2 years ago

I started this blog two years ago, which is amazing to me because in my mind, this blog is just beginning. I am just figuring it out. And despite what I try to convince myself, I’m just figuring my general goals out too.

If you’ve kept up with my blog throughout these two years, you might know that several moments in my life reminded me to not always be so obsessed with planning. And yet, despite those moments, I often fall back into my excessive planning. In order to stop myself from planning so much, I’ve had to have and write about several major “realizations”-and I’m still learning. Two years later.

And that’s the problem with planning: everything is a learning experience, and you have no idea where you’ll be in one year or two years or ten years. You have no idea where new places and people and thoughts and ideas will take you.

Two years ago, I had no way of predicting where I’d be today. I didn’t know where I was going to college or what I was studying or who I’d be friends with or what kind of career I’d want or anything. I didn’t know anything but who I was in that moment, and who I wanted to be in that moment.

In this moment, two years later, I am the same charismatic person who plans too much but sees beauty in spontaneity that she tries to remind herself to embrace. But I’m not going to the college I thought I’d go to or studying what I thought I’d study or doing anything that I’d imagined myself doing.

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of doubts. I’ve been worried that I have no idea what I want to do for a career because I want to do so many things and I don’t know what my dream job is and I don’t think it exists yet. But I shouldn’t be spending my time doubting myself. I should be spending my time exploring. Because in this moment, I am in control of my attitude and my actions.

Two years have passed and this blog is just beginning. Two years have passed and I’m still figuring everything out. And that’s okay. I’m always in a rush, trying to think of what to see and do and experience next. But in this moment, I am taking a deep breath and experiencing the world around me.

Dream big,

Paige

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caring

Whenever I care about someone who doesn’t seem to care as much as I do, I feel stupid. I feel stupid and pathetic when I wait for messages that never come, when I spend so much time thinking about people who probably never think about me, when I let people who I’m so unimportant to become so important to me. Yet I continue to do all of those things, not usually on purpose.

In the past, if I would’ve been able to not care, I would’ve taken the opportunity. Not caring is easier. Not caring hurts less. Not caring keeps you moving towards your goals and focusing on yourself rather than spending so much time and energy on this random other person who probably doesn’t care about you at all anyways.

If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t check my phone for messages. I would keep writing stories and dreaming and believing in myself.

If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t waste time on social media searching for hints and answers. What went wrong? Why doesn’t this person care about me as much as I care about them? Why why why?

If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have to wonder why I care. I wouldn’t play back scenes in my head over and over again. I wouldn’t try to re-create the magic. I wouldn’t over-analyze every situation. I would just let those moments be as simple as they were. As beautiful as they were.

If I didn’t care, the memories and songs and places I used to love wouldn’t start to annoy me. I wouldn’t think of a person whenever I walked a certain way or heard a certain song. I could just go about my daily life, aloof and apathetic and unaffected.

But I’ve realized that I don’t want to be any of those things. I would rather care than go through life only concerned with issues that directly impact me. I would rather care than not know what it feels like to love or care about someone, even if they don’t share the feelings. I would rather feel hurt than feel nothing.

And that’s what it truly comes down to: feeling something or nothing.

The “something” is complicated. It’s messy and painful and wonderful and amazing and awful and brilliant and annoying. It can be all-consuming at times. It can make you feel lost and lonely and unsure when you felt okay before. When you were fine on your own before.

But the “nothing” is exactly what it sounds like: nothing. Okay. Fine.

We’re okay on our own. But when we let other people’s worlds melt into our own, when we open our hearts up and share our stories, when we let other people’s stories touch us in a way that we can’t escape, we hurt and we wonder and we feel. We see something more. We become something more.

It’s never easy. Listening to people talk and reading tragic headlines and opening your heart up to new people is painful. But I’ve come to one conclusion recently: caring isn’t stupid.

I refuse to see myself as an idiot because I was honest with myself and the world. Because I let other people’s words travel onto the pages of my life and become part of my story. It doesn’t matter if my name makes it to their stories. I’m Paige. I’m learning and exploring and opening myself up to the world around me. And I’m not stupid.

