That was the only thing I could manage to say. My mother sat quietly on the other end of the line. She had asked me what I wanted to be when I graduated. That was the only answer I had for her.
It was 2 a.m, and I was sitting in my car crying outside of my best friends apartment. I called her after I returned home from the bar where I worked. I didn’t drive, but my car was my “thinking spot” so after the twenty or so people went inside for after bar to dance and play beer pong in the kitchen, I sat outside alone.
I was currently intoxicated. I had no direction. I lost sight of my passion, and film wasn’t as fulfilling as it had been in the previous years. It was my senior year of college and I was three months away from graduation. I had just finished shooting my senior project, and wasn’t happy with my results. This started a downhill spiral.
Snow was falling gently around me, covering the windshield one flake at a time. Through the few open spots on the glass, I could see the streetlight peeking in.
“I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. I don’t know how to do anything. I’m not that great at film.”
I was nailing myself one harsh comment at a time. I had hit a point where I wanted time to freeze like the ice dangling from the roof of the apartment. I didn’t want to graduate. I didn’t want to grow up. I wanted to sit there, drunk in my car, and play Peter Pan for the rest of my life. I was afraid. I was months away from losing all structure I had ever known. Until that point, there had been a plan. I would get good grades, graduate high school, find a college, go to college get more good grades, graduate from college… And then what? Get a job? Have a family?
None of that was guaranteed. In fact, I hadn’t even begun to think about a job. Where would I apply? How did that even work? If you want to work as a banker, you go to a bank and apply. A nurse finds a doctors office or hospital. In film, you can’t even get onto a major lot without a pass. Most jobs are word of mouth, and nine times out of ten you’re not going to get an interview without a high recommendation. I had nothing.
“I just want to come home.”
I was sobbing at this point. I hadn’t turned on the heater, and I sat shaking violently in my car. I had never felt more alone.
My mother suggested I talk to my professors, or my advisor, or the President of the college. I, however, wanted to sulk, so I pretended like everything was hopeless and all of her suggestions were useless. When she had run out of potential answers, I hung up and cried some more. One by one, party-goers walked out of the apartment and to their cars. I sat for another two hours blasting an old burnt CD that would have made you think I liked to “Drive around and cry a lot” (as my best friend used to say).
I waited until I couldn’t cry anymore and opened the door. The cold hit me like a brick. A very, very, cold brick. I stood out in the snow, the flakes stinging my skin. It had begun to fall quicker. I tilted my head back and let the flakes blanket my face.
The snow settled on me and melted as quickly as it landed. It hit me… and disappeared. I began to wonder if that’s what this feeling would be like.
I had felt it before… that sense of hopelessness when I felt insecure and unsure of myself, and in that moment… I knew I would feel it again.
That’s the moment where I began to realize that life has no plan. That it goes and changes as it pleases. That I can’t force it to go the way I want it to, so I might as well hang on tight and enjoy the ride. I brushed off the hood of my car with my hand and laid down on the body. Before long the snow began to stick to my shirt. I watched it clump, and collect and build.
When it began to melt through my shirt, I stood up, and it was gone again. One more of life’s funny ways of reassuring me that it always knows better than I. Guiding life is something that we all do, but it’s those who can change direction when the time calls for it, and roll on that succeed.
I’m still working on that. I have to remind myself daily, but I’m trying.I encourage you all to do the same.
I started believing in myself, and let life guide me… Now I’m a personal assistant for a celebrity, and writing in Los Angeles, California. Who would have thought?
Next time something doesn’t go your way, ask yourself why it didn’t work out. Maybe another option opened up? Maybe that particular thing is supposed to happen later, or there is another path that you’re supposed to take. If that relationship you worked so hard for didn’t last, then maybe it’s because that’s not the person for you. The longer you prolong it, the longer it takes to meet the partner of your dreams.
Have faith in life. Believe. We have to live it regardless, so why not do it with a fulfilling and positive attitude? Enjoy yourselves. Encourage others to do the same. Be the person you’ve always wanted to be.