This year is really about, like realizing stuff.

In the words of the Kylie Jenner… “every year has a new energy and is really about, like, just realizing stuff”. As crazy as it sounds (literally), Kylie was right. In college, there’s not a second that passes that you don’t “realize” something about yourself. Realizing you shouldn’t drink Patron to later realizing that maybe it’s not the Patron that’s the problem…it’s just not for you and that’s okay.

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For me, there were many different stages of “finding myself” in college.

Freshman year— The year of forced interests: when I was fully aware that I do not know myself, so I did things that I thought would speed along the finding myself process such as: hanging out with new people, joining clubs, ect. I tried to emulate what I thought college should be…whether I realized it or not.

Sophomore year— The year of forced friendships: I THOUGHT I was starting to figure out who I was. I lost some of my freshman friends (who I just knew would be my friend all four years) and I thought it’s because I was beginning to figure out who I was when in reality, it’s because the only thing I had in common was the fear of not having friends in college so I befriended EVERYONE.

Junior year— The year of forced decisions: when I just KNEW that I knew myself. So I know what comes with that…decisions that I thought were true to who I am but weren't so naturally they backfired. Actions manifest reactions. I learned that if you act in a way that’s not really who you are, the reactions that come from it won’t be of any benefit to you…because they weren’t meant for you.

Senior year — The year of flowing with purpose: when I realized that I didn’t know myself then and I don’t know yourself now. Instead of trying to have it all figured out, I just go with the flow and prepare as much as possible for the next season of my life. You start taking things, and people, for who and what they are. I stopped trying to repaint God’s plan for my life to fit my vision.

Four years later it’s safe to say I realized a thing or two. The woman I am now and the woman I want to be are two completely different people and the lines of reality tend to get blurred as I’m working towards becoming “her”. I find myself wanting what’s not even meant to be a pit-stop in my life to be my destination. It took many talks with God and serious soul searching for me to REALLY figure out what the problem was.

As I look back on my years in college, I realize that there was a re occurring theme of force…with the variations of the same results every single year. Insanity right? It took for me to take a step back from myself, and everyone else from that matter, to figure out how to fix the issue. I realized that the issue was simple but not exactly easy.

There’s a huge difference between doing things with intention and doing things with purpose. When you do something with intention, you are going into it with expectations. That can lead to you forcing certain things on yourself to fulfill your expectations. Unfulfilled expectations lead to disappoints…and who wants to be the cause of their own disappointment? Instead, I have learned to do things with purpose. Not necessarily going into situations with a particular idea of how I want it to be, but having more meaningful interactions. In short, flowing and not forcing.  I started to do this by surrounding myself with a few short mantras: Don’t force yourself to grow, ALLOW yourself to grow. Don’t force yourself to love, ALLOW yourself to love. Don’t just trust the process, but ALLOW the process to happen.

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All in all, when something is for you all you have to be is you to receive it. You wont have to cry, reach, or force it to work for you. Everything will work organically in your favor. The sooner I realized that forcing leads to pain and flowing leads to gain, the easier my journey became.

So, take it from Drake and these days let God handle all things above you. Forcing leads to pain and flowing leads to gain.