On Changing Direction

I feel as though I talk about life’s uncertain journey all of the time. I constantly find myself reassuring my friends that what they want for their life will happen, just give it time. I constantly find myself comforting my friends and family with the phrase “everything happens for a reason,” which is undoubtedly true. That particular phrase doesn’t bring me much comfort, because I’ve dissected it enough to know that everything happens, and there is a result, and that result leads you to the reason, because what else would it lead to you? Nothing? Didn’t think so. Nevertheless, I say the phrase at least three times a week to let people know that maybe their new reason is the reason they’ve been wanting all along.

This summer, for me, has been a transitional period. I wrecked two vehicles, neither of which were my fault (I always feel the need to make sure everyone knows this for my own pride). Was this ideal? No, of course not. After purchasing my second car after my first wreck, I viewed my wreck as the thing that happened, which yielded the gift of a new car. One that I was proud of. One that I had to take care of and pay a monthly note for. An introduction into the responsibility of an adult purchase. The reason. After the second wreck, I am viewing this as the thing that happened which will yield an even better car. One that I am proud of, safe in, and can sustain a lot of miles because 1) road trips and 2) I’ll probably be driving it for the next ten years of my life.

I got a new job this summer as a teacher, so there’s a huge transition right there. I am a first year teacher and one of the youngest in the school. It’s a very scary and overwhelming process, but I am grateful and excited. This is a prime example of changing direction. I always said that I never wanted to teach. It just wasn’t something that called to me. I wanted to be the next Meryl Streep or Tina Fey (and I kind of still do), so avoiding careers like teaching full time was crucial to the life I wanted to lead. This was my thought process until I was offered the job at one of the best schools in the city to teach theatre nonetheless. Not only will I be able to quit my customer service job, but I’ll be teaching my favorite subject to children, getting paid for it and getting paid well, and having ample time off for holidays and summers, which has always been an issue for me with previous jobs. I never had enough time to enjoy my holidays and summers and to travel, which is something I want to make a priority in my life. Everything happens. And then there’s a reason.

I performed in an improv show, which reignited my love for being onstage with no sense of direction and clue what you’re going to do. I got cast in a play that I’ll begin rehearsing for in a few weeks. I made new friends.

This might be the most unexpected change in direction that occurred this summer.

Making a new friend was one of my Summer To-Do List items. When I typed “make a new friend” on that list, I thought that I’d be making a new lady friend who I could gossip with over a glass of wine. Instead, I met a dude friend from Puerto Rico who I laugh with over a glass of rum. A definite change in direction from my initial idea of what this summer would bring forth. But everything happens. And then there’s a reason. Even if you don’t quite know what it is just yet. Maybe it’s the reason you’ve been wanting all along.

I think life is weird and it knows it. Life owns the fact that it’s fickle and challenging and annoying and a pill. While all of us humans are down here saying that we’re unhappy with our lives, Life is just chilling somewhere over there telling us to change it. To find a new reason and to make everything happen in order to meet it.

Our lives are in our own hands, and that’s a powerful thing to recognize once you finally grasp it. This isn’t to say that there will be roadblocks to maneuver around. This isn’t to say that there will be potholes that will totally destroy your new tires and you’ll have to dish out $200+ that you don’t have for new ones. This isn’t even to say that there will be moments of stillness. Idleness. Where all you have is empty time to think “What am I doing with my life?”

I’ll tell you what you’re doing. You’re living. Every single second, you are living. Every single day is yours to live and do so with however you choose.

I could’ve screamed and cried when I got into my second wreck, but I calmly made phone calls and assessed the situation and went to lunch with my mom and brother and ate a damn stuffed snowball and counted my blessings instead. Because it’s just a car. It was a beautiful car, and it was my car, but it was just a car.

Everything happens. And then there’s a reason.

I could’ve turned down the teaching career, because, a few years ago, I said that I didn’t want to be a teacher. Instead, I thought of how I could impact lives around me, and make a steady income, and travel all summer long without worrying about making it back by Saturday at 3pm for my closing shift at work. It’s funny that I’m now a teacher when I said that I never would be.

Everything happens. And then there’s a reason.

I could’ve easily rejected the idea of new people coming into my life, as I’m known to do. But being open to the unknown has ultimately led me to some of the greatest people (and pets!) I have ever known. So while I didn’t spend a month of my summer drinking wine with a new gal pal, I happily spent a month of my summer drinking rum and Cokes and Caipirinhas, running with bulls, going to Voodoo Football games, eating my first burger at Camellia Grill, watching a pod of dolphins jump out of the water on a ferry to Ship Island, learning about a culture that was completely foreign to me, which I am now captivated by, drinking my coffee black with one Stevia out of a yellow Dalek mug, and discovering that my persnickety three page list of very specific qualities that I like in a person really isn’t unattainable and impossible to find.

Everything happens. And then there’s a reason.

The reason.

It’s beautiful, if you think about it. Life. The one just chilling someone over there waiting for us to remember how to use it. To remember that it’s ours.

So if your direction changes, don’t think everything is over. Because everything happens. That’s undoubtedly true. And then there’s a reason. And maybe this reason is the one you’ve been wanting all along.

Talk to y’all soon,

Kaitlyn

P.S. For you, punk.

 

 

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