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Digression, Part I

*I would like to say in advance that this post has nothing to do with cosmetics but is instead about myself. Read on if you’re the least bit interested in my life and ramblings about it.*

I think it’s important sometimes to check in on where you are in your life. A year ago today I was at the start of my senior year of college. I was recruitment chair for my sorority, peer mentor for a class of 20 freshmen, and starting to think about where I was going to be by the end of the year. I had a plan that I was trying to set into motion. Plan A was apply to FIT, get into FIT, spend two years there, go to grad school for another two years, graduate then get a job in cosmetics. Plan B was less desirable but still involved going to grad school and getting a job in cosmetics.

At that point in time, there was no other option. Either Plan A would work out, or Plan B. I was incredibly confident that I would’ve gotten into FIT based on the fact alone that I was going to be going in with a degree in social entrepreneurship. I always considered that to be a unique advantage because no other school in America had an accredited social entrepreneurship program. I was going through life blissfully on a high of expectation that I was going to get into that program.

Flash forward to April 2017 and I got waitlisted. By this time I had also decided I didn’t want to go to grad school and get my MBA, mainly because I got a 430 on my GMAT, but also because I wasn’t passionate about it. So now, having been waitlisted and thrown away Plan B, I had to rethink my life. I felt it all slip away the moment my mother called me and said, with sorrow in her voice, “Well, you got waitlisted.” I was shocked. Everyone around me was shocked. But more importantly, I felt like I had no future.

My sister graduated college with a job. My sister, who never really accomplished anything in her life. If she could graduate with a job then I HAD to. I was busting my ass day and night ever since I can remember to make sure I always did better than her, better than my brother, better than my parents’ expectations. So, as overwhelmed as I was, I sat down at my computer and scoured the internet for jobs. Any sort of job in cosmetics, any sort of job that would even get me to New York.

It was at this moment that I realized I needed to stop planning. I need to stop trying to control my life. Not everything is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not everything is going to work out if I believe it will. Not everything is under my control. And that thought was scary at first. I thrived on control. Thrived knowing that there were situations I could grab onto and manipulate to make the outcome what I wanted. Control; Persuade; Manipulate, whatever you want to say, it’s what I craved.

But, with that one phone call from my mother, I realized that this is life and I can’t control everything. I can control only my thoughts, emotions, and actions in the present moment. I can’t tell myself now, at 8:18 pm on a Wednesday, that in two weeks I’m going to be happy. I don’t know what’s going to happen next week. I don’t even know what’s going to happen tomorrow. And that realization was one of the most powerful realizations I could’ve ever made.

Sure, I bet many people in my life told me that exact same idea, but I would never listen. I loved to prove people wrong, but more importantly, I needed to learn from my own first-hand experience. It doesn’t click in my brain when someone tells me some advice if I haven’t lived through it myself. It’s like trial and error; a science experiment really.

So, I sit here one year later, feeling happy and in control of my life, but excited for the future. Excited knowing that tomorrow I’ll wake up and it’ll be a new day. I’ll wake up alone, in my studio apartment, with no friends in the city, knowing that there are so many different things that could happen. When I first came here, I was sad, scared, and worried that I had so much I wanted to accomplish in so little time. But that’s not true. My future is here, I hope. I have plenty of time to make friends, find bars that I love, try new trends, make the most of myself.

It’s honestly weird feeling this positive because I’ve never felt this way. It’s not that I was negative Nancy or anything, I was just never the first person to say “well have you looked at it from their shoes,” or “well they’re trying their best.” It’s nice knowing that I’ve reached a level of acceptance with myself and the path that I’m on that I didn’t have a year ago. I’ve learned to stop trying to control and predict and manipulate every detail of my present, and my future and just truly let things happen as they do. It’s funny the difference a year can actually make, even the difference a few weeks can make.

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