Wow, so it’s my last week of undergraduate…like, ever. I’m taking finals this week and I couldn’t be more overwhelmed with joy to be graduating. (Here’s to hoping I pass my accounting exam since I haven’t paid attention in class for the past semester. #dreambig) So, here’s the thing. I am graduating with a math major, but I am going to be starting a job at a coffee shop working as a barista getting paid minimum wage next week. Does something seem off to you about that scenario? Because it certainly does to me. To be honest, I feel a little bit of shame for graduating college but not being able to snag “a big girl job” as an analyst yet, especially when it’s not for lack of applying. I must have applied to over 50 places for sure. Prolllllly should’ve shot for at least 200, I guess. But I only heard back from 2 or 3 of the places, and it was your standard, “Dear Betty, thanks but no thanks,” letter. #disappointing to say the least.
(Random tangent, but I love hashtags. I wish someone would write an essay about their place in our culture because I tried explaining them to someone a few years older than me, and it made no sense to them. I can’t explain it, but it makes perfect sense to me. It’s like the sub-thoughts of your caption or the subtitles or whatever. Anyway, they totally complete an instagram post. I spend waaaaay too long looking for the perfect hashtags, because it just makes sense to me.)
Ok, back to the topic at hand. This semester I have really had to struggle with trusting God. I love being in control, and I love planning my life. (Sidenote: I just started a bullet flipping journal and I’m so EXCITED about it. Granted, I have horrible handwriting and can’t draw, so it’s a bit of a fail, but I love it nonetheless. Where were bullet journals my last four years of college, bro?!) Anyway. I love planning my life, but this past year I realized that I am a math major who is most definitely not passionate about math, and I had a bit of a crisis where I was like, “Wut…?” What am I gonna do with my life? Why am I not a famous singer or a graphic designer or something cool like that? Math suddenly seemed so dead and dry to me. And, let me just say, math is neither dead nor dry. I mean just look into fractals if you wanna learn something cool. I mean fractals are super trippy. They’re never ending patterns that no matter how much you zoom in the pattern never ends. Here’s a cool video, if you don’t believe me. Math is pretty sweet, but the problem was that I personally did not want to do math anymore.
So, fast forward to the past (lol fast forward to the past….wat..?) couple months where I started applying to jobs, and dang. Rejection is hard to swallow. Not knowing where your life is going is hard to swallow. But I think something I have been working on over this past semester is being content in the confusion and delay. I’m also talking to a guy and have a lot of confusion and fear about that too, because I feel really scarred from past experiences in my life with other guys that just really gave me a lot of baggage and shame. So I think this has really been the year of confusion and delay (If anyone gets that Thomas the tank engine reference, I’m sorry. Yes, I’m a dweeb, but I blame it on my little brother.) And yet, strangely enough, it has been a year of so much peace. I used to be Queen Freak-out Moment Woman, but frankly, I’m just not worried right now. I found a summer job out of the blue after praying for a job, and it’s been my dream to work in a coffee shop so yay for that, ya know? (I also potentially want to start my own coffee shop someday.) I guess this is all to say, if you’re feeling like life is dragging, like all your friends are getting married (and all you are getting is heartbreak), if all your friends have their dream career, and everything is settled but life for you constantly feels about as settled as a dust storm, don’t worry! You’re not alone, and it’s okay. I think one of my biggest realizations is that the process of getting anywhere – to a career, to a marriage, to a kid, to a good friendship is as beautiful as the destination itself because you learn so much and grow so much. Waiting thrives on hope. You’d only be waiting for something if you eventually hope to get there, and hope is what drives people. So, be thankful to have hope! Be thankful to be looking forward, and if you are scared to look forward because you feel scarred by the past, know that you are not alone in that either. For the longest time, I was so bitter about the idea of ever getting married or even being happy again, and I practically verbally punched anyone who tried to give me hope about that. I’m still single, but I’m not bitter anymore, because I realized that my place in life does not determine my worth. Be brave in hoping for good things, and then even if it doesn’t turn out the way you want – whether you end up single or married, rich or poor, healthy or not, there will always things to be thankful for and things to be hopeful for! Be encouraged, you’re not alone.
And hey, just for the record, if the place you are now isn’t your dream location, that’s okay too. You know, working minimum wage feels like settling to me right now after having gone through college. Isn’t the point of college to avoid minimum wage pay? I feel a lot like a failure. But you and I need to believe that there is purpose even in the places where you technically “deserve better” or have worked for better. Like I said in my last post, look for adventure in your everyday life. You don’t need much to be happy; and know that God puts people in places where they are overqualified, to do His work because it’s His work. Whatever you do, you can do with all your heart. Know that God is pleased with that and rest in that. Don’t be troubled and fraught with frustration or anxiety. Trust that no situation has to be permanent and keep looking forward while enjoying your present.
And, I’d just like to end with a shameless plug of a song that my friend wrote and I composed, that might just describe the way you’re feeling. The song doesn’t end on the brightest of tones because I composed it when I was going through a darker time in my life, but you should know that I’m out of that. No dark situation is permanent. The discouraged, beaten down you is a part of you, but it doesn’t dominate you, and it doesn’t have to dominate you. Hope you enjoy it. Finally, some of my favorite verses that have really helped me get through this time:
“What’s God going to say to my questions? I’m braced for the worst.
I’ll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon.
I’ll wait to see what God says,
how he’ll answer my complaint.
And then God answered: “Write this.
Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters
so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness
pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It’s on its way. It will come right on time.“
Habakkuk 2: 1- 3, MSG (emphasis added)