Leading up to graduation, the question I DREADED the most was “so, what are you going to do now?”.
I didn’t have an answer because I didn’t know what in the hell I was doing.
For the past 5 years, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted: to move to Minneapolis, work for a large company as freshly graduated marketing wiz while living in a cute, modest apartment in Northeast.
That was the plan for so long, so when I began to have a change of heart last fall, you could say I felt completely lost.
I don’t know about you, but I am SUCH a planner. I have stacking to-do lists, a Google calendar, a notebook agenda (yes, people still use those), and journals filled with life plans and dreams.
To lose my place so close to graduation was absolutely terrifying. What comes next?
I started exploring all of my options.
There was one day where I drove to Eau Claire to see if it was a place I could see myself living because I absolutely could not imagine staying in Small Town, WI – that was the place I spent 5 years dreaming about getting away from.
Why was I so insistent on getting away from my hometown? I came up with a billion excuses why Stevens Point wasn’t good enough for me, someone who was going to do big things.
How can you do big things in a small city?
Will I be a failure for changing a plan I was SO sure of for SO long?
What will all the people I told about my plans think of me now?
These questions lingered in my mind for the better part of the past year and haunted me every time someone asked about my future plans.
I am not sure how it happened or when exactly, but I came to a realization – I planned my life around what I thought people expected from me.
I kinda feel like I took trying to please everyone to the next level – I literally spent 5 years of MY life dreaming of what others wanted for me.
What did I really want?
It took me a good while to figure it out, but I realized I was happiest in lil ole Stevens Point. Not because it was comfortable, but because it is rapidly growing and where my family is. It is home.
I didn’t need to be in some big city chasing the next shiny thing that captured my attention. I was looking in the wrong places for the right things for too long.
I am happiest surrounded by family, living within driving distance of my cabin, being able to walk to my favorite restaurant (shoutout to Guu’s), being able to make noticeable change around me.
Just because I didn’t end up where my family and friends thought I would does not mean I failed. It means I took enough time to think about where I truly want to be and what I want to be doing. It means I did something for me, which more often than not, is the right choice.
One of the hardest things to do is look past others’ judgment and opinions of you. I am so guilty of trying to please everyone. While working my ass off to make sure I could achieve other people’s dreams, I forgot who I really should be making an effort for – myself.
Whether you are about to make a big move across the country, accept a new job, or decide whether or not to attend college, that choice is yours and yours alone to make. I challenge you to dissect these choices and find your motivating factor behind them.
Are you really doing it for you?
Will you be happy with this decision down the road?
Doing the right thing for you will never feel wrong.