June 18, 2013

Doubting decisions and letting go.

      Yesterday I went to the beach in the morning with my high school friend Jules. She was a grade behind me and just graduated from our high school last weekend. With our cancelled flight leaving Vegas I was unable to make it to her graduation party, so we met up today so I could hear about everything and give her a graduation gift.

     Our high school has a tradition of planning a huge project graduation celebration for the seniors instead of a senior trip. The project grad takes places right after graduation and is an all night celebration that concludes the next day. Jules and the rest of the class of 2013 had a really cool project grad planned, and as she told me about it I was amazed at the amount of activities they were able to cram into a 12 hour period. However the more she told me about it, the more I felt myself listening less to her stories and instead remembering my own graduation week last year...

Graduation day: June 2012

     I don't talk about my high school years too much on this blog, mainly because my old blog was written during this time in my life, and when I started college/this blog I wanted a fresh start. But the truth is, most of high school was a pretty bad time for me. All through the years I struggled with finding good friends, and was hurt by a lot of people that I thought I could trust. The week leading up to graduation was one of my worst high school memories. Several of the people in my class that I'd been good friends with for most of high school had planned a post-graduation trip to Florida, and I was the one of the only ones out of the friend group who wasn't invited. What hurt the most is that one of the girls going on the trip originally lied to me about it. These were the people that I'd planned to hang out with during marching practice and other graduation festitivies, but at the time I felt hurt and betrayed and kept to myself, which got very lonely. All of this and more triggered my anxiety, and I felt on edge and drained the whole week. God felt very far away. One afternoon after marching practice I took a nap (something I rarely used to do) and I remember that when I woke up I was crying so hard because all of the hurt and pain from the high school years was suddenly hitting me all at once. I was so upset that I couldn't even drive to my last Interact club meeting, my mom had to drop me off.

     Because of all this, I decided on my own not to attend my class's project graduation trip, even though it was the big event that all of the class fundraisers throughout the years had been supporting. At the time, it seemed like the right decision. I was overtired from the long and emotional week, and staying up all night after graduating didn't seem that appealing. And because of the Florida trip I was keeping my distance from the good friends that I'd had in my grade. I knew that things would eventually work out with all of us becuase I hate holding grudges, but at the time things were still too fresh. (Just so y'all know: things have been resolved. Time away at school and prayer allowed me to forgive the fact that I wasn't invited, and I still hang out with them sometimes when I come home from school). And besides for the people going on the Florida trip, I didn't really have any other friends in my class. A lot of the people in my grade hadn't been very friendly to me at all over the four years, and I doubted that would change at project grad.

Instagrammed version of some of the beautiful flowers given to me for graduation

     So after my graduation I ended up going to one of my favorite Chinese restaurants with my parents, an underclassman friend and some of my mom's family, and then went to bed early since I was tired. I'd been pretty confident in my decision about not attending project grad and I honestly haven't had that many moments of doubt that I did the wrong thing. But suddenly on Monday morning while Jules was telling me about her experience, I found myself getting angry about stuff that's over a year old. I was suddenly mad again about the fact that I didn't have a lot of friends in my class, and mad again about how I wasn't invited on that Florida trip. Mad that I wouldn't have had a good time if I had gone, even though I deserved to have a good time. I kept thinking Why am I doing this to myself right now? but I couldn't stop these thoughts.

      I've also ended up doubting a more recent decision that I made: working vs. an internship. I'm a communications major in college with the goal of being able to work in radio when I graduate. One of the keys to getting a good job in radio is to have as many internships on your resume as possible by graduation. The fact that I hosted a radio show all of freshman year at the college radio station is great, but a summer internship at a commerical radio station would look great as well. But being only 18 and with limited experience, there's no way that I could have gotten a paying internship this summer. And internships are a big time commitment, so there's no way that I could have had a job as well. My parents would have supported my choosing to have an internship instead of work, but they made sure I realized that without income this summer I wouldn't really have any spending money at school next year. Since the college that I'm transferring to is in a city (Translation: more places to spend money) and I'll hopefully be particpating in Greek life which will be extra expenses, I thought that getting a regular job would be the smart thing to do. And although I had a long job search process, many of you know that God blessed me with two part time summer jobs, both with very short commutes from my house.

