The past two mornings I haven’t had to slide my 4:40 am alarm over to the right so it’d go off and (attempt) to wake me up bright and early the next day. I’ve laid on the couch as much as I can, and I’ve even managed to go for a few runs and rollerblade a bit. It’s been so nice to just relax and not have something to do.
The past two weeks I was in Lake Forest, IL at the BMW Championship golf tournament. It was a lot of 12-14 hour days, followed by just a few hours of sleep at night. The days flew by and it was a lot of hard work, but also so much fun. The week and a half leading up to the tournament was a lot of preparation work and once the tournament arrived, we were running around staffing all of the stations and doing anything we could to make sure the tournament went smooth. It was awesome to see all of the tournament come together- from the setup of all of the signage to the arrival of the players and guests, it was something I’d never imagined I’d be a part of.
I watched Jordan Spieth as he practiced at the driving range, shook hands with Bill Murray, and sat in the balcony at the 18th hole green as Jason Day accepted his trophy and was named the #1 player in the world. We cheered as his son used his little putter to hit the ball around, and were able to drink out of the Claret Jug after the day was through. The week was crazy busy, but looking back, it was an experience I’ll never forget.
People ask me all the time, why do you keep signing up for jobs that are so short, that you have to keep moving around for? Why do you wanna keep doing that? I’ve been thinking of that a lot lately.. And that leads me to question you, why wouldn’t I?
I’m almost 23, I just graduated college. I’m not married so I don’t have my own family, heck.. I don’t even have a boyfriend. My friends and family have been so supportive of every decision I’ve made. It gives me an opportunity to see parts of the country I otherwise wouldn’t, and the best thing? I’ve met so many amazing people the past four months that I never would have came across if I wouldn’t have stepped out of my comfort zone to go to the east coast where I knew no one.
When we arrived in Chicago two weeks ago, I knew two people from my summer job that were also working the event. Everyone else was a complete stranger. When we have to all come together to accomplish a common goal, you just become automatic close friends. We spent all of our hours there together, from long before the sun was up, til long after it was gone. We had one night that was especially long where we were working until about 1 in the morning. We’d been going since early that day, so we were about to crash. I was mentally exhausted and we had a few things left to do before we were done for the night. The guys were in the room with us as we were finishing up, and decided to build a warrior costume for one of the guys out of the boxes that we had used. They went on to put on a “fashion show” and he strutted back and forth in the room with his makeshift sword and robe. They’re awesome at providing us entertainment at just the right time.
We worked all day and by the time we finally were done and ate dinner, it was usually close to 10. Not taking time to enjoy ourselves was often out of question, so we usually went back to “traphouse beck 414” to relax and hang out with everyone.
There were nights I stayed up until 3:30 am knowing that I had to be up at 5:40, but there aren’t any regrets there. I’d rather lay there and spend time getting to know someone because it’s usually the deep night conversations that are the best. For many of them, those nights that turned into mornings also were reason that the people I’d just met now seem like friends I’ve known for years.
I’ve made decisions on the whim about what my next steps would be. I was home for a whole week before I left for that position, and I don’t know how long I will be home now before I make my next move. It’s scary stepping out of my comfort zone, but if I could give you any advice, it’d be to do it.
Looking back at exactly a year ago, I wouldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would have just been away from home for four months. I was dead set on staying in Bloomington, getting my own place, and working in the area. The absolute hardest part about what I’ve been doing has been being away from my family. They’re my entire world and I hate having to say see ya later to them, whether it be for two weeks or four months. They’re amazing though. Through it all, they’ve encouraged me and supported me every step of the way. They’ve put up with me when I’ve been grouchy and stressed, and made me laugh when I need it the most.
Yesterday I went for a run out in our field, and I stopped to just lay and look out at where I was. I was right between the corn field and bean field, and right at my feet was a dandelion. Just a single one, blowing in the wind. It was so peaceful there, with crickets and birds chirping along, a plane flying in the sky, and nothing around me but fields. I remember as a kid picking every dandelion I could and blowing it, making wishes that I wanted to come true. I know that’s how kids are, they think that doing that will actually make a wish come true. But, what I’ve come to realize is this. Our dreams are what we make of them. If we’re too scared to do something, then we’ll stay stagnant where we are, not growing and not exposing ourselves to the endless opportunities that God has put in front of us. I know that the opportunities that have wound up in front of me have been for a reason. Sometimes I may not know that reason, and sometimes I may be scared to decide. The more time I’m given to make a decision, the more time I have to let fear develop and control me. That’s why I’ve become good at making decisions on the whim. It doesn’t give me any time to get scared and turn away from what’s in front of me. The places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, and the work I’ve done over the past four months have been the most unexpected and incredible times of my life. Sure being away from home isn’t ideal, but the time has been full of memories that I’ll cherish forever with people who I’ve grown to love so much.
At the end of the day, I always know that wherever I am, I’m meant to be there. Whether I know the reason or not, whether I’m completely certain of what I’m doing or whether I’m still trying to figure it out, I’m 100% exactly where I’m supposed to be at any given moment, and so are you. God’s created us, He knows every plan from the time before we’re born. He knows what we’re going to say, do and eat. He knows where we will work and He knows who we will marry. Patience is a tough thing for me, and as much as I wish I could have it all figured out right now, I’ve learned to live in the moment.
Each day is a gift and with each passing day, I live and love and be the best person I can. I might not have it all figured out. I know for certain that I don’t. I take each day as it comes, and that, that’s gotten me where I am today. And at the end of the day, I look back and smile. Smile because I didn’t let fear control me, smile at the memories I made with people from all over the US, and smile because I realized that this is my life, and that I’ve decided to live it and make it the best possible journey I possibly can.