the ‘f’ word

In a desensitized world, we hear, say and laugh at pretty much anything. But there’s one ‘f’ word that no one’s talking about in these last months of college and that’s haunting just about every twenty-something: future.

I’m at a crossroad – and knowingly so. And I think that’s what makes it so weird: that I know I’m at an incredibly pivotal, definitive point. I know that my life is just on the brink of change and that the next step is going to be something both daunting and exciting. I’m looking ahead and I see a thousand different choices: where to go, what to do, whom to be. It’s headache inducing, anxiety provoking, and downright scary. But as I keep trekking – putting one step in front of the other – I keep chipping away at the fear that I’m holding onto. The more I force myself to face my (literal) future, the more I replace that fear with acceptance, with gratitude, and with intention.

I graduate from college in exactly 31 days. I have 31 days to cross off the hundreds of undone things on my bucket list; I have 31 days to enjoy what’s left of college; I have 31 days to make the most of ‘the best time of my life’; I have 31 days to acceptably get drunk without judgment on any given day at any given time (sorry mom); and I have 31 days to say goodbye to Los Angeles and the beautiful friends, experiences and life that I’ve had here.

And before I get too dramatic and sappy (too late?), let me just say that a year ago – even 4 months ago – I would have said that I hated Los Angeles. But as my time here has come to a sudden and unsettling end, I’ve come to love this place – with its quirks and weird smells and unpredictable (and constant) traffic. It may be weird but it’s a place and a people that/who allow me to be just as weird, just as fluid, and just as unruly as I want. It’s a place of acceptance – despite the ungodly pressures of fame and beauty. If you connect with the spirit of Los Angeles – the one that exists deeper than Hollywood and the cold pressed juice industry – you’ll realize that Los Angeles really is just a place of expression. It’s given me the chance to not only express both myself and my dreams, but to create them. And for that, I’m thankful.

When I first drove to Los Angeles for my first semester of college, I had no idea who I was, who I wanted to be or what the hell this thing called ‘college’ was going to be like. But now I know: there’s not definition or definitive way of characterizing anything of such opportunity or chance. Which is why I’m so dedicated to approaching this next step of life in a very similar way:

  1. Don’t try to make sense of it
  2. Do what feels right
  3. Trust in whatever’s next

Since age three, the next step was always: school. And then middle school, and then high school and college. But since age three, this is the first time that I don’t have a plan for my future; but I’m not letting that scare me or detour me from following what feels right. I have a million different opportunities ahead, quite a few important decisions to make, and a lifetime of failures and successes to live. So, this crossroad is really more like a multi-way junction without a map or a road sign in sight. And all I can say is, how exciting.

Here’s to the unchartered waters ahead. Can’t wait to share the ride with you.