It’s funny how I thought at twenty-two I would have my life figured out. That I’d be almost married and having kids by now. (That’s what five-year-old Whitney thought anyway.) Yikes. Five-year-old Whitney thought growing up would make things more understandable, less complicated – less tangled and messy. I thought the older I became the more I could make sense of everything. Boy was I wrong. I’m quickly learning it’s just the opposite. The older I get, the more confused I become. The older I get, the more directions I’m being pulled. People say your twenties are supposed to be the greatest years of your life but I’ve never felt more disoriented. I can say, I’m certainly thankful for those emotions. For those emotions allow me to push myself – they keep me eager, ambitious and determined.
“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be lead by your dreams.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
This has been an absolute whirlwind of a year for me. This year has literally kicked my ass three ways from Sunday – and it’s only March. As I sit here, I literally can’t help but think what the actual fuck just happened? I went from: being home for winter break – just visiting, heading back to Oregon – to what I thought would still be my home for the next three years, to all the sudden putting my apt on craigslist and getting an offer within minutes, to moving back home. Not too mention all that happened just in the month of January. It exhausts me thinking about it. But hey, welcome to your twenties right? 🙂
“If you’re feeling frightened about what comes next, don’t be. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path toward happiness; don’t waste time with regret. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart.. where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again.” – Everwood
I understand there will be years of success and years of triumph. I think the most important thing that we can do through it all, the success and triumph, through the victories and defeat, is to keep moving forward. Even if it’s the tiniest step in the world or the biggest leap of our lives. Moving forward is essential. That’s all it takes, all that really matters. At the end of the day, we’re the only ones that can judge the size of our strides, no one else. Regardless if anyone tries to make us feel inadequate or tries to make us feel like a failure. At the end of the day the only person we are trying to please is ourself. And you’ll probably find that more times than not, a vast majority of people are actually on the same page as you.
“Often times, a person will think they know you by piecing together tiny facts and arranging those pieces into a puzzle that makes sense to them. If we don’t know ourselves very well, we’ll mistakenly believe them, and drift toward where they tell us to swim, only to drown in our own confusion.
Here’s the truth: it’s important to take the necessary steps to find out who you are. Because you hold endless depths below the surface of a few facts and pieces and past decisions. You aren’t only the ripples other can see. You are made of oceans.” – Victoria Erickson
Yes, moving back home feels like a major step back, of course. There are no words for how much I grew as a person – as an individual, moving to Newport. I learned so much about myself and other people. I learned what the definition of independence truly meant moving to Oregon. I was alone and at the end of the day, all I had was myself. Now I’m home, back to where I was when I was 18 years old. That doesn’t feel like a step forward, doesn’t feel like the person I set out to become. But what I can say is that home grounds me. For what it’s worth, home will always be the place I can come to regroup – to get my head back on straight. I can’t express how thankful I am to have a home like this to be able to come back to. I feel so fortunate. (A huge shoutout to my family for always welcoming me back with open arms.)
Do I want to be back in Bishop? Absolutely not. Am I tired of people asking me why I’m here and what my next move is? You bet. Do you think I even know what my next move is? No. But you see, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter today what my move tomorrow, next month, or even next year is going to be. I’ll get there when I get there and I’ll get there when I’m ready to get there.
“Never be sorry for who you are. Your personality should never be shrouded in what society expects of you. Be shamelessly, unapologetically you. You will find the world rallies behind those who carve roads of their own.” – Beau Taplin
I think people put way too much pressure on us at such a young age. Yes, I’m twenty-two but that doesn’t mean that I have to have my entire life figured out. Is it so much to ask to just want to be twenty-two? I want to make mistakes. I want to most importantly learn from my mistakes. I need to learn for myself even if that means learning the hard way. Because you know what, what might have worked for others and made others successful, may not be what makes me successful. We’re all different, we’re all on our own unique journey and entitled to live our lives differently as well. I don’t want to have my whole life figured out right now. I want to go on adventures, to travel, I want to get myself in situations that I have to learn how to get myself out of. I want to learn what it’s like to fail so that when I’m older I know how to address and overcome my failures. I want to learn how to be a survivalist. I don’t want limits. I don’t want to be tied down and buckled in right now. I want to feel free – alive. I want to love what I do and I want to inspire others to love what they do. I just want to be twenty something.
“You can’t go your whole life trying to please everyone. You can’t go through life worried about what everyone else is going to think. Whether it’s your hair, clothes, what you have to say, how you feel, what you believe and what you have. You can’t let the judgement of others stop you from being you. Because if you do, you’re no longer you, you’re someone everyone wants you to be.” – Anonymous
So, what’s next? To be continued…