Longing for the High Life

Life is hard. Being an adult is hard.

There are so many things they don’t tell you when you’re racing to grow up, like that being an adult involves paying bills, meeting deadlines and feeling like you’re constantly failing at life. There was so much I was unprepared for. There is still so much I am unprepared for.

I know it isn’t just me who feels this way, but I can’t help but look at some of my friends who seem to have it all together and always know what to do and feel like I completely missed that life lesson. What’s the best insurance? What’s a 401K? What things really matter when voting for a President? HOW DO YOU KNOW THESE THINGS? Like, did I miss something? Why am I unable to comprehend all these grown-up things that everyone else seemingly has the hang of?

Life is a struggle. It’s wanting a job that pays the bills, but not wanting to be confined by a 9-5. It’s wanting to move across the country, but not wanting to leave the people I love. It’s desiring to save, but not wanting to miss the chance to live.

So maybe it’s a struggle, but who’s to say that’s wrong?

I’ve done a lot and I’ve seen a lot these past few years. I’ve used Southwest airline credit to celebrate graduating college and Christmas with Sara in Philly. I’ve rappelled next to waterfalls in North Carolina on the way to drop my friend at an Army base in Virginia. I’ve crossed the ocean and solo-backpacked through Europe, losing and finding myself along the way. I’ve flown to Denver with Kayla only to end up spending a crazy, unforgettable night with new friends in Vail. I’ve sung all the way to Nashville with my tripod to tour the Grand Ole Opry and watch the Blues beat the Predators. I’ve road tripped with Lauren to see one of our favorite musicians play in a three different states while car sleeping in hotel parking lots and showering at gyms. I’ve taken a weekend trip to Jacksonville with a woman who was a second mother to me growing up. I’ve rode a school bus to Branson with my mom to turn around once we were home and leave for Milwaukee with her at 1am, detouring through Chicago for gluten-free donuts and the sunrise over Lake Michigan. And most recently, I threw caution to the wind and took an impromptu trip to Colorado with Liana to visit my favorite guys and climb mountains.

I’ve loved and I’ve lost two guys who, at their respectful times in my life, I thought could be “the one”. I’ve worked odd jobs, from waitressing to substitute teaching to managing a gym to selling tickets for a professional soccer team. I’ve even taken a summer off to counsel at summer camp and still keep in touch with the sweet preteen girls I had in my cabin.

After I pay my bills this week, I’ll have maybe $5 to my name. I live at home with my parents. I also have a car that isn’t only not aesthetically pleasing to look at, but is also on it’s last leg. Anyone who has struggled financially knows how awful the reality of all of this is.

But you know what? I am constantly reminded of the Lord’s goodness. He always knows just what I need and He provides. He never lets me go hungry or unclothed. I may not have everything I want, but I have everything I need (even if I cry to my mom today about not even having enough money to buy new socks to replace my hole-filled ones).

I have the most supportive parents in the entire world. They have not only allowed me to live at home rent-free during my post-college life adventure of “finding myself”, but they have supported me every step of the way, no matter if they thought I was making the right decision or not. I am truly blessed and humbled by the life they have created for our family.

Currently, I am sticking out the soccer season with the fantastic team I work for as I apply for full-time positions and look for housing near Vail. My desire is to move there for the Winter season and work at the resort, exploring mountains with the boys when we have days off and finding more of God in the stillness. In the past few years, in all the places I have been, it is the only place where I have felt at home, even more so than St. Louis itself at times. I know this is a step in the right direction. I have started and stopped more endeavors than I can explain, but I am determined to stick this one out. I am determined to struggle and claw my way to support myself in a state that holds my heart in order to learn and grow. It’s not something I’ve decided on a whim, it’s one that I have been toying with since January of last year and I am ready to throw caution to the wind, break free of my fear and GO.

I know who stands beside me, and I am not afraid.

Colorado Mountains, I-70 Eastbound

Colorado Mountains, I-70 Eastbound

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Taking a Bite of Humble Pie

Take a Bite of Humble Pie…

…or in my case, eat the whole thing.

Life isn’t easy. Whoever says it is, well, they’re a liar. We read joke about suing Disney for giving us a the wrong ideas about love and fairytales and happily every after, but in reality, nothing in life is really like it is in the movies.

