It’s officially a habit to write every two days. And I’m so sad – this challenge is almost over – what will I blog about then?
Yesterday I was back at it at Summit Hickory Pit BBQ, and as I did the esteemed duty of watching the front of the restaurant as the fearless cashier (exaggeration that makes my job sound cooler than it actually is), I found myself wondering back to where I was when I started working there almost three years ago.
I didn’t like working at Hickory Pit in the beginning. I was new and nervous, but as time has ticked by, walking into that restaurant feels like coming home. It is part of home.
And I owe my sweet manager the world! She has taught me so many things and given me so many opportunities… I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without her influence. In fact, this blog actually stemmed from a conversation she and I had on a hot summer day. It only took me a little over a year to realize that she was right – taking a chance by starting a blog was one of the best decisions I ever made. Insert K-Love’s daily verse for today here…
Romans 8:28 says this, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
I think Romans is becoming one of my favorite books in the Bible. I never understood how people could have favorite Bible verses and books, but that was back when I wasn’t reading and striving to live out God’s word.
Yesterday, I also had the privilege to reunite with one of the most genuine, kindhearted people I’ve met in my almost-19 years. Unlike the majority of Lee’s Summit North’s class of 2013, he traveled overseas to share the gospel in the fall of 2013 instead of going to college. He’s home safe now, and my heart was so happy to spend a couple hours chatting with him about his experiences and future plans.
There’s nothing like having friends in Christ.
And today I got to do something I probably should’ve done a couple years ago, and not only did it make my heart happy, but I know it also made my mother’s heart happy. This concept goes back to day 6 of my challenge: honor your father and mother. There’s no feeling like making your parents proud while also making yourself happy (and yes it CAN be done!).
I’ve hinted in my blog posts about the changes happening in my life, but I’ve never blatantly said them. I think now is a good time to do that.
Mizzou was my dream. In seventh grade, my English teacher inspired me to be a writer, and since that day, I was constantly reminded how I couldn’t just be a writer. So somehow I found journalism, and I figured that was the profession for me. By default, Mizzou also became the only school for me.
And I was SO immersed in it. I joined the newspaper staff as soon as I got to high school, and I worked my way up to editor-in-chief my senior year. I thought that’s what writing was; well, writing that also made some money. I even stumbled upon an internship at the Lee’s Summit Tribune, which was such a wonderful opportunity and blessing.
I thought my path was working out pretty nicely.
But in my room every night, I locked myself away to write down thoughts, feelings and ideas in my journals. That’s where I was the real me. That’s where I talked to God, and that’s where I dealt with my problems. That’s where my mind was free to wonder. But dare I let anyone know that’s what I truly loved to do? Never. I was told that it wasn’t enough, and I believed in that.
There was always a ping of uneasiness with journalism, but I thought that with time it would melt away. It never did. And I never let anyone know what was going on inside of me because I thought I had to be sure and strong about what I wanted to do. That was until I learned that no one is EVER sure and strong in what they do with their lives. We can only be sure and strong in God, and He knows exactly what we will do with our lives.
I’ve come to terms with journalism not being the route for me. It was a fun ride, and I learned a lot, but I’ve also realized that journalistic writing isn’t the kind of writing that will make me happy for the rest of my life. However, I will always say that I was a journalist for a time in my life. At 17, my articles were published and I was paid. I’ll forever be proud of that.
So, what next? The University of Central Missouri is the next step in my journey, and that was confirmed today when I met Dr. Russell Greinke. My mother and I walked into his office, and the first question he asked me was, “What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?” I retreated inside myself a bit because people don’t like the answer I have to that question. But at this point, what did I have to lose?
“Writing. Writing books… I really want to be an author.”
Dr. Greinke smiled, and said, “You’re on the right path.”
I can’t even write how it feels to have validation that my desire to write creatively isn’t a hopeless, lost cause. In that moment, I was acquainted with what the next few years of my life will look like. I didn’t have to make anything up or pretend and hope that one day everything would click. I just had to be honest.
Dr. Greinke continued to share with me the opportunities I’ll have as a secondary English education major at UCM. He also told me that high school students really benefit from English teachers who have such a passion for writing.
I am so excited to be an English teacher with my own compositions to talk about.
One final thought… On the drive home, Plumb’s “Need You Now” came on the radio, and it’s been a popular anthem in my life throughout this challenge. Today is a good day to share it.