This week I had one of those full circle moments, or maybe half a circle because I think I still have a little way to go with it. But, I’m part of a program here at Georgetown which matches me with a mentor who I can talk to about my career interests. When we met for the first time last year we sat on a bench at the front of campus and while we talked about career stuff we also just talked about my life moving to Georgetown and how I was settling in. I’m pretty sure at that point last year I was doing okay, but I definitely wasn’t thriving; I still felt homesick a lot of the time and still felt stressed out and uncertain a lot of the time. We caught up briefly before finals season, but then didn’t meet again until this past week – roughly a year on from our first meeting.
It’s kind of a crazy thing talking to someone who you haven’t talked to in a while and recapping everything that has happened in your life since you last spoke to them. I feel that a lot when I go home for the holidays and see family members who I haven’t kept in touch with as much or old friends who I haven’t kept up with. My mentor and I grabbed a drink and sat, coincidentally, on the exact same bench we sat in last year and caught up. A full circle or half circle moment, whatever you want to call it. It was one of those moments where you’re, in this case literally, put in the same position or spot that you were in a year ago which makes it easier to identify change and growth.
We started by talking about my summer, and as you will know if you keep up with this blog, it was my first summer staying here in DC alone and I loved it. I stayed here to do an internship that I guess I was nervous about to start with but it ended up being such a great experience and I learned a lot. We were reflecting on that experience and all of the cool people I met and then started talking about what I have lined up for next summer and hopefully after graduation. It might sound like I have an obsession with planning for the future, and maybe I do a little bit, but talking about these career topics was more me just sharing things that I’ve figured out over the past year about what I want to do in my life and how I’m working towards them. At one point my mentor said something along the lines of oh wow everything seems to be just falling into place, and I agree! I’m not naive enough to say that if you follow your passions everything will fall into place. But I do believe that if you spend time working hard, focusing on the things that you enjoy doing, thinking critically about how you spend your time, and surrounding yourself with people and activities which make you feel fulfilled, to a certain extent life just kind of falls into this enjoyable and successful routine.
We also sat on that bench for a while talking about how I finally feel at home here in DC and how I’ve just grown a lot in the past year and matured in the things I like spending my time doing. For example, I love spending my time now giving back and guiding younger students who may be going through the same feelings that I went through in my first few years away from home – that is something that really makes me feel fulfilled. I don’t know just sitting on that bench recapping my life in the past year and where I’m at made me feel like I’m so grown up haha.
One of the other things that we talked about and I was able to see a lot of growth in was the the idea of feeling enough and feeling like I am smart enough to be at Georgetown. I wrote a whole blog post about this last week so I won’t bore you with more of that this week, but it was also just another point of comparison and growth.
Before we said goodbye, my mentor gave me a big hug and said, “I’m so proud of you, things seem to be going great!” And that made me think a lot. Things are great. I’m a high strung person by nature so I find it easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day struggles and stresses of college life and classes and friends. I think I naturally always find something to be anxious about, but when I can step back and look at the bigger picture, I can recognize that life is actually great and that things have evolved a lot from this time last year.
Sure, there are moments when I’m faced with challenges or situations I have no control over and aren’t particularly enjoyable, however, there’s also an underlying sense of happiness and pride in the life I have and who I am. This may be getting a bit to deep, but I really do believe that if you lead a life that is truly authentic to yourself and work hard, those day-to-day challenges are just what we say they are – daily challenges not indicators that life is going good or bad. I believe that we have control over how we lead our lives, and I joke about saying that I’m the main character all the time, but I do think that if we are in control of how we spend our lives we can also control how we feel about situations and negative experiences that are transitory.
I know I still have a lot of life left to experience, so I’m not saying this is an absolute life motto, but I’m saying as of right now and as of what I’ve experienced so far, this is my two cents on the topic and a little bit of gushy emotional talk prompted by a fun little chat on a bench in Georgetown. As always, I hope it made sense and wasn’t all inside my head.
See you next week,