My last visit to my former college's radio station: May 2012

     Like with the project grad situation, I was very confident in my work decision at first. I have enjoyed summer job #1 so far overall, and I'm excited to start job #2 this upcoming weekend. But then I started seeing pictures on Facebook for a couple girls from college that were also communications majors with interest in radio. Both of them chose internships in their hometowns instead of jobs this summer. They're both posting tons of pictures of them hanging out and having fun in real radio stations, and both have gotten to go on the air. All it took was seeing these pictures to make me start doubting my summer plans, and it made me miss the radio station environment. I know that working was the right decision for me at this time, and I'll appreciate the spending money once I start school. I also know that my new school has a fabulous internship program, and I'll at least get to do an internship during my junior year. But it's like all it takes for me is to see one person's Facebook update for me to doubt my decisions. It's like the grass is always greener on the other side.

     In reflecting on all of this I came to a realization: both of these situations that I have been stressing over in few days have been about this that I could control. No one was forcing me to go or not go on project grad, and no one decided for me whether I should have worked this summer or gotten an internship. I've always thought that being in control of a situation is the best feeling in the world. I'm not a very spontaneous person (Unless it involves a trip to Bojangles or Chick Fil A ;-)) and I like to be the decider of what I do and when I do it. I always thought that nothing bad could come with being in control, but I see now that it has its ups and downs.

     One of my goals for this summer is to let down a little bit of my need for control, since I've seen how it can affect me negatively as well. I also want to get in the mindset of when I make a decision, the decision is final and there's no need to dwell on it like I did in these situations. And thirdly, I want to start praying about more big decisions in my life and searching for God's guidance instead of just deciding things on my own. I like to be independent sometimes, but sometimes I also forget that I'm a child of God and sometimes I need to let Him take control instead. As far as the work vs. internship situation I can take comfort in knowing that if His plan was for me to have an internship, then I probably wouldn't have been offered two summer jobs near my home.

     "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11 NIV


     Do any of you suffer with questioning your decisions and judgements? What are your tips for overcoming this and being confident in your choices and God's plan for you life?


     xoox Miss ALK


     P.S. Sorry if this post was a little jumbled and hard to follow. Sometimes I write posts that are more for my benefit as a way of venting, and this may have been one of them. ;-)

 




5 comments:

  1. Sounds like you've been thinking about all of this a lot lately. I love your insight into needing control and that you made these decisions in your life. I do the same thing-- make a decision and then dwell on it and wonder if I made the wrong one. I'd love to be able to just make a decision and let it be. I think God can help us both on that one :)
    Hang in there girl. I bet you will have plenty of opportunities for internships in the future.

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  2. You worked at a radio station? That is so bad ass!

    Forget those stupid high schoolers. Everyone has those moments, I did! They definitely left scars but I definitely don't forget about those memories. It's true that you always remember how people treated you, isn't it?

    I have some of the girls on my facebook that were complete mean girls to me back then and they are NOTHING SPECIAL at this point in time. Some are a hot mess. I feel proud and confident with where I am in life, especially my new blog life.

    Your blog rocks and so do you. Keep your head up and stay confident in yourself :)

    Ginny:)

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  3. I can totally relate. For me my high school experience was amazing, because I can say (5 years later)I had the right friends. But my time at university was hard for various reasons. But it will be all right;)People who hurt you are usually not worth it. I tend to make harsh decisions, because I like to keep the negative people out of my life. Hang in!
    I would like to hear more about your jobs ;)

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  4. Great post girl! :) I too had a horrible high experience during my junior and senio years, and I found myself questioning "Why God allowed for that to happen to me" a lot of the time. I finally came to the point where I was able to understand that God didn't allow for it to happen to me, I did. During high school, I didn't know Jesus and it was me alone who was in control of my life. No wonder it was a disaster! I am thankful that I am able to put all of that behind me and move forward, knowing there are great things ahead for me because now God is in control! (just like there are for you!) One of my favorite verses that really helps me to forget the past is:


    "Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal, but there is one thing I always do: Forgetting the past and pressing on toward what is ahead."
    Philippians 3:13

    Love you!! Jess

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  5. Sometimes we all question our decisions, I do it from time to time, but what keeps me sane is remembering why I chose that and not that in the first place. And I always think that everything happens for a reason. You are working this summer and I bet in your junior year you are going to be fine and probably get the internship ;)

    Ginny xx

    http://ginnyschoice.blogspot.it

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