Four years ago, I graduated high school in California and prepared to move 1,400 miles away to Texas. Little did I know, that was the first time that I would unintentionally trust my gut and just go with it.
As I close in on college graduation and look back at the last four years, I realize how often I’ve trusted the process of my life and I’m so grateful that I did. There are so many small moments that have come together to create the life and goals I have now. All because I rolled with the punches, even if I did so begrudgingly sometimes.
When I chose Baylor, a faith-based institution in the south, as my dream school, I didn’t know why. I had never been to Texas. I wasn’t at all in touch with my spirituality or rooted in any religion, but something drew me to it.
I used to say that I chose the school because it was easy to apply to and research. Everything was in a video format and there were no essays. Looking back, I realize that it was more than that. Call it what you will; God, the universe, whatever, but it definitely wasn’t as simple as “being easy.”
Coming to Baylor changed my life in more ways than one. It was the beginning of me trusting my process and accepting that sometimes (most of the time) my plan wasn’t going to be what actually happened.
As a freshman, I decided to major in psychology and eventually own my own practice. Half way into my first semester, that changed and I’ve never looked back or second-guessed my decision.
One professor, one program and one lecture changed my course.
Could this have happened at another university? Sure. But something in my gut tells me it wouldn’t have. It took that class, that professor and that program to make me realize that psychology wasn’t my calling.
After that I changed my major to journalism and realized that writing was what I was supposed to do with my life. I didn’t end up doing the Baylor in New York program that I felt so compelled to do freshman year, but switching to journalism opened so many doors for me.
I was in a smaller department where professors and my department head knew me by name and face. I was able to build relationships with professors and students that went beyond academia. Everyone in the department was so willing to help me with anything and everything I needed.
Naturally, I was pushed to intern and continue to do as many things to boost my resume as possible. That’s how I eventually got to New York, even if it wasn’t by way of the program I thought would take me there.
After countless applications and emails sent, I was offered 6 internships at equally reputable and respected publications. Two positions paid, the rest unpaid. One of the paid positions was in Los Angeles and the other was in New York.
I ended up taking both, a paid and unpaid position, in New York and it was simultaneously the worst experience and best decision I could’ve made. I’ve had big city dreams since the moment I made the decision to be a journalist. Nothing could’ve convinced me that I wasn’t meant to be in New York, other than actually being in New York.
Upon arrival, I was told that the company which had offered me a paid position no longer had the budget for an intern. I was left on the East Coast with no income and no plan. Luckily, my dad was there so housing and food was covered, but as far as my bills in Texas and other expenses were concerned, I was S.O.L.
Naturally, I wanted to go back home, either to California or Texas, both of which were in my comfort zone. But, I stayed and I know now that I couldn’t have made a better decision. I trusted the process.
Had I ran home, I wouldn’t know that journalism is not “my thing.” Am I good at it? Yes. Is writing my passion? Yes. Are writing and journalism synonymous? Not exactly.
Had I ran home, I wouldn’t know how much New York depresses me. I wouldn’t know just how much a beach and nature are necessary to my happiness.
Had I ran home, I wouldn’t know how much things, other than my career, mean to me. I wouldn’t know how much I don’t need anyone, but God to lean on.
Had I ran home, I wouldn’t know how important it is to trust the process and let things fall into place.
All that to say, that when things don’t go as planned, it’s okay. Life isn’t over if you fail a class or don’t get into med school or don’t get offered your dream job right out of college. There’s a reason it didn’t happen. Just stay prepared and it will happen. If it doesn’t, better things will.
Life will take us where we need to be. We just have to trust the process.