Although we’re only seven months into 2017, if there’s one thing I can say with 100% certainty that this year has already taught me, it’s that life is meant to challenge you.
For anyone who’s already solved this on their own, bear with me, people—I’m still only 22, I’ve got a lot of learning to do, and I’m doing my best.
Of course I had a plan for where my life was going. I’d go to a four-year college, get the degree I wanted, land my dream job (or as close to it as I could get) immediately after graduation, move into a killer apartment with a close friend or two and maybe, just maybe *fingers crossed* find a dude who actually likes me back for once.
To be honest, things were all pretty much going according to my perfectly laid out plan—except for finding a boyfriend, but that’s for another time.
It seemed as though I’d had everything lined up exactly how I’d planned them to be in my neat, organized little mind. However, if you have any sixth sense, you probably know where my story is going—and here’s where it takes a turn.
Everything was going how I wanted it to—how I thought it should go—until it wasn’t.
You can only pretend your life is white picket fences, rainbows, and sunshine for so long. We’re all only human, and as humans, we experience the nuances of life.
Ever heard the quote, “Do you ever feel like you’re in Season Five of your life and the writers just keep doing outrageous shit to keep it interesting?” Well, to give you a sense of where my life has taken me at age 22, let’s just say I’m teetering on Season Five.
Now, a website that gets over 75 million monthly readers is not exactly a place where I intend on airing my family’s dirty laundry, so if you’re looking for juice, drama, or specific details, I’ll leave that up to the Kardashian clan. However, I will tell you that my family, like all families, began to experience turmoil to some extent. I’m not talking about your average family feud—tears, screaming, and arguing—because let’s be real, that’s nothing. What happened—or is happening, rather—is a bit more life-changing for everyone involved. And that shook me and the perfect little world I was subconsciously creating in my mind.
This isn’t supposed to be happening, I’d keep telling myself. This isn’t part of my plan.
Well here’s a dose of reality for ya: Life is unplanned. You cannot create your future nor anticipate what will or won’t happen to you. You can certainly try your best to avoid life’s curveballs for as long as you can, but at one point or another something just clicks. And when it does, you realize there’s no point in avoiding, running, or hiding from the obstacles of life—and the best and only way to handle them is to tackle them head-on.
You see, life is really all about perception. If you want to be salty about certain circumstances, by all means, pass the salt shaker. Hey, sometimes ya gotta. But what good is that doing, really? While you may not be able to control what life throws at you, you can control how you react to it.
Now to any of my stubborn readers out there saying, “but it’s not that easy!” OK, you’re right. It’s not easy. In fact, my immediate reaction to my recent series of unfortunate events was just about as unpleasant as it gets. My reaction’s recipe called for frustration, sadness, disappointment, fear, and a dash of salt—because every recipe calls for salt, right? So yeah, I was feeling just about any and every negative feeling you could possibly feel all at once.
After having my bout of poutiness, I realized that what’s done is done, there’s nothing we can do to change what’s happening, and the only thing we can do now is move forward. Now here’s where I credit my all-time favorite band, The Beatles. I learned that the best way to let life run its course is to simply let it be.
Am I happy about certain things in my life? No shot. Am I excited for the unexpected path my life’s chosen to take me on? Not exactly. But I’ve come to terms with all of it and honestly, I am okay with it all.
I’m not the most religious or spiritual girl in the world, but I truly do believe that everything happens for a reason, and we may not understand those reasons until much later on. “Life must be lived forward but understood backwards.”—shout out Miley Cyrus.
Maybe it’s the millennial in me, or maybe it’s a direct result of everything I’ve been through in my life, but I’ve become one of the most open-minded people that I know. If I can be easygoing about whatever restaurant my family decides on for dinner, I figure why can’t I be easygoing about the path my life is choosing for me? I’ve learned to just trust the journey. Even though I don’t get it and sometimes admittedly may hate it in the moment, I always look back and learn from it.
I’ve learned to see all sides of a situation. And while I know I can be opinionated and stick by my opinions, I’ve learned to be completely understanding of every possible side in any given circumstance.
Life’s favorite game is testing your patience—and speaking from experience, it’s pretty good at it. But the secret to winning the game is perception. Don’t think of your problems as problems. Rather, look at these hurdles as a way for you to channel your inner badass and take on life’s challenges with a whole new outlook.
When life gets tough, just know that you’re tougher. God throws his toughest challenges at his strongest soldiers. Just know that where you are right now, that’s exactly where you’re supposed to be. Everything happening to you right now? Yeah, no matter how much it may suck, it’s supposed to be happening. Nothing bad lasts forever—so buckle up and charge at life’s challenges head on the way you’re supposed to.