Dear senior who doesn’t have it all together,
This is the year when you are supposed to decide what you want to do and where you want to go and the pressure you feel to make all the decisions for your future is overwhelming. You might have friends who have these elaborate plans in place, knowing exactly what they are going to do and where they are going to go, and you are feeling so lost and confused, having absolutely no clue about anything at all.
And as graduation nears, you might even just make whatever choice is easiest, appeasing the masses who are telling you what you should do, but you still aren’t sure this plan is right for you. And you might feel like you are the only senior in the entire world who doesn’t have it all together. But you don’t dare let anyone else know.
So, whether you are unsure about college, or trade school, or a job, or joining the military, or you can’t just decide on anything at all, I want you to know something that I hope will encourage you.
Even though some seniors may look like they have it all together, with their future all set and their minds made up. Even though other seniors might seem so confident in what they dream to be and have everything organized so perfectly. The truth about everyone, old or young, is no one has it all together, no one.
They are all just trying to do the right thing one unsure step at a time. Sure, there may be people who have set a path before them they are feeling confident about and there are others who feel hopeful that their newly calculated plan might be the perfect place to be, but really, they are all just trying to figure things out as best they can too.
And sometimes, our plans work out and other times, they fall apart. Sometimes, the people who are swerving around trying to find the right route, are the ones who end up on the best road at the perfect time. Many people flounder and flail in the unpredictable openness of life’s expanse, and through all that erratic mess, they settle on solid ground, creating a life of great success. It’s all so different for everyone, so don’t put yourself in anyone else’s place, don’t believe you have to be anywhere you’re not. Where you are is exactly where you’re supposed to be.
You don’t have to have it all together. You don’t have to know exactly what you want to do or where you want to go. You are only at the beginning of your journey, just at the starting line of life, and no one expects you to be anywhere but right where you are- looking ahead and wondering which way you should go. No one can predict what’s to come, even if they have everything mapped out, their course can derail, their minds might change, their circumstances might wind around a bend that takes them in a completely different direction.
There is so much ahead you don’t know, there are so many things you have yet to learn, and there’s a whole world out there you have yet to see. Growing up can be excruciatingly unpredictable and delightfully so, too. The unknown is scary and yet, it can be exciting if you look at it as an open-ended highway, full of opportunities you have yet to discover and new skills you have yet to learn, and new goals you have yet to make. There is no right way to grow up, there is no set order of things that define success, there is no specific plan that proves to be the best.
Where you are is where you need to be. You are joining the ranks of adulting that only requires you to place your feet on whatever ground that seems steady, then keep taking those shaky steps forward while you continue to find new solid ground to cover, new growth to discover, and new roads that might take you someplace you belong, somewhere you can fit in, somehow finding a place and a purpose that nourishes your strengths and cultivates your dreams… And then doing it all, over and over again.
This is how life goes, dear senior. It’s feeling lost at times, and wondering what comes next. It’s trying to do the right thing, but realizing the right thing isn’t right after all. It’s making mistakes and changing your mind, and shifting your steps onto freshly formed ground. It’s a painstaking process of finding yourself in new places and claiming new layers of who you are as you go.
But within this chaotic way of growing up and shuffling forward simply shifting this way and that, something happens. Rare moments of clarity occur in the most elusive places, where things that were once blurry and meaningless give way to fulfillment and joy. It’s a wonder, this crazy life we live. We are all just nomads, roaming around this earth, trying to find our way and learn our purpose every day.
So, please don’t worry. Please don’t think you are different from the rest. No matter how strong and wise and perfectly presented others appear, no one, and I mean no one, has it all together whether it’s their senior year or fifty years later.
All you need is an honest compass within, to help guide you through each new choice you make, as you keep correcting your course and tend to the ever-changing terrain you travel, day by day.
And you will find the craziest thing-
It all will tell your own unique and wondrous story in quite a remarkable way.
This is a contributed post by Christine Carter. She writes at TheMomCafe.com, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration, and faith. Her work is published on several various online publications and she is the author of “Help and Hope While You’re Healing: A woman’s guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness.” and “Follow Jesus: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Navigating the Online World”. Both sold on Amazon.
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