This post is all about my entire future. This might seem a little ridiculous because I graduated from high school two days ago but I’m busy all summer and I have zero (solid) plans for the fall. No plane tickets purchased. No job lined up. I’m not enrolled in university or college or program for September. Nothing — nothing besides a whole inbox FULL of messages like “You have been accepted to this program” with responses that read something like “thanks, but no thanks” except a lot prettier and more strategic.
Oops… I don’t think this is what my parents envisioned for me.
Why would I turn down so many opportunities? Ask me about each one individually, and I could probably write a 5 paragraph essay as to why I decided not to go. Airports don’t scare me & the unknown doesn’t make me quiver & adventures won’t trigger my anxiety. Some of the reasons (or partial reasons) as to why I said no to the chances I could’ve taken are listed here:
- I didn’t think it was going to be a rewarding investment
- The opportunity simply did not work out
- The more I prayed about it, the less I wanted to go
- Another opportunity came up that I wanted more
- God said no
- My mom had a strong, negative
- The idea is still on my list, it’s just probably not going to happen because it actually is unrealistic. Even though unrealistic isn’t a word I like to throw around in my vocabulary loosely.
I share this list with you, because if you’re in the same boat I am, just please know these are valid reasons. Or whatever reasons you have, those are real. Fear is real, but it is invalid. I hope you won’t be scared to take chances, but I do hope you make wise ones. Sometimes the choices we make won’t be wise — that’s okay. We’ll just get back up, dust ourselves off, and bounce back. We’re young and healthy and happy and with God before us, He will give us everything we need to serve him.
I have been beyond blessed for these opportunities, and I am sad nothing has worked out so far. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, God has a plan for my life, though. I know that He will give me an incredible opportunity to serve him in a place with people who will bless me beyond measure. I don’t know if that will be my hometown, or Georgia, or Australia, or Barbados, but wherever it is, and whoever I meet along the way, I know that He will challenge me & I won’t be able to say no.
Okay okay so what does ANY of this have to do with plates?? I’m so glad you (I) asked…
The years my two older sisters graduated from high school, their birthday / Christmas / graduation gifts were majorly knife blocks, colour-coded cutting boards, and 8-piece Correlle plate sets. Me? Nada. Okay, I got stuff, but no home decorations or curtains. I think this might be, partially, because my parents stopped remembering I was graduating. (I am the middle child, and my life has met reflected that stereotype to a T. I have accepted it.) But also, this is likely because I haven’t had any solid plans to move out next year. In fairness, I definitely haven’t had plans of staying at home, either (trust me, NOT what I want). But I don’t have any mugs or plates or silver ware to my name because I probably won’t be needing them as I won’t be buying a house or anything next year. Not that I need plates, or care if I have spoons, I’ll pick up some thrift store mugs them when I need some hot chocolate in five years — but I don’t have a solid plan for next year. I really don’t. I don’t totally think I need one, either. Part of me likes leaving my September schedule empty because I just might spontaneously go to the airport and buy a quick plane ticket someday and not come home for a few months. I would be okay with that.
I was reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller on my way to Boston a couple months ago & because I am too lazy to run down to my room and find the book and the chapter and the quote I am thinking of, so I’m going to summarize what I remember.
Essentially, he was talking about organizations (structured places) and how they are important and necessary. He goes on to say doesn’t like them very much, though. Something about having a set schedule of events, and programs. The longer I think about it, I realize I feel the same way a whole lot of the time. I would rather explore a country on my own than go on a guided bus tour. I would learn more if I just did the bus tour but I would have more fun if I didn’t, ya know?
Or I would rather do school my own way (online courses while travelling), than go to a university. But, because I need structure in my life, I couldn’t pull off both work & play simultaneously. So that’s why I would say yes to university, although I don’t particularly like organizations. You feel me? This is why I don’t own plates. I don’t like schedules. I don’t do well with organizations (although I am very organized).
Maybe you think I’m crazy? Maybe something I said resonated with you? Maybe both? Why would I ever second guess society? I would encourage you to think about how our western society shapes our lives, and how if you could change it, what you would do.
I don’t think I was called to graduate from high school, go straight to university, while working throughout the summers, only to graduate university and get a job, get married, and work & have kids for the rest of my life. While that does sound wonderful, it also sounds too easy.
I do eventually want all those things, and all those things are so good. And if you want to be a doctor or an engineer or a daycare worker and that’s your dream — then by all means. Run after that dream, chase it and chase it long and hard. But, if you’re going to school next year because you’ve been told you need to choose right now — at 17 or 18 years old — I would encourage you think about what you would do differently if you could. Maybe you love the idea of staying in your room for another year and working at the local store in your hometown. Maybe you just want to be a stay at home dad, or maybe you wanna be a mom but also an astronaut.
Do your thing. I don’t own any plates, and I’m okay with that. Maybe you want some wine glasses. Maybe go buy a salt shaker. Or maybe just wait until you need them. Do your thing, but please don’t sell yourself short. Chase after adventure if it’s calling your name. Take a year off, or take 5 years off. Love the life you live, and live well because it’s worth it. I promise, darling, it’s worth it.