I haven’t written in a while, at least not on the blog, and I feel like I say that a lot. The truth is I don’t really want to be a writer. Not like this. I haven’t known what to write about for a while, but lately I feel like I’m not where I want to be right now. When I was young I thought I’d be a famous singer by now and I’m still really hoping that’s going to happen. But maybe what they say is true: it’s not actually about the destination but the journey to get you there.
So as I enter into my final semester of college in the final semester of ever being in school again, I’m thinking back about my journey and I’m trying to figure out why I was put at UNC for four years and why I moved to Chapel Hill and why I chose this major and why I made the friends I did.
I entered college as a vocal major, but I switched because I’m not good at classical singing. I’m good at other things, but not the genre you’re trained in at university. I didn’t even do anything with music except take a couple classes and I played in a band for a few months. I was doing okay my first two years at school. I led worship one summer in New York and performed at the theater back home some. But in the past two years, I don’t know what’s happened to me. Most of my friends at school don’t even know that I can sing, play piano and write music, let alone that I want to be musician.
So what was the point of it all? I learned a new language so that was pretty cool. I learned a lot about globalization so I guess that’s cool too. But I don’t know where I’m gonna put any of my knowledge to use because I don’t want any of the jobs that I’m qualified for. I’m still sticking to this dream that I’ve had since I was a kid.
So back to the original question: what was this journey about?
I tried to use my time as a student to become a writer. Everyone told me I was good at it so I kept trying. But then I kept quitting. Every single time. I tried a lot of things and a lot of majors. I kept quitting. I got involved in a campus ministry and had this plan to work with them after I graduated, but now I know that’s not actually what I need to be doing.
I grew up with parents who accomplished their dreams. You see, my mom is part of that generation that grew up just wanting to have a home of their own. Her big dream was to have a family and a house and a pool and a good stable job. And she got it. Her and my dad got the dreams they wanted. Maybe they don’t have their favorite jobs in the world but they got what they wanted. There’s this disconnect with my generation where we want even more because we already have it all. I’m really struggling with that.
I think I was put on this earth to do something really specific, something that I’m good at. And I found that in music. But how on earth am I supposed to get there?
I think a lot of us think these exact same things. We have these big dreams but we’re not really sure that we’re ever going to make it there and then we feel disappointed and ashamed of ourselves.
So that’s why I’m thinking about my journey. I’m thinking about how we spent a lot of money to put me through school and I’m not even sure that my degree is what I want to use for my career. I can’t even decide what city, state, or even country I want to live in let alone what I want to do there. I know that I want a lot of things but I’m worried I want too many things and I’m interested in too many things.
I know I want to play music and I want a family and a cool apartment and I want to bake things and drink coffee a lot. I’m rambling a lot about what I want and I don’t normally do that when I blog, but this is the mess going on in my head. I know exactly what I want.
But what do I actually need? I think that’s what my journey taught me.
So here it is. I need a life that glorifies God. Isn’t that cliche?
My journey has really taught me that we were given passions and desires for a reason and that we were all created with special gifts to use. But these gifts and passions are useless if the focus isn’t God-glorifying. I cannot be sustained on music alone. I definitely can’t be sustained in my major and in writing. I have to be sustained on knowing who I am as a child of God and as a new creation in Christ.
Does this always make me feel better about being so confused? No. But I can remain joyful.
In a few months, I’m going to be released into the world. No longer can I stay coddled in the college bubble. I can no longer use my student status as an excuse to steal free food every time I get the chance and as an excuse to be lazy and confused. The real world is waiting. The real world requires work and I think it’s going to offend me and hurt my feelings a lot. The world may never hear me sing. The world may never read what I write. I may never be happy with where I choose to live. I may get a job I hate. I may develop a caffeine or sugar intolerance and never have coffee or baked goods again. I think reality is hitting that I may never get the things I want.
But I know what I need.