Friday, October 18, 2013

Fears of the Future

The future is a scary concept, especially for a girl like me. In other words, it is scary for someone who plans out every detail of her life down to the minute. The future is exciting in the sense that it creates an opportunity to start fresh—a clean slate. However, isn’t that also one of the very things that scares us most about the future? We have worked so hard to establish ourselves in our current setting, yet it is nearly time to pack up and start from square one again. It’s a bit frightening, isn’t it? The thought of packing up all of our things…leaving everything behind…meeting new people…learning new things…

Yesterday, as I was filling out my graduation application, my future was on my mind even more than usual. Thoughts of “where will end up for my internship?” and “who will I be living with?” flooded my mind. For the longest time, I thought I had my future mapped out—each pit stop meticulously pinpointed. However, I’ve certainly learned that life rarely ever goes as planned. Meredith Grey once said in a closing of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy

We spend our whole lives worrying about the future, planning for the future, trying to predict the future, as if figuring it out will cushion the blow. But the future is always changing. The future is the home of our deepest fears and wildest hopes. But one thing is certain when it finally reveals itself. The future is never the way we imagined it.”

In the past, I often worried tirelessly about my future. However, the last year has taught me that life brings so many twists and turns that change our fate. While it is important to plan ahead and be prepared, I’ve learned that I also need to be flexible. Even though life sometimes throws its wrenches our way, I wholeheartedly believe that each diversion from our path is a step towards where we are truly meant to be—a step closer to the path God has laid out for us. It’s easy for us to become obsessed with our own plans that we forget about God’s plans. Sometimes our plans don’t always align with what God has laid out for us. And that is okay. However, sooner or later, we will find ourselves moving in the right direction. 

 As you move forward with your plans for the week ahead and even the next years to come, I hope that you keep this perspective in mind. Life can be terribly frustrating. But sometimes we need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and ask ourselves "Is this part of God's plan to get me on track?"

Monday, October 7, 2013

Think Good Thoughts

I may very well be the Queen of Negativity when it comes to certain situations. It doesn't matter how wonderful life can be, if I am one of those "poor me" dispositions, I could probably point out a flaw in even the most beautiful of things. However, one lesson I have learned over the years is that sooner or later, you have to pull yourself out of those slumps. The longer I focus on the negative aspects of my life, the worse I tend to feel.

It really isn't rocket science.

Not every day is a ray of sunshine. It never will be. However, the ways in which we choose to look at the world are in our control. 

I wanted to leave you with a song that I have been listening to each morning as I get ready. If this song doesn't exude positivity, I don't know what does.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

When you're Struggling with something...

Whenever I am going through a particular struggle, I obsess about it. I can't let it go. I take certain aspects of my life very seriously, so when things end up backfiring or leave me feeling alone, I genuinely struggle with it. Often, I become so wrapped up in my own battles that I forget about the people around me.

As I was running this evening, I thought of one of my favorite quotes from the one and only, Nicholas Sparks. Not only do I love the man for his ability to engage every emotion through his writing, but he also relays some very insightful messages to us along the way. (If you are curious, this particular quote is from his novel, "Dear John.") One thing in particular that sticks out to me as I reflect upon this quote is how quickly we judge people without knowing their stories. I cannot even begin to tell you the number of times throughout my life where I have either made assumptions or judgements about a person without getting to know them.

However, when have I ever put myself in that person's shoes? Or even more so, when have I ever actually taken the time to listen to that person's story?

Sure, it is easy to dwell on whatever is weighing on our hearts and consider our struggles far worse than those of others. But DO always remember that we all have our challenges. Whether your classmate is struggling to maintain their busy schedule or your best friend is facing an excruciating heartbreak...we all have our giants--no matter how big or small they might be. While the challenges of others may seem to pale in comparison to yours, whatever others are dealing with "to them, it's just as hard as what you're going through."

One of the best things that has helped me though difficult times is to engage myself in activities that help others. Sometimes I volunteer, while other times I make little gifts for others. When you take a step back from your own situation and focus on those around you, you begin to feel yourself become naturally more content. It doesn't happen overnight. It won't make your problems magically disappear. But neither will shutting people out of your life or dwelling each second of the day.

I pray that whatever you are going through in your life--no matter how big or small--that you soon steer yourself on a smoother path and find yourself at home again.