Hello hello, this is a mushy-gushy-feelingsy post full of self-reflection and self-centeredness, so welcome to the inner workings of my mind if you’re down for that sort of thing, or see ya later if that sounds like absolute hell to you.
If this isn’t your first gander at The Girl in Green Glasses, you probably know by now how much I love lists, and lists are inherently plans, which I love even more. I’m huge into consistency, clear causes and effects, and knowing everything at all times. Ironic that I’m constantly telling people that “God has a plan” and to “F it! just go with the flow, everything happens for a reason!” If you had told me two years ago that I’d be where I am doing what I am right now I wouldn’t be surprised (or disappointed for that matter). I’m really happy with where I am in life right now. The path to getting here, however: not quite what I expected. I had a rough and lonely freshman year at Indiana.
Senior year of high school, I gave a talk at a retreat and one of my main takeaways was something I haven’t been living lately, but am trying to refocus on these days as life at school is getting hard again.
“Wherever you are walking is your path.”
It’s not like I’ve had anything earth shattering or completely revolutionary happen to me, it’s just that I set a specific path for College Helen and she just didn’t cooperate with her instructions. Smh. Typical.
I wanted to go to a college close to home, major in theatre, minor in econ or something businessy (just to say I got a “real” degree for the haters, and potential employers I guess, out there.) I expected I’d meets TONS of girls I instantly clicked with, I’d go to parties, football games, join a sorority, be in a musical, and I’d work out like EVERYday and have a fitness influencer body. (HA)
In classic Helen fashion, here’s what did and didn’t go accordingly to plan in ~list format~. Type-A babes, you’re welcome.
Things that came true:
- I’m in a sorority.
- I’m in a musical.
- I go to parties and football games.
- I have amazing friends.
- I dance everyday (not sure about that influencer body, but I love the one I have.)
Things I didn’t expect:
- I didn’t get into the school I applied early decision to and had dreamed of attending.
- After I settled on a different school, I didn’t get into the program I wanted. Twice.
- I made a total of 4 friends that I actually hung out with during freshman year.
- I’m still technically only majoring in business.
- I joined and left an A Cappella group (Mama didn’t raise a quitter so this one was like pulling teeth.)
- I listen to Taylor Swift regularly. (Also I went to her concert this summer?? Now THAT was a plot twist.)
- I auditioned for 6 shows in less than a month before getting into one.
- I have this blog…and I’m really bad about consistently posting.
In summary, I’ve been thrown a lot of curveballs this past year and a half.
Anyone who knows me knows that not having a plan makes my skin crawl like I just took a bath in a mosquito-ridden swamp. My natural instinct is to curl up in a ball and wallow for a hot sec then spend hours analyzing every angle of why my perfectly curated plan went awry. If you looked at my neurotically color-coded planner, you would never guess how little I have my shit together.
The thing is, there’s a huge difference between having a plan, executing a plan, and bouncing back when things don’t go as planned. I think that last one is the key to success for me. No one does, but I especially, do not have perfect mental heath and I feel things deeply and have a hair-trigger for blaming myself. Not getting into the school, program, and shows I set my heart on just plain sucked.
And here comes the mushy part:
I genuinely would not physically be where I am today without those…let’s call them plot twists. If I didn’t end up at Indiana, I wouldn’t have been able to maintain or build certain relationships with friends without whom I genuinely don’t know if I would’ve survived last year.
First semester, every weekend I wished I could go home and every Monday I wished I could transfer. The small but mighty support system I had here kept me afloat and made sure I stayed here where I belong. My freshman year taught me how to be alone with myself. It taught me the difference between staying in bed all day and having a self-care day, the difference between loneliness and independence, pretending to be happy and choosing joy.
Not getting into a show right off the bat this year gave me time to actually spend a ton of time in my sorority house making new friends, going out, working on paintings for my Etsy shop, and so far not skipping a single class (this shouldn’t be something I brag about, but I’m a night owl with 8ams every day, gimme a break!).
I still don’t know why everything has gone the way it has these past few years, months or even hours, but it’s my life and I’m living it. It’s the only one that’s been given to me, so I might as well do my best to appreciate the path I’m on. Who knows what my next chapter is going to be? I’m not going to stop planning – that’s just against my nature – but I’m going to look for the lessons in the bumps in the road and be thankful for the story that’s playing out, whatever it may be. Because, really, what’s the fun in having the ending spoiled for you before you finish the book?