motivational monday.

Monday, April 16, 2012

As my undergraduate career starts to wind down, I can't help but think about my life & a little thing called fate that I firmly believe brought me to where I am now, sitting in my college library writing this. I always try to do things right the first time (don't we all?) but sometimes mistakes are made and all you can do is deal with it, right? Wrong.

Choosing the wrong college was just not one of those things you just can't take lying down. You know the second you set foot somewhere and it just feels right? Well, St. John's University, an over-the-bridge ride away from home didn't feel that way when I went to orientation. Or stayed over. Or even thought about, to be honest. But I chocked it up to just starting college, something I knew nothing about. After going to the first day of classes, being stuck in rush hour traffic, and having one of the most exhausting days of my life, I slept on it with positive thoughts, "I did it once, it shouldn't be so bad for the rest of the semester." Coming from a school from 300 kids to a campus of thousands with classrooms all over the place and unhappy faces on every corner was not my thoughts of how college should be, but I accepted it. I'd made this decision and I was going to stick with it. There was no going back.

On day 2, only a week after getting my license, I got lost (thanks to my lovely GPS who literally took years to reroute. Yes, you read that right, I got lost with a GPS). And I got really lost. And all I kept thinking about was "I'm going to be late for class. I'm going to be late. I have no idea where I am, where I'm going. I'm heading to New York City, taking the route that my dad told me to never take. What am I going to do? I'm LATE. REROUTE ALREADY." I immediately called my boyfriend in a panic. I was on the highway! What the hell was I going to do?! I got off at what I now know today (& quite well) as the Bronx, which may as well have been hell because I had no idea how to navigate in and out of the subway beams. And that damn GPS, it just never rerouted. Suddenly, in the midst of my panic on the phone I just exploded. The floodgates opened up and I had a mini nervous breakdown in my car, in the middle of what felt like nowhere at the time. My poor boyfriend. After attempting to calm me down, he told me to do the only thing I really wanted to but hadn't even thought of: hit the 'home' button on the GPS. I called my parents on the way and met them outside in tears. I couldn't do this, it was simply too much. The driving, the change in atmosphere, the surge into adulthood that seemed to happen overnight and, most of all, the unhappiness that permeated through my brain whenever I even thought about college. That afternoon I called up, of all the colleges, Iona, which I had sworn off before, (probably because my sister had gone there). I had never stepped foot on the campus but knew it was only a few streets away from my high school which, to me, was beyond comforting. Two or 3 days later I was enrolled, with a scholarship I had never even known I had received. I remember setting foot on campus my first day & falling in love, not to mention not feeling lost at all-- I could walk through the entire campus in minutes. THIS was what it was supposed to feel like--an effortless start toward something great. I had never felt more at home.

Ironically enough, if I hadn't enrolled later I never would have met one of my best friends (who had switched classes at the last minute & was thus left with me for a group project member), Diana (who I just so happened to recently escape to Washington, D.C. with!). My lovely boyfriend, Frank, would have probably never joined me. Or if he had, we would have had completely different experiences compared to what we have now. I never would have met a lot of people, or made the friends that I have, or experienced the teachers that I had--or lots of things, really. It's stuff like that which truly make me believe that maybe there is some cosmic fate out there. Maybe we are meant to make mistakes to lead us toward the true place we are supposed to be, make us into the people we are supposed to be. If I had chose Iona from the beginning would I have gotten my license? Would I have met Diana? Would I have loved it as much as I do now, having had that experience? Probably not. And for that, I'm glad that I took a wrong turn (literally), because it led me to the exact place I was meant to be.

We all make mistakes, but maybe they're there to bring us closer to something grand that we're meant to be with, a life we are meant to have instead of the one we'd imagined or planned our entire lives. If you had told me in my senior year of high school, or even the day before I started classes at St. John's that I would be at Iona by the end of the first week, I would have laughed in your face and told you you were absolutely crazy. But I really could not have imagined my life and my entire college experience being any other way. So, next time you make a mistake, don't think about all of the bad that comes from it now, think about all that good that will come from it in the future (despite how much it may suck right this second). And later on, think about how it made you value certain things more than you would have if it hadn't happened, of all the great people you met because you made it (or discovered all the ones to stay away from!), and the person with thicker skin that it created. Sometimes mistakes aren't all that bad--and aren't really mistakes at all.

As for me, I'm convinced that, no matter what, we always end up where we were meant to be. Fate was very kind to me that day, even though it felt like the world was giving me a beat down at the time. But here I am, starting my next chapter at Iona, graduating in less than a month, beginning graduate school in the fall, and still making mistakes along the way. But maybe all these little mistakes will lead me to my next hurdle in life. Maybe they will be that extra oomph to push me over the wall when I meet it, guide me toward the next important person I'll meet, or begin the chapter of a new life event. For now I'm going to enjoy it. And every single itty bitty mitsake I make.

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