I would like to take a moment to reflect on a post of mine from long ago—
You feel so much love in a moment.
Then you realize that moment is part of an hour.
In this hour, you realize how little you know about
what will happen in a week.
A week is part of a month, and then part of a year.
What can happen in a year?
Feelings change, plans fall through, people come and go.
A year becomes part of a lifetime.
In a lifetime, we are expected to do something great.
But when will this greatness happen?
When will a lifetime become something worth remembering?
—Only in a moment.
When will my life begin? That’s the question I find myself asking over and over again. I mean, I have a life, obviously. But when will I have a LIFE? I begin to think to myself, at what moment did I actually see myself having a future?
Maybe it was when I started to get acceptance letters for colleges? I ripped those envelopes open so quickly just to read that the first word was “Congratulations!” That did give me a confidence boost. All the hard work I put in during high school; learning things like geometry, chemistry, Spanish, etc.; I’ll finally be able to surround myself with other people who also found these subjects just as useless as I had. I would be able to share my brilliant thoughts with intellectual scholars who will genuinely appreciate them. But after I was accepted, I thought about what I really wanted to focus my studies on. Maybe I could be a teacher and help to shape the young minds of tomorrow with my witty remarks and patience. Or maybe I would join a club and become the president so that I can become an advocate for some cause that I found was greater than my own. As wonderful and exciting as these ideas were on paper, I was unable to put these plans into action. So I guess this plan gave me more overwhelming feelings of uncertainty than excitement about starting life.
It could have been when I graduated college. I finally had a degree in something I enjoyed doing: Writing. Although, after I graduated, I realized that I had spent so many hours reading, analyzing, and picking apart the work of other people, I was never really able to find my own voice. Sure, I had a piece of gold accented paper in a cheaply made cover saying that I had taken all of the classes I was supposed to take. Little do people know that some of these classes caused me to change my style to fit the persona of a caffeine addicted, sleep deprived, borderline alcoholic college student who was trying her best to make it to class every morning after fighting sleep on the quiet third floor of the library while trying to finish that 29-page analysis of a book written by a dead person. But I did it; I have that piece of paper.
Maybe my life would begin after I graduated and began to give my credentials to those who were in charge of jobs I could picture myself doing everyday for the rest of my life. I had a lot of connections in various areas of work, so I was positive something would come of it.
Months later, I’m still working two- crappy, minimum-wage, part-time jobs while living in my parent’s house. I’m still giving my resume to people; but now it is being given to just about anyone who will take it. I have just enough money to pay bills and maybe, if I’m lucky, buy food every once in awhile. Rather than pursuing my true calling— whatever that may be— I’m simply searching for something that will allow me to experience the feeling of having money leftover after I pay my bills. All I need to do is find something that gives me the same spark of excitement that I felt while opening acceptance letters, or holding that diploma. I want to find the one thing that will give me that spark of happiness and self-worth everyday. I just need to find the path that will lead me there.
Well Briana from a few years ago, I’m glad you’re here. I’m 2017 Briana and I am not sorry to say that I’m glad you felt that way because DO I HAVE SOME EXCITING NEWS FOR YOU!? You did it! How silly do you feel knowing that you were worrying about all of those things back then– your “crappy” jobs, not knowing your true calling… Did it suck feeling that way? Yes. Was that a dark place in my life? Absolutely. But alas! Here we are.
Yes, it sounds cheesy to say, but everything really does work out. I was put into that position for a reason. I took the time to sulk in what I thought was the worst situation I could be in with a stupid diploma and a bed in my parents’ house. But looking back, I can honestly say I would not change anything. I just realized that this turned into one of those perseverance stories I always read that tend to make me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Hold on, let me redirect. I thought I was in a bad position, and sometimes you are. But I had the choice to sit there and melt into a dough ball of sadness and regret as to why I wasn’t born with more athletic ability or an amazing singing voice. I had the choice to stay at home and give up. Here’s the difference I see in myself now and and why I am so proud of years-ago Briana. She got up, retouched her lipstick, and decided to keep looking for what she was meant to do. I avoided writing for so long because I didn’t think I wanted to do it (queue the ‘I told you so’s’). But in the journey I’ve been on to find myself succeed, I found that I find the most success in helping other people succeed. Now, I don’t mean I ride on the success of others and expect the credit for it. Not what I’m saying at all. What I mean is that I find true joy in seeing other people when they’re genuinely excited about something. That ‘kid on Christmas morning’ look. I recognize the look on someone’s face when they’re ready to give up because I looked at that face everyday in the mirror. I somehow found the exit to that maze. I don’t know if I could remember the way out exactly, but I wouldn’t hesitate to join hands and figure it out together by sharing all the information I have.