one year later
Woah. It's been a full year since I graduated from college on a cold and slightly snowy day (oh, how I love Wisconsin), and I'm not sure exactly where that year went. So much has happened in the past year that makes it all seem like a distant memory. And yet, it still feels like just yesterday I was a freshman who sat in the front row of her 400-person lecture on the first day of class because she was too scared to sit by anyone else. I grew a lot in those four years, and have grown exponentially since. The past year has been full of adjustments, personal growth, and many lessons learned.
One big lesson I've learned is that the best is yet to come. My mom gave me a sign with this saying on it awhile ago, but it's taken me time to fully learn its truth. I was very scared upon graduating that I was leaving the best part of my life behind me. I thought I had peaked and everything would be downhill from there. Even though adulthood can be stressful, challenging, and sometimes just boring (looking at you, taxes), it is also full of copious amounts of new adventures- many of which I have yet to experience. I am no longer operating under the assumption that my best years are behind me. Instead, I remember my college days fondly, while looking excitedly towards the future and whatever it may bring me.
Another lesson I've learned is to choose happiness now. Often, I think to myself, "I'll be happier when __." That blank can be filled with a wide range of things, but I find myself always able to fill it in with something. The truth is, though, that even when these things finally do happen, they either underwhelm me or I turn my focus to something else in my life I want to improve. I'm still working on this, but I'm learning that we have to choose happiness every day, with whatever circumstances we've been given. Of course I will continue to strive for the things I think will make me happier, but I am no longer counting on them to provide me joy. I already have so many things to be happy about, if only I let myself see them.
Finally, I've learned that there are so many lessons yet to be learned. By the end of my college years, I felt like I had everything figured out. I knew what made me happy and unhappy and what I liked and disliked, at least in the bubble of a college campus. Upon leaving that bubble, I realized that I barely knew myself at all. And I know it will be a long time before I do. That's okay- I'm told that's what your 20's are for! I'm continuing to try new things, take risks, and take the time to discover who I am in the context of adulthood.
What lessons have you learned in adulthood (so far)?