books out of fear! I was thinking that when they passed by they would say under their breath “Look, another liberal girl trying to cause trouble” I think that way because that is the picture that has been painted. I have seen too many examples of anger and misunderstandings from both sides when there shouldn’t be sides at all. I do believe that for the majority, there is common ground and a sense of understanding, but the ones who only see black and white are the ones who’s voices are heard the loudest. I have always had a natural curiosity about what people think about me, but I have never let it cause me fear. Now, there is so much fear among people who are different. There is fear from any community that isn’t predominately that of white males. I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t want to think that I may have to defend myself and who I am or my beliefs just because someone else doesn’t like them.
I don’t want to, but I will.
I come from the school of thought of understanding. Even if I don’t understand all the rudimentary ideals, I can still appreciate the diversity. That what makes life so bountiful and beautiful! But here we are on the eve before the inauguration of our 45th president and I’m scared. Just because I am scared doesn’t mean I’m just going to put my head in the sand for 4 years, but it does show for some concern. Will he be able to do all the horrible things that he said he was going to do? Are the members of his cabinet (I.e. Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson, etc)able to do to jobs that they have been appointed to do? Will he actually bring jobs back? Only time will tell, but so far I feel justified in my concern. With all that being said, I will continue to love and try to make this world a better and more beautiful place. I pray that I will be able to share my ideas openly and continue to have faith in our government. I pray that new and different ideals can still be shared. And most of all, I pray that my concerns will not come to fruition.