I remember feeling paralyzed with fear the first time I was called into the top five at Miss North Dakota.
I remember thinking, “But what if I actually win???” and being terrified by that thought. I mean, yes, I wanted it. But I never felt that I was “perfect” enough — that I didn’t have all my sh** together so I obviously wasn’t ready or qualified for the job. Who was I to win? I compared myself to girls who seemingly knew exactly what they wanted to do with their lives — who had a specific game plan that they were following. And me? Hah! I’ve never felt that I have had a set trajectory for my life. Yes, I’ve known that I wanted to go to college and eventually grad school and find a job that I loved... but beyond that, whew. The details for a long time eluded me and are still making themselves known, which is a fact that bothered me in the past because I desperately WANTED that strategic, efficient, and set in stone game plan.
It’s only been during the past year that I’ve finally accepted that it’s okay to not know specifically where I’m headed in life, and that’s the beauty and excitement right there: to not know. But instead, to find meaning and value in the everyday moments. That my purpose shouldn’t be found in where I’m headed, but where I am right now: the people and experiences that are right in front of me. I’ve made it a habit in telling myself that I must trust the process — that if I work hard and treat people with kindness along the way... that things will have a way of working out.
So, if you don’t know what you’re doing with your life or where you’re headed... that’s okay. Most of us don’t. Many of us feel as if we’re in limbo (especially right now) and that this “in between phase” feels like a waste of time. I’ve realized that living in limbo is especially frustrating for me because I feel like I don’t see as much progress and direction as I typically do, and I’m bothered by the idea of being stagnant with my goals and subsequent actions. But the fact is, I’m not. And you’re not either. Being stagnant is an illusion. There’s growth and change happening even when things might seem slow or appear to be at a standstill.
Keep trusting yourself and the process, be kind, and give yourself some grace if you feel like you don’t have everything “figured out.” None of us really do.
There’s your daily dose of motivation, friends — here’s to the start of another week of quarantine!
currently lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she works remotely as a Policy and Communication Manager for the First Lady of North Dakota. Photography and writing are a passion that help her better appreciate the details of the world.