Thursday, May 11, 2017

Setting Priorities and Being Open to Change

Here's the thing: no matter how "according to plan" some people's lives may seem to be going, they too had or will have to be open to change somewhere along the way (even if only for a minute).

I recently received a letter I wrote to myself at a Senior Retreat about a year ago. We were told to write to ourselves a piece outlining anything we would want to say to our future selves, which would be sent a year later.

Here is part of what I wrote in my letter:

"Hopefully, if you are reading this a year from now, you have sort of figured it out... When I consider my future, my dream is to live in New York City and be writing for a magazine (print or digital). Though this is my dream now, I know the places I go will not necessarily lead me directly there. Or, who knows, maybe I will find a different destination. But no matter where life leads me, I know I will end up where I am supposed to be."

Ah, "But no matter where life leads me, I know I will end up where I am supposed to be." My favorite line. Because it's true, I wrote down a dream that made sense to me at the time (one that has slightly changed), but I still definitely don't have it all figured out.

There are many things people do not tell you before you leave college. What they do tell you is that the priorities we are "supposed" to set and dreams we are "supposed" to chase all involve the same plan or path: graduate from high school, go to the best college possible, and get hired right after graduation.

This plan, however, is problematic. Not because it isn't a great plan to follow — I personally loved my years in school and am so grateful for every moment — but because it is not what everyone wants and for those who do want it, they are rushed to put a time frame on it.

As some of you may know, immediately after graduation I had the privilege of moving to New York City to pursue an editorial job on a dream team from which I learned more than I ever thought possible.

But after a year, the end of my fellowship came and I decided I wanted to take the summer off to relax and do some freelancing before jumping in to my next adventure.

In a previous post, I mentioned how I had made the decision to move out of NYC and back home to Connecticut to begin this new chapter of my life and, while I am excited to be taking this next step for myself, I can't help but feel a mix of emotions — very similar to the ones I felt while writing that letter to myself a little over a year ago.

Somewhere in the middle of my excitement to have my first "summer vacation" since high school and my hesitation to redirect my life, I have realized that I am ready for change. For the first time ever, I am accepting that I'm only in control of certain parts of my life and the things I am in control of are the ones I will prioritize.

For this reason, here are the priorities I will focus on... always.

1. Health
"Health is not just about what you're eating. It's also about what you're thinking and saying."

2. Relationships
"I've learned... that it's not what I have in my life, but who I have in my life that counts."

3. Writing
"No one can tell your story, so tell it yourself. No one can write your story, so write it yourself."

4. Hobbies
"Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative."

5. Career
"Passion is the difference between having a job and having a career."


Here's my question for you: have you recently made a change that you've had to be open to? What was the hardest part about it?

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  1. I love your list of priorities. They are so real! Also, congrats on having the courage to take charge of what you can prioritize and to not hide behind what you can't :)
    Elizabeth |

    1. Thank you so much, Elizabeth! You're so sweet! Can't wait to check out your blog!

  2. Nice to see career isn't at the top of the list and being healthy is at the top.

    1. Yes it's so true! I think we are so accustomed to believing that our career has to be our main focus, but that's so different for every person. Aren't health and happiness most important?

  3. Thats a great list of priorities. I will say something I learned many many years after college was the fact that I have control of my own life, every aspect. If something was making me unhappy it is MY job to change it. (not wait for someone else to fix the situation) ;)

    1. This is so true! You can't control some of the things that happen, but you can control how you react to/recover from those things. Thanks so much for reading!

  4. Great list of priorities. It's so easy to lose sight of it all in the hectic world we live in but putting it down on paper always helps with staying accountable. Good luck!

    xoxo Barb

    1. Thanks so much for reading, Barb! It's so true! Will certainly check out your blog! :) xx

  5. I love your list but what I love the most is the letter you wrote to yourself. I have letters I wrote to myself when I was 14- now I am 43 and it's hilarious to read. Keep that going!

    1. Thank you so much, Katie! I had never written a letter to myself before up until senior year in college. It felt really weird to write, but once I received it in the mail a year later I was so happy I wrote it