When I was little I used to want to own and operate my very own pizza parlor. I was asked directly about this in Kindergarten, for our monthly newsletter, by Mrs. Sevinor. (Sidenote, does anyone else find it funny that no matter how old we get and how many people we meet, we tend to remember those teachers from elementary school? Or is it just me?) Our class was made up half by boys and half by girls – and coincidentally, our answers seemed to have a similar trend. There were princesses, princes, firefighters, mommies, daddies, policemen, superheroes, and doctors. Somehow, there was only one “pizza parlor owner and operator”, go figure, right?
I hate to break it to you all, but this post isn’t being written from the back kitchens of my successful business – but from a couch, on a Macbook air that I didn’t purchase myself (however I am very open to sponsoring any and all Apple products so if you know somebody let a college girl know!!! I’m sorry what I said before about hating your store!! It was a joke!) , with “the Bachelor” on in the background.
While my dreams of owning and operating a restaurant died before I worked as a hostess – as I learned to completely and utterly understand how unfit I was for long term work in the service/food industry – my standing out in a classroom did not.
I used to always worry about finding my thing. I worry a lot, but about this probably most of all. As I grew older my classmates became soccer players, lacrosse players, cheerleaders, dancers, actors, football players, valedictorians, singers, honors students – you name it, I know somebody who’s claimed it. No matter what they’ve chosen, the older my classmates have gotten, the more I have realized that they have done exactly that, chosen something, and made it their thing.
Throughout the years I have tried on countless cleats and helmets, tried out for performances and plays, and tried to apply myself for hours on end to my schoolwork. Some have worked out, others have been more of a workout – all have taught me lessons I assume I will somehow reflect on in this space at some point or another, which leads me to the point of this post after all.
The more I think about it, if I have to pick a thing – I guess it would be what I’m doing now, talking. Well, internally I’m talking as I write this technically, wait no, I don’t mean in that way I mean in the charming-Lizzie McQuire-cartoon-Bitmoji-self way (by the way I feel I need to disclose that I in fact was not a Lizzie McQuire fan, I’m sorry for being one of those quote-the-one-episode/made for TV movie-you’ve-seen-of-a-supposed-pop-culture-phenomenon people by mentioning that. I hate me right now too.). What I’m trying to say is I like to say things, and so I figured I’d write them down, and here we are.
The thing about being 21 (so cliche to constantly mention my age in a very mid-life crisis tone when in fact I am at the brink of everything beginning, I know) is that you’re finally legally able to drink. You’re considered an adult by the United States of America, in every sense – even though your brain doesn’t stop evolving and growing until you’re 25. This silly thing happens, I feel, because we’ve officially been given almost everything that until now was held off until we had grown into a certain age – except AARP, that is – and I kind of feel like that can make us nervous. Not in the drinking age should be older way, everyone can calm down about that – but in the growing way. We’ve finally been given everything, and I think that can make us forget how much we still can grow.
Maybe it’s because until recently, I didn’t feel like I had a thing that I could print on a jersey, sweatshirt, AIM bio or email combination. Funny enough, I have fond memories of coming up with awkward email combinations in middle school in an attempt to identify with anything that could be a thing but wasn’t really my thing – just to fit in. And look at me now.
It could just be me, or maybe it’s more of my classmates than probably want to admit it – but I feel like a lot of us are so nervous about finding that perfect, socially status-quo email combination that we forget all of the cool, individual, wonderfully unique things that we honestly claim. That maybe aren’t majors, but passions – maybe not job titles, but also not money pits – the things that really make us who we are.
Until recently, I was terrified to start a blog – even though I knew in my gut I’d really enjoy doing it. I had read countless ‘young adult’ books about girls who started blogs, hid them from their classmates – only to have said blogs discovered by said classmates and, in turn, ridiculed by said classmates. (Sidenote, who honestly writes stories’ whose morals are all centered around preventing writing? Where is the sense there, people???) I used to write in journals but never continue them, write long, thought induced papers only to save them to my computer – I was so afraid of committing, or maybe admitting that this could be my thing that I refused to do it at all.
What I’ve realized in the most subtle way, like slowly falling asleep – first slow, then all at once but so natural you don’t notice – is that things are things for a reason. Whether they be Godly, coincidental, or bad indigestion – things tend to come with a gut instinct to do – and once you admit that maybe you should order the salad instead of the hot dog combo with a side of Tums – once you start to listen to yourself, doing these things tends to make you feel better. Maybe not immediately, but over time, these things make you actually, happy.
So, whoever’s still with me, thank you. Go do your thing, you.
Until next time