Wisdom From a College Freshman

Earlier today I was looking high and low in my room for my flash drive. I intended to take care of some business, but couldn’t find it. What I did find, though, was much more wonderful than a flash drive with a document that I need to send to the CA DMV ASAP (not hard to be more wonderful than that). It was my journal from when I was 18 and starting college.

As I flipped through its pages, one thing was glaringly clear to me: I am not so different than I was then. I described wanting to get out in the world, to try new things, to make mistakes and learn from them. I’ve always loved the analogy of weight lifting. You lift weights and purposely tear your muscles and when they heal, they are bigger, stronger. In the past 10 years, I have pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone and with each step, instead of existing outside of my zone, I have extended its boundaries. This is simultaneously wonderful and infuriating. Imagine, always seeking something new and different and, as if your own worst enemy, you turn it into something comfortable. On the other hand, there is a little touch of comfort everywhere I go; can’t really complain about that. I still seek that discomfort, a little bit at a time.

I also have a tendency in journaling to write advice to myself and reading my advice to myself from then, I can’t help but feel that I know my tragic flaw. I laughed out loud as I read pearls of wisdom from myself at the brink of adulthood:

“Stop worrying about being worried.”

Still need that reminder from time to time. All the time.

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I Can See Clearly Now the Rain is Here

I don’t know if it’s the summer solstice or the supermoon or what, but something is good is happening here.

I went down to Millennium Park in Chicago for an evening of music under the newly summer sky and just as quickly as I had arrived and snagged a spot for my friends and I to picnic, foreboding clouds rolled in and an announcement was made:

“According to the City of Chicago there is severe weather coming in and you should find shelter. The concert will be cancelled.”  (Some dramatic lightning and thunder to prove it).

In that moment, though I packed up my belongings, I wasn’t in a hurry. The storm was going to get me and I knew it. And I kind of wanted it to.

Then it rained. It rained real hard. It rained so hard that children were crying. People found crevices and overpasses to hide under. And I walked and laughed to the train. I needed this.

I had gone to Target to grab some snacks before heading to the park and if you’ve ever been to Target, you know… you never leave with just the thing you went for. So of course I had a tray of cheese and crackers aaaaand a brand new red dress. My things in Target bags were the only things protected from the rain, so once I made it to the train stop, I discretely, but still very publicly changed my dress (one of the many ways I know I’m still not a grown up). Now under the shelter of the train stop, but still so soaked even in my new dress, I marveled at this experience.

This rain, my new dress, summer, supermoons, all of it, it all means something. And it is good.

I just know it. It’s all good. I’m ready for this summer.

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The Bird Gets the Worm

It has nothing to do with how early it rises. The early bird catches the worm and the late bird also catches the worm because there’s more than one worm.

I’m all about hard work, but all I’m saying is, I just saw a bird the other day at around 6:00 PM catch two worms. Not one, but two. It didn’t even have any competition. No other birds on that grass to contend with. In its majestic solitude it hopped around on the lawn and buried its beak in the blades of grass from time to time to pull out its feast. No early rising, no problem.

My friend and I were seated on the lawn next door to this bird having a conversation about job searching– the absurdities of cover letters, the challenging job market, and the balancing act of a life in between things. It wasn’t until almost 24 hours after seeing the bird get its worms and the good conversation that the old adage and the parallels that it had with the job search occurred to me.

But, the adage is wrong.

The bird didn’t get worms because it got up early, it got worms because its a bird, and that’s what birds do. Sure, the bird had to be out there to get the worm, but it did it when it was good and ready and it did it with confidence and self-respect. It knew what it wanted, figured out how best to get it, and executed its plan. And it probably got to sleep in a little while it was at it. (Birds sleep, right? Otherwise this metaphor is shot).

The point is, the bird gets the worm because it’s a bird and it does what it does.

Be a bird. Do what you do. Get your worm.

Categories: Day to Day, Short and Sweet, What's a Metaphor? | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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