You don’t always get the boy you want (usually that’s something you’ll thank God for later, but if you don’t believe me, just ask Garth Brooks…), the ugly girl doesn’t always come out on top to win Prom Queen, and your “college experience” is nowhere near as perfect as the movies portray it to be. One big party? More like four (or four and a half) years of hard work, late nights studying, struggling to make it to 8am classes after working your part-time job and not getting home until midnight, declining going out for drinks with your friends because of a group project you’re doing solo… yeah, a real “party” that is (granted, I ended up in a national honors society and graduated with a 3.55 GPA, which may compare differently to the grades that some of those partiers got…let’s not get into the ones that could go out every night and still pass with a 4.0, we kind of hate them…)

Life is Supposed to Be Easy

I’m getting off track. Life isn’t easy. It’s supposed to be, but it isn’t. As humans, we make it complicated. As a perfectionist, I always feel as I though I fall short.

If you’ve been following my blog for any good length of time, you’ll know that I took two months off after graduation to travel throughout Europe. When I did this, I gave up my retail job at Victoria’s Secret, I declined a position at the ad agency I was interning at (which wasn’t really a “real” offer, but we won’t get into that right now) and I agreed to move back into my parent’s house.

Now, in my “movie-perfect” mind, I was going to return from my trip (okay, if I’m being honest, I had no intention of returning home from my trip – I really thought I was going to fall in love and never come back. Well, I met a boy, but I ended up back in Missouri, so that story doesn’t need any further explanation).

theleadingedgeblog.com

theleadingedgeblog.com

Fairytale Fail

But alas, here I am. Back in my parent’s basement. I didn’t expect to be here for this long. Somewhere in my crazy mind, I was only going to be back for a month or two before I snagged my “dream job”. I’m not sure how I planned to snag it so quickly, especially since I’m not even entirely sure that I have one… I’m also not sure who I expected to just hand me a job, or why I thought it would be so easy to come by. But I did. And I have found that I was so very mistaken.

So, here I sit. Slowly moving from the spare room upstairs to an empty room back in the basement apartment at my parent’s house, seeing as I’m going to be here for longer than originally expected. I’ve been getting my niece ready for school and on the bus, working out, doing internship blogs and working at a new pub in town for some cash to start paying off my credit card and student loans. I’m still job hunting, kind of. It’s awfully depressing when there is absolutely nothing available, and you haven’t heard back from anywhere you’ve applied so far. Wait, that’s a lie. I actually did get an “although we were impressed with your qualifications, we have decided not to move your application forward” email the other day. I think I liked not hearing back better…

But I will readjust my big girl panties and continue  moving forward. Continuing to move forward may be a slow process, but at least I’m not idle. If we stop moving forward, we will never get anywhere in life. I know God has great plans for my life, even if my small human brain cannot seem to figure out what they might be as I spend this season of my life waiting tables and rely on my parent’s for my room and board. I guess you could say that I’m learning patience in this process, as well.

And who knows, maybe I’ll be like Alexis Bledel’s character in Post Grad. Move home, put up with my crazy family, meet a cute guy, get my dream job…

My life might not be an academy award winner, but it’s still a movie. Once I’m lucky enough to get to be the lead star in.

My life, my choice.

I’ve been looking at graduate schools for a few months now, as graduation is quickly approaching at the end of the year. Today, I told my mom that I was looking into Webster Graduate School London. It didn’t take but two seconds before she began shooting down reasons that I shouldn’t go – I have a job offer here, I can take my master’s courses at Lindenwood for less than other schools, I don’t have to go into grad schools right away because other people settle into a job first and do it as they have time, she told me it was a bad decision to go to MSU first and knew I regretted it like I would regret having more financial debt after grad school – the list was endless.

It broke my heart. I understand her small-town contentment, but that’s not me. I am made for so much more, and I know it. But how do you get to more when you’re main source of support is dragging you down?

I have thought ten times over about grad school at LU and the job I’ve been offered after my internship is completed, I am thankful that these opportunities are at my disposal. But what if they’re not enough? What if I want to go somewhere new and experience things I have only ever dreamt of? I have had a desire to be in London for years. If I can get a Master’s in my field in London, for the same price I would pay out-of-state at any other university in the US, why wouldn’t I take that route? Why wouldn’t I do something I have always wanted to do? Why shouldn’t I?

I envy people who have had their undergraduate school paid for, as I will have an incredible amount of debt coming out. I didn’t know half the things I know now, and if I could go back and apply for more, I would. But I can’t. So I plan to do whatever it takes to see if I can get funding for grad school. Particularly, grad school in London.

This is what I want.
This is my choice.
This is my time.

I wish you would stop.

I hate that the plans and decisions you made before you left aren’t ones that you’re sticking with now that you’re 7,200+ miles away.

Distance makes things better and worse. You’ve known that since you started this journey. Remember it.