Today is an exciting day for me! It is the first stop on my cruise and I’ll be snorkeling and swimming with sting rays in the Cayman Islands! I asked someone I consider to be one of my best friends to guest post for me and you are in for a treat. Sam and I began reading each other’s blogs a while back and a few months ago began e-mailing one another constantly. She is an amazing writer and you need to be reading her blog. She may not post frequently, but when she does, it is so worth the wait. Enjoy her post today! (Oh, and go wish her a happy anniversary! She celebrates 2 years with her husband today.)
Have you ever found yourself in a situation, either good or bad, that took you completely by surprise? A situation in which you never thought you would find yourself? Maybe you considered it fate and accepted it as the road you were meant to take, or perhaps you turned to your faith and attributed it to the work of God. Maybe you leapt for joy and considered it a stroke of pure luck, or perhaps you wallowed in frustration and wondered with self-pity, “Why did this happen to me?”
I’m no stranger to this type of situation, for life never fails to hurl me in directions I never anticipated. Sometimes, what I want falls into my lap with ease, but most often, circumstances beyond my control send my best-laid plans into disarray. Suddenly, something that I considered “a sure thing” doesn’t pan out and something that “wasn’t supposed to happen” happens. Rarely does life happen the way I imagined it would, but a recent look back on the past five years made me realize that the things I value the most came unexpectedly when I was busy focusing on other plans. All the little detours and “bumps in the road” that I’ve experienced – incidents that seemed dire and hopeless at the time – ended up steering me in new directions that brought amazing things to my life.
Five years ago, I was freshly graduated from college with a degree in journalism, back to living under the comfort of my parents’ roof, full of ambition at the prospect of beginning a career, and fully committed to a long distance relationship. From graduation day forward, I knew that life was no longer perfectly laid out, paid for, and planned for me, and as an avid planner, walking into the unknown was a little daunting. Yet, I was so proud of what I’d accomplished, and I was eager to begin turning my dreams into reality and my goals into achievements.
If I’d been asked on graduation day where I thought the next five years would take me, I would have babbled off a perfectly detailed plan in which my life would progress in a succinct, logical flow. I surely thought that within five years’ time, I’d have survived the turbulence of job searching, established a respectable career in the communications field, and be en route to climbing my way up the ladder of success. As a lifelong writer, I thought that I’d be an avid freelance writer in my spare time, with many articles and stories published and maybe a novel in the works. I also thought that my boyfriend Leo and I would have long figured out a way to put the distance to rest.
Instead, I was unleashed in the real world – a place where changes can sideswipe a girl when she’s not looking and well-thought plans don’t always go as intended.
Since graduation, I’ve held two full-time jobs, neither of which led to a full-fledged, rewarding career. I’ve struggled with my relationship with writing, drifting in and out of motivation and failing to find rewarding freelancing opportunities. After six grueling years of long distance, Leo was accepted into the Navy, providing us with the opportunity to marry and start a life together as a Sailor and a military spouse. We left our respective families and jobs, moved to our first duty station, and turned our first house into a home. Currently biding my time as a housewife, I’ve continued to contemplate various career paths, asking myself countless times, “What do I want to do? What am I meant to do?” in an effort to discern my purpose in life. After months of soul-searching that yielded no clear answer, God made a decision for me when I unexpectedly found myself pregnant with our first child. Starting a family was still a few years away in my mind, but after reality sunk in, I became over-the-moon excited to meet my little man. I have a feeling that my call to motherhood will prove to be the most rewarding job I’ll ever have.
There’s so much more to life (and so much more I want out of life) than I realized back when I was that ambitious, career-oriented girl on her graduation day. I’ll never give up the dream of one day seeing my name in print and finding a career that’s my perfect fit, but for now, my priority is my growing family and writing shall remain my beloved hobby. I never imagined that in five years’ time, I’d be a military spouse, a soon-to-be mother, and a bit directionless in regard to a career, but I honestly couldn’t be happier with the path my life has taken.
Where has life taken you in the past five years? Are you living the life you thought you would?