POST-GRAD VACATIONS & LESSONS

September 9, 2019

Long time no see, pals! I’m back from vacations (actually have been for 2 weeks now, but life is wild) and wanted to take some time to write a little bit more again — instead of putting it off and making excuses for why I can’t. Oops. This post was originally supposed to be just a recap of my recent trips, and it is a little bit of that, but as usual I took a turn and shared some of what I’ve been feeling and thinking about for the past month or so, too. I’ve literally and figuratively been all over the place, so bear with me.

First trip to recap: Arizona!! It was amazing. Hot as hell, but so beautiful and so fun. I was thinking of Jackson Maine the whole time. 

We went to the Grand Canyon, saw tons of cacti (cactuses… I don’t know), and I decided I love Tempe so much I could move there. Maybe one day. The pictures truly don’t that state any justice, but here are some anyway.

My family went to Florida pretty soon after coming home from Arizona. We got to celebrate my nonna’s 90th birthday with the whole family (and trust me, there were a lot of us). It was fun being back for a little bit and seeing so many people I hadn’t seen in so many years. It was pretty much a week-long family reunion, and it brought me feelings of safety and comfort — I was surprised that I felt so at home with everyone around me there, even though most of us hadn’t seen each other in at least 15 years or so. But, the feeling of family is special — knowing that you’re unconditionally loved by a group of people no matter the distance or how much time has passed and feeling that love when you’re all finally together again. Nonna was so happy to have us all together to celebrate her, too.

Some of the other highlights of that trip: bread, Sprinkles, and going bar- hopping with the whooole family.

I’m so thankful for these new memories that I’ll always carry with me. It was fun and really easy for me to avoid my real post-grad feelings with all the running around I was doing away from home. Now that I’m back, it’s been harder. But I’m trying to lean into those feelings instead.

I was telling my friend the other day that I almost felt like I made a mistake graduating early. I feel like I missed opportunities that other people are getting to experience because I spent so much of college working towards a different dream — one that ended up falling apart anyway. And I can’t help but wonder what I might’ve accomplished with all the time I spent pursuing things that weren’t meant for me.

To be completely honest, I’ve been really worried lately. And sad. I feel a little more behind with every Facebook post I see of another person my age getting a dream job offer. The reminder of the fact that I’m still not even in a relationship stings a little more with every engagement announcement I see on Instagram. My thoughts have been fixated mostly on these things recently, but I’m in a process of trying to shift my focus from panicking over the fact that I’m not where I thought I would be right now to trying to think about what the Lord could be trying to teach me during this season of not knowing. It makes a huge difference.

It’s difficult not to allow myself to get stuck in “what if” thinking. I’m sure I could have done much more if I had stayed in school for another year instead of finishing early. I could’ve studied abroad or found a good internship that might have opened up amazing opportunities. Who knows where I’d be right now. But, I have to remember that there is a reason I’m not anywhere else right now but here.

I don’t know what I’m doing at all right now, but I can’t help but feel like the Lord is going to use this time to teach me new things. I’m so used to having a plan and a routine that it almost feels wrong to not have those things. This is an interesting spot to be in. That not-a-kid-anymore-but-not-quite-an-adult-yet-either spot. To be honest, I don’t really like it, but as with everything else, I’m trying to see the beauty in it.

And I have seen beauty. I’ve been traveling more lately — this summer alone I’ve gone on 3 different trips, which is more than I’ve gone on in the past 3 years I’m sure. Nowhere far, but I’ve been able to get outside of my little corner and experience new pieces of life. I’ve eaten good food and spent time with great friends and talked to cute boys and taken lots of pictures and seen some of the most beautiful places and I’ve had so. much. fun. Seriously. More fun than I’ve let myself have in a long time. 

It makes me realize that we don’t have to be exactly where we want to be in order to experience life fully, where we are right now. 

The pictures throughout this post remind me of the times during the last month when I felt so alive. When my problems seemed a little less daunting and my chest felt a little lighter. When I felt so surrounded by love from friends and family and the Lord that there was no lingering afterthought that maybe that love was shallow or not even really there at all. 

These are the good times in life that I often discredit as just fleeting moments — feelings that aren’t meant to last. However, looking back on them, I’m thankful for the small doses of pure joy amidst difficult seasons, because they make me appreciate moments so much more. 

I hope that wherever you are, despite what is unknown or whatever you are still working toward, you can recognize the beauty surrounding you right now. The conversation with a loved one, the sunset walk by yourself, the poem you wrote that allowed you to finally put your feelings into words. It may seem small, but it all matters. These things are some of the puzzle pieces of your life–no matter how small–connecting together to display the beautiful picture that’s already been designed. Don’t discredit your little moments. Embrace them. See the beauty in them. 

Thanks for reading,

Monica

Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *