The title of this is “Leaving Helped Me Find Myself”, but let me be clear I haven’t completely “found myself” yet. I don’t think you ever really do. But I now have a better idea of who I am and what I want to do. I’ve changed my major (and career) more times than I can count, I’ve moved several times, transferred schools, and still managed to keep my stuff together (for the most part). It hasn’t been easy. At times I wasn’t sure if I would make it. And now, as I go through the process of changing my major again, I’m not sure how it will all pan out. But I know if I go in the general direction that I need to go in I will eventually find my way.
So enough about that. Now it’s time for what this post is actually about. Leaving. Leaving for the first time was simultaneously the easiest and hardest thing I have ever had to do. Allow me to explain. I had a difficult childhood. My past scars me to this day. I went through things I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Needless to say, I wanted out. And I wanted to go as far away as I could. And theoretically I did. However, at the same time leaving was an easy decision to make, it was also difficult. I was leaving behind all I had ever known for something I had never experienced before. I was leaving my home for the unknown. I was terrified. But I did it and boy was I glad I did. I’m still thankful for those experiences.
The first time I left for my freshman year of college. It was really scary. But when I got there and everyone left and I was by myself I realized I could do it. I could figure things out on my own and hopefully be successful. And I did it. I didn’t make excuses or take advantage of anyone. I didn’t allow myself to fall into the trap of college parties and mindless drinking. I stayed focused on what I was truly there for and I was successful. I learned a lot about myself in the time that I was at that school. It was really great. I made a lot of friends and built a great character.
But at the end of the year I made the bold decision to transfer schools. I felt that God was calling me to be closer to home. I knew it was the right decision. It wasn’t the easiest decision and it wasn’t exactly a popular one, but the right ones never are. But in the end the choice was mine and I definitely feel that it was the right one. So I transferred to a school that was half the distance of the previous school. A decision I don’t regret. I don’t have the strong friendships I had before, but I did gain something in the move. I gained confidence. This school gave me confidence and faith in myself. That’s something I’ve never had before.
In the move from home to the first school I made some amazing friends, discovered what was truly important to me, and learned that not everyone is against you. In the move from that school to the new school I gained confidence, a strong character, and a really good heart. And I learned to not underestimate myself or that gut feeling I am constantly trying to ignore for some reason. Leaving helped me find myself because I learned something new with every move. Each time I learned something I might not have learned had I stayed in one place.
I am grateful for every opportunity and experience. I’m thankful for the friendships, mentors, and caring supporters. I am thankful for the people that continue to encourage me no matter my decision. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me next.