Keep caring,

Paige

getting lost

A lot of times, I feel as though college was designed to tug at your heart in every way possible. I just experienced three months of magic. And then, I just packed up my life and left for a month. College is full of change and normally I’m all about change. Actually, that might be why I like college so much; there’s little idle time and there are always more lessons to learn and stories to experience and people to meet. But so much has happened in just three months and now I’m sitting back in my small town, watching Ugly Betty on Hulu (I’m not about to spend money on Netflix. I normally never watch TV).

Let’s just pretend this is casual: establishing a home then picking it up and leaving for an entire month. Maybe it is casual and I just can’t accept that because I suck at being casual. I don’t think anyone who knows me would say, “oh, yeah, she’s really casual…she never thinks things are a big deal. Ever.” But anyways, even if this were casual, there are still little gaps in my life that I don’t know how to fill. On campus, I could take a less than 5 minute walk and buy coffee. Here, I have to drive for at least 10 minutes, and that’s not even good coffee. Plus, in college, I was more or less always hanging out with my friends. They were always there and now they’re just…not.

College was entirely different from what I imagined. Normally, that would upset me. But now, I realize that what I imagine isn’t always what’s best for me. Sometimes, reality really is better than my fantasies and while I’m getting lost in daydreams, I can also get lost in real life. It’s hard to even remember what I thought college was going to be like. I don’t know. I thought it would be…different.

And I never knew it could be so much better than I thought, in the most unexpected ways.

I’ve always fantasized about interning in a big city. Prior to this semester, I started thinking that I should “be more realistic.” But this semester taught me that I can turn my fantasies into reality, and that they will look completely different, but that’s okay. That’s what makes life interesting.

In reality, the big cities will be completely different from what I’ve imagined them to be and for some people, that’s scary. For me, it’s another change. It’s not casual; it’s a magical force in my life that I’m learning to embrace, rather than avoid.

College does tug on your heart in every way possible. Embrace those tugs because they change you and shape you and inspire you and guide you. Before college, I thought I wanted to go to college to find something. To establish a career and “find myself.” Now that I’ve been in college, I realize that I want my heart to be tugged in various directions. I could “find” the “right answers” and settle there. But I would rather get lost and learn so much more.

authenticity

Sometimes I really don’t think I’m cut out for this.

I’m not competitive. I’m not one to “push my way to the top” if it means harming other people. I’m not one to “fake it until I make it.”

I guess I don’t really struggle with being myself. Instead, I am always myself. I can’t avoid it. I can’t pretend not to be.

I’m always awkward and sarcastic. I’m always affected by the world in ways I can’t avoid. I can’t pretend to be put together. I wear my hair frizzy and messy no matter where I’m going. I don’t have a firm handshake and if you asked me to describe myself, I would rattle off the honest details. I wouldn’t say, “yeah, well, my one big flaw is that I’m a perfectionist.” That is not a flaw. That is a way to frame your perceived good characteristics as bad characteristics and make it seem like the only thing wrong with you is that you’re perfect.

There is nothing wrong with you or with me, but we are imperfect and I’m okay with that. I’m okay with admitting that. I’m okay with making first impressions that aren’t tailored and perfected in front of a mirror. I’m okay with babbling sometimes and sometimes forgetting to talk because I’m too busy listening. I’m okay with being emotional yet sarcastic and snarky and cynical. I’m okay with expecting more from people than I sometimes should. I’m okay with helping people again and again, even though I know if they had the opportunity to step ahead of me, they would take it. I’m okay with over-analyzing situations and being possessive of my dreams. I’m okay with frizzy hair and chipped nail polish. (I woke up like this, #flawless).

And I realize as I write this, I am okay with falling a step behind if it means being authentic. I would rather push through a few extra obstacles than “fake it until I make it.” I would rather go about my work honestly than betray myself and others.

I’m okay with admitting that I am cut out for this, even though I don’t fit within the traditional standards of who you think I should be. Even though I can’t pretend to be that person.

am cut out for this. Me. Not a perfected clone with a tailored resume of jobs held without passion. Me. Not someone who can walk in heels or always find the right words to say. Me. Not someone who says all of the “right” answers. Just me. 

And that’s good enough. That’s better than anything I could ever pretend to be.

You are cut out for this. The real you. You, you, you. Not some made-up version of who you think you should be.