Save It

An emotional messy post day…Yay! Nothing better for this than a cup of Chai tea…I highly recommend it. So drink up and enjoy my pain. Just save your tears for a better day please.

I’m not a crier; I rarely exhibit that much physical emotion. If I’ve made it to the point of tears, I’m practically as vulnerable as I can get. I’m either really upset or really angry. Either way, don’t come near me. This is a time where my only relief comes with solitude. That being said, I can count the times I’ve had a crying episode on one hand. My latest one came with the end of my senior year of high school, but it wasn’t because I was being annoyingly nostalgic…it was due to my future falling out from under me (I know I sound overly dramatic…get over it!).

It opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes, and softens down the temper; so cry away.”

Charles Dickens

I was very thorough in planning my future; I researched colleges for months and went on several tours. I read up on each college’s English program and even looked into study abroad programs (my inner control freak was having a ball). It took me months before I chose “the one.” (My parents are still waiting for my male “the one, ” but not today.) I picked a beautiful Christian college about an hour and a half from my home town. It was enough distance from my family, and the academics were at a higher level than others. I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship, and I started to plan my future there. I had a dorm room and orientation scheduled. I had looked into all the classes I had to take and the internships that local places offered; I even had a roommate! To say that I was over prepared was an understatement. I was ready, and I was excited. I don’t get overly excited easily, but I was now. I could see it. I could vivdly picture myself there attending class and paving the way for the rest of  my life (I can be poetic when I try). I could see myself as a graduate from there. I could see myself happy. Well, obviously that didn’t happen. Spring came, and it was time to apply for FASFA; something that strikes fear into every high school senior and college student’s heart. Well, the  appointment ended in my stunned silence. It was not a good silence. The FASFA advisor informed me that going straight to the university of my dreams would result in more debt that I could handle and was likely to end in disaster. He was frank in explaining that going there was ultimately a bad financial decision for me and my family. Because it was a private university, the tuition was high, and the scholarship didn’t cover as much as was it needed to. My mother and I said nothing the entire ride home, but she didn’t need to; I knew that my plans were already changing.

Upon arriving home, I went straight to the shower, turned it on, and let out a good cry. As I said before, I don’t cry, but I did that day. After a good 20 minutes, I decided that I might as well take a shower and attempt to wash out the despair, but the scalding water wasn’t cutting it. Although I was red at a tomato from the hot water, I refused to get out. The last thing I wanted was for my parents to see me crying like the selfish, spoiled kid that I was. I knew crying wouldn’t solve a thing, but there are times when you just don’t know what else to do…this was one of those times. Eventually I emerged from the hellish waterfall with some newly discovered resolve. I went to my room and immediately applied to my local junior college; the college I swore I wouldn’t attend. I had my mind and heart set on not going to this college because everyone ended up there. I knew it to be a really good school, but I just didn’t want to end up there. I know it was selfish and irrational, but I couldn’t help feeling like a failure. Once the deed was done, I could take a breath knowing that I now had a back-up plan. Upon realizing this, I settled down in my bed for another good crying jag (I was getting the hang of this crying thing!). It took several weeks and some awkward silences between my parents and I, but it became understood where I would end up in the fall. They sensed my disappointment and attempted to tread softly around me. Eventually, they sat me down and told me my options. They promised that they’d try their best to get me to my dream college, but it just might not happen right now. As much as it hurt to hear, I knew they were trying their best and only wanted the best for me (I, proudly, resisted the urge to unleash more tears. My walls were back up, thank God!). So, I decided to suck it up; it was time to grow up and act like an adult who was starting college.Instead of stocking up on navy and gold, I bought t-shirts with my new college logo and colors. I set about getting my ducks in a row, and I prepared for the upcoming Fall semester.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

Jimmy Dean

Now, I’m reaching the end of my first semester here at my junior college, and I’m happy. At first, I unfairly refused to think that I would be content here. I fought the excitement and tried to hold on to my disappointment and anger as long as I could, but it did me no good. Once I found my place here, I started to slowly fall in love with it. The college feel here is a big change, but it is a positive change. Now, I see that my tears were completely unnecessary. I soon realized something very important that everyone needs to get a dose of. Our lives rarely go according to plan; we’re often sent off on different paths than what we originally planned, but that doesn’t mean that path is a bad one. You may discover happiness on this alternate path you didn’t expect. So, always look up. I may end up at my college, or I may not; there’s no way of knowing. All anyone can do is stay positive, keep an open mind, and pray. I truly believe anyone can find a source of happiness. Just don’t close yourself off to new opportunities just because it’s not what you originally wanted. Life has a way of changing your perspective, so let it.

“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.”

Henry David Thoreau

Sincerely,

Abby

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