A couple weeks ago, a friend and I both didn’t have a good day. We started our night headed to Walmart, but then ended up on a random road…for a few hours. We didn’t know where we were going, but we knew eventually, we would figure it out. And in a way, we did. We talked, we laughed, we cried, we sang along to the radio, we let ourselves be lost for the sake of hopefully finding our way. Did we find our way? I mean, we found food in the middle of the night, so that was an accomplishment. But we also found hope. And let me tell you, hope can change everything.
Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a different friend of mine about where I will be in two years. Before I could say anything, she said “I can see you packing up and moving across the country.” Honestly? She might be right. I have no idea where I will be in two years. I want to live adventurously, but I also want to know where I’m going with my life, so how will I find that balance?
You are probably wondering what these two stories have to do with one another. After all, they were two different people and two different situations. The truth is, at this point in my life, I am lost. I question all my decisions, I doubt everything that goes right and worry about everything that goes wrong. And to top it off, I don’t know what I am going to do after I graduate in twelve months. Heck, I don’t even know what I’m doing after I return from Yellowstone on May 18th. Is all of this scary? Yes. I’m scared. For a person who once thought everything needed to be on the map years in advance, I have no idea what I am going to be doing in two weeks, and then again in two years. For someone who likes to understand what is happening around them, to not understand what is happenning in their own head is extremely frustrating.
Three days ago, I found myself sitting in my car, reading a letter from another friend of mine. One line of the letter read: “Emily, just know that you are going places, even if you don’t know where you are going.” I realized, in many ways, I’m lucky. I’m lucky to be given so many opportunities that I have an option of where my life goes. I’m lucky to be surrounded by people who not only support my crazy joy-filled passions, but say “Emily, you don’t have to know where your life is going.” They remind me that I don’t have to have life figured out, and that we can figure it out, together. I’m lucky that I spent this last year learning so much about myself and about navigating this crazy thing we call life, so maybe I can be one step closer to figuring it all out.
So yes, I have no idea where I’m going. But really, most people don’t. Society puts a front on the world and makes us think that when we go to college at age 18, we should and we will have our entire lives planned out. We feel ashamed and confused if we don’t. But, even when you don’t have your life figured out, you’re still going to get where you’re supposed to be eventually. Yes, maybe it’ll take a bit longer, and your road will be filled with potholes, but at the end of the day, you will get there. Maybe you missed a shortcut, but by missing that shortcut, you might have gotten to see a breathtaking view. How are we ever to ask to skip part of our journey when we have no idea where our journey is going?
I’ll happily take the long way. I’ll happily get lost, be scared, break down on the side of my life’s road in tears, because I’ll know where I’m going when I get there, even though I don’t know now.