Hi, friends! I just wanted to start by saying “thank you,” to everyone who has been reading along with my blog and giving me some great feedback. I’ve really been enjoying this new outlet of creativity and wanted to introduce my first series to the blog. This blog post will be the first in my new series, “coffee thoughts.”
This idea stemmed from a video I was watching on YouTube about allowing yourself to have 30 minutes of reflection and self-care a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I realized that my time of reflection or self-care happens in the morning with a cup of coffee. I’ve been doing this routine since I was a freshman in college and it has become something that I look forward to every morning. Although some mornings are more hectic than others, (and I can tell when I haven’t had my coffee+me time) I try to have at least a few moments of alone time before getting my days started. I find that I do the most self-reflection when I’m drinking my coffee and I thought the blog would be a great place to do some free-writing sessions about the things on my mind or just lessons I’ve learned.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about life after college. I’ve had a lot of friends graduate within the last few weeks and it’s starting to sink in that this time next year I’ll be the one graduating from college and having to make a decision for my next phase of life. Before going to college I can remember telling scholarship committees about the 5 or 10-year plan that I had made for myself (I actually believed that life would just fall in the order I had demanded). Over the past three years, I’ve learned that life doesn’t follow the 5-year plan that scholarship applications make you dream up for yourself once you graduate high school. Friendships change, academic majors/minors change, and your overall outlook and goals in life change once you’re not confined to the walls of high school. As a freshman, I thought I would have my ish together once I was a senior, but I feel like my ish hasn’t been together my whole life… and that’s A-ok for me! I know the direction that I see myself headed in, but I don’t want to limit potential opportunities because I made a “checklist for life” at age 18.
I have to laugh at myself and other people that think they can plan their life out step-by-step. When I hear people my age claim they have life figured out, I’m truly astonished. How can someone have their life figured out by the age of 21? And now I think to myself, why would I want to do that? I don’t even have my life planned out for next week! And I’m starting to realize that it’s totally ok… I think when people make a strict 5 or 10-year plan for their life, they limit themselves to the opportunities that could come their way because they are so focused on unrealistic expectations. Even worse, maintaining those unrealistic expectations can put so much stress on a person. Like the idea that if I can’t reach this goal for myself then I’ve failed my 5-year plan… like girl, it’s not that serious. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Once I took a step back and forced myself to have ZERO expectations for my daily life, I started to enjoy the little things even more. I’m definitely guilty of letting my plans for life stress me out, but lately (especially this month) I’ve realized that the days are too short to be worried about the next 5 years.
I’ve always said that I wanted to become a teacher and give back to my community by teaching in the same area that made me want to become a teacher. But, what if I got the opprotunity to travel abroad to teach in another country? What if something happens and I don’t teach at all, but I get the opprotunity to do something else? I’m not going to allow myself to worry about what my next steps will be after college. I know that I’ll give 110% of myself to whatever career I end up pursuing and that’s the key to manifesting the life you want. I think people are nervous about taking risks in their life, because so many people around them have made a living off of playing it safe. Unrealistic expectations in life can hold someone back from becoming more than their 5-year plan.
I think another reason why I don’t allow myself to feel stressed is because I’ve let go of fear and let God do His thing. I’m challenging myself to use this summer, before my senior year, to enjoy each day as it comes and not to worry about my future “big girl job.” I’ve learned that once I stop relying on unrealistic expectations to define my path in life, I can start looking at things in a more positive light. I don’t know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing this time next year, but I do know that I’ll enjoy the little moments of each day until then.