When writing, I always go back and forth on whether I should write in my journal or post something on my blog. And I guess it kind of depends on the topic. Usually any realizations, epiphanies, or general thoughts about life have made their way onto my blog. And then anything that I was feeling sad or angry about would stay in my journal. Simply because I always try to maintain a positive and upbeat energy around myself. I never want to exude negativity into the world unless I am able to put a positive spin on it.
And that’s something I truly believe in. Long ago, I told myself that I wanted to leave a mark on the world. I told myself to shine bright enough to touch the people around me. But you can’t do that when you’re complaining. So I really do try to look on the bright side.
I’ve had to work a little harder to do that lately. Going to school, I see so many of my friends have found themselves having the time of their life. Truly having the college experience. I see them thriving and coming into their own. And I think that is amazing. I’m genuinely happy to see people I care about flourishing. But I think that has only made it more apparent how lost I feel.
Before I even started my freshman year of college, I wanted to drop out. From the get-go, it didn’t feel right. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. So I told myself to just complete two years at a community college, get my prerequisites out of the way, and figure everything out later. But here I am two years later, revisiting the thoughts of my eighteen year old self.
I think that I’m stuck in the idea of following a timeline. And I wish that I could figure out how to get out of this mindset. I try to tell myself that everyone is different. That we all have our own lives to live. I try to tell myself that there is no right way to live. You just live.
Intellectually, I know that I’m doing just fine. I know that I’m going to be okay. I know that I have the ability to make something of myself. But inside, I can’t shake this feeling that everything is just wrong. I feel like everything that I’m doing is wrong. I’m making all the wrong decisions.
But I imagine that everybody feels that way sometimes. I don’t know if you ever get past that little bit of self-doubt. I think that’s okay. I think that it keeps you on your toes. It keeps you striving for something better.
I often have to remind myself that I am only twenty years old. So yeah, maybe I am feeling a little lost right now. And I don’t know if it’s because I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. Or maybe I’m trying to figure out who exactly Emilee is.
So I started making little changes.
Dying my hair is something I thought I’d never do. I was born with blonde hair, and that’s what I have always known. As silly as it sounds, I feel as if dying my hair opened up a door to a new part of myself. A bright fun color allowed me to embrace my youth, and made me realize that I am a bright fun person. It makes me want to go out and enjoy more fun things. It suits me.
I was born and raised in the same house in the same city for my entire life. I never wanted to leave Columbus. It was familiar. It was safe. But then I started to do some light traveling. In the past two years, I’ve traveled to concerts in five different states. I even got on a real life plane. It was scary. And maybe I peed my pants a little. But it was also exciting.
I started changing my wardrobe. I went from a girl that only wore short-sleeved graphic tees and skinny jeans to a girl that takes a little more risk in the world of fashion. I shop in the men’s section. I wear clothes that are five sizes too large. I wear long dresses and short skirts. I wear short dresses and long skirts. I wear high- waisted pants and shorts. I wear crop tops and sweaters. I wear combat boots and sandals. I wear grandma sweaters, dad shirts, and mom jeans. I have fostered my own sense of style. And I think that I am able to express myself through the clothes that I wear.
I embraced my love of music. I started going to concerts. I began writing for a few music blogs. I discovered that music journalism was not something that ignited a fire in my soul. I was hired as an intern at a radio station. I’ve been there a year and a half. I started selling merch for different bands. And that’s where I think I might have discovered something really big about myself.
I think I might have a place in the music industry. Now it may not be in music journalism. But I think I’m onto something with these merch gigs. Maybe I’ll end up in PR. Or working for a major label one day. But I’ve found something that I love. And it would be mighty foolish of me not to run with it.
I decided that I need to take more risks. I need to go after the things that I want. Even if I am afraid of failure. Even if I embarrass myself. Even if it seems silly or unrealistic. I have to try.
I want to go on the road one day. I want to travel with a band and immerse myself in another aspect of the music industry. I know it’s competetive. And I know it’s a gamble. And it may seem like a dream. But that’s something I want. I want to go on the road one day.
I want to write a book. I’ve always felt silly thinking about that. I’ve barely ever said it out loud. There’s always the fear that nobody will care what you have to say. Or that somebody will criticize your thoughts. Or mock your vulnerability. But I have a lot to say. And I think that my words might one day hold some weight for somebody else. I think that I have the capability to create a voice to help others.
These things are at the top of my list. And for so long, I was afraid to say it out loud. For the fear of judgment and disapproval. Disappointment. But I don’t think I’m afraid anymore. At least not as much.
I was lost. I had no idea who I was. I had no idea what to do or where to go. As I watch all of my friends grab life by the reigns and set down a path to the life they wish to live, I wander aimlessly behind. Making little stops along the way. Sitting down to rest. To collect my thoughts. Smelling flowers. Petting dogs. Then I lose my way, and set on a different path until I lose my way again.
And I used to think that was a bad thing. Continuously changing my direction. It felt like I was never going to have anywhere to go. I was never going to be able to make a decision. I was just going to stay lost.
But it wasn’t until I was lost that I began to find myself.
I tend to ramble. And I’ve never really been that great at conclusions.
I guess all I have to say is to anyone out there feeling lost and confused, you can’t compare your path to somebody else’s. Know that you’re on your way. You’re about to stumble across something amazing. Whether it’s a new path that you haven’t explored yet. Or back to one you’ve already been down, this time with a new perspective. You are onto something.
You’re not going to feel lost forever. You’re going to figure out who you are. And you’re going create a beautiful life for yourself. But know that this life can change. And even if it seems like everything is falling apart and you’re lost again, know that it’s the calm before the storm.
And gear up for something even more beautiful.