I think my freshman year of college was a joke.
Stick with me here, I’m not dropping out or anything, but I really feel like it was a joke. Life has been an absolute wreck lately. School is now beginning to pick up and I am feeling the weight of my major and responsibilities on my shoulder’s more than ever. This wasn’t the case a year ago. A year ago, I remember thinking that college was easy, that I was doing fine—and I was doing fine, I was acing my courses, I was going to class (except for when I wasn’t), and I was happy. It felt good.
One year ago, I felt like everything was falling into place.
Now, it feels like everything is falling apart.
I recently changed my major, and I know what you’re thinking—maybe it was the major change, right? Here’s the thing though; while it feels like everything is falling apart, it also feels like all of the pieces are finally making sense. In a way, the feeling of “falling into place” that I had was a mere illusion, and in reality, things weren’t what they seemed. I think when it feels like it’s falling all crumbling in front of us, that there’s this possibility that maybe, just maybe, it’s not falling apart, but rather, it’s falling into place.
My junior year of high school, we read this story in my AP Lit class about this guy who wanted to be a pilot his entire life. All this dude wanted to do was fly a plane—he desired that feeling of freedom he felt when he was in the cockpit. So, his son asked him why he never became a pilot since he loved flying so much. The father told his son that flying wasn’t safe, and he wasn’t referring to the act of flying, he was referring to the job. He wasn’t sure that he really could be a pilot or if he could balance those things with having a family and being there for his wife and kids or something. The big picture the author was painting was that the father was playing it safe, he didn’t take risks for what he loved.
I think that’s what I was doing for a long time. I knew that I wanted to teach, and I still believe that’s God’s call for my life, just in a different way than what I thought. Last year, God kept whispering this idea that I wasn’t meant to be a high school teacher to me, and I fought Him hard on it. My entire life, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I mean, let’s be honest, I started writing novels in the seventh grade—obviously, I was meant to write. Except everything in my life seemed to scream that I couldn’t be a writer, that I wasn’t good enough at it, that it wasn’t safe. So, I decided to become a teacher, hoping that maybe I could find time to write during that time, but I was only fooling myself. I think somewhere inside of me, I knew that I was just trying to play it safe, and I think there was a part of me that accepted that I would never be a good writer.
I remember talking to my friend, Antonio, about this last semester, mostly I was kidding; I knew I was a good writer. But when I told Antonio that I’d written like six novels, he looked at me like I had six heads, and then he straight up told me that I needed to change my major. I was confused because I wanted to be a teacher. I still want to be a teacher.
But Antonio was the first person to call me out on my crap. He knew it before I knew it that I was playing myself. I know there’s a great teacher in me, and he knows it too, but the teacher that I am doesn’t fit in a high school setting. She stands in front of a group of young writers, of a generation of people that have a voice that can only feel heard from the words on a piece of paper. I love English, I love writing, and I’d be playing it safe if I didn’t take risks to do what I loved.
So yeah, I’m doing what I love now, and it feels like an inescapable, chaotic disaster only doomed to fail in the end. But that’s not the point. The point isn’t feeling like you’re going to fail—it’s doing what you love. You know that feeling you get when you’re running, and you can’t catch your breath, and there’s a jabbing pain in your side because no one ever taught you how to breathe while you’re running, and you’re like laughing at yourself because like—come on, it’s breathing, it’s the most natural thing we can do as people? That’s how it felt when I wasn’t being real with myself about who I am and what I want to do with the rest of my life.
Life is too short to do something you don’t really want to do. Take the risk, friend, jump and just watch how God will catch you.
Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 :
“Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. If clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie. Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”
Fly a plane. Write a book. Start a blog. Change your major. Change it again. Don’t be afraid to laugh at the future—none of us know what’s coming.
Do what you love, friend.