If Things Had Gone Like I Planned

I was driving down Glenn Avenue today thinking about how much time I’ve spent alone these past two years. It’s a Saturday, My sister is in West Palm Beach going to some halloween party, my parents are out on a date, and my brother is doing…well, I’m not sure but he’s always doing something.

I graduated with a communications degree. I planned to live in Huntsville or Birmingham and work in social media or at somewhere like Al.com. I didn’t want to live too close to my hometown. I wanted to drive a certain type of car, wear a power suit to work everyday, and marry the boy I loved in college.

It all came really close to happening. I could see it all right in front of my eyes. I’m a planner, as you can probably tell.

It would have been such a “dreamy” life. Probably better than I could have imagined.

It would have meant that I wouldn’t have had to spend so much time alone these past two years. I wouldn’t have known what heartbreak felt like at all. I wouldn’t be in graduate school questioning if sometimes I’m really cut out for a second degree or a career in higher education. I wouldn’t be so homesick that I call my Mom to tell her about my coffee order, or that I text my Dad multiple times a day just to hear about the cotton field or to talk about football scores. I wouldn’t miss someone so much that my heart aches.

…..

I had a conversation with a friend last Sunday as we drove around Nashville taking photos, buying earrings and drinking way too much coffee. We talked about how nice it was to be able to spend an entire Sunday together. It was. No plans, no one to answer to, just a girls day and a Ben Rector Concert.

I’ve been thinking about that conversation a lot.

…..

Friday one of my cousins called me to talk about a hard day. She’s realizing college is tough and a little lonely. Been there, done that, Sister. It is lonely. Grad School is lonely too. I gave her my best advice, told her that her feelings are valid and to treat herself to a cup of coffee and a trip down the book aisle at Target. That my door is always open and my cell phone is always on loud if she needs me.

I’ve thought about that conversation a lot, too.

…..

Today I spent a lot of time by myself. In a coffee shop down the street from a house where I spent a lot of time in college. With a little bit of an ache in my heart. Writing a paper that I really, really don’t want to write. Texting my Dad about football and cotton.

I cried in my car driving down Glenn Avenue because it’s Saturday and I’m away from all the people that I love. Because it shouldn’t be like this. I didn’t plan on this.

I spent two hours job searching, terrified that these two years weren’t worth it and that my degree won’t mean a thing.

…..

Oh, if things had gone like I planned. Today would have looked very different, I’m certain.

But I wouldn’t have had a whole Sunday to spend with a dear friend randomly in Nashville. Drinking too much coffee and fake laughing in front of a camera so I could update my blog.

I imagine I wouldn’t have been the first person my sweet cousin called when she had a tough day, because I don’t think I’d relate quite as much. I couldn’t have told her that being by yourself sometimes is good for you, and that it is more than okay to not meet your husband in college.

I probably wouldn’t have a shelf full of books on navigating the weird 20-something years that are weathered, worn and full of notes from passing them around to my friends and family who are in the same life phase.

This ramble-y, way too honest and over-sharing filled blog wouldn’t exist.

…..

I get a little bitter sometimes, I can be honest. Last night something came up that made me sad over the way things turned out. But today God has been reminding me why things look the way they do.

I am terrified of the way the next few years will look. My heart breaks knowing what could have been. It probably a l w a y s will if I am honest.

But there is grace in that. There is proof that God’s will is more likely than not different than ours, but it’s also more than we ever could have imagined.

It’s different. It’s more. It’s tough.

But it’s got to be worth it. 

Not my will, but His be done.

Oh, if things had gone like I planned. Today would have looked very different, I’m certain.

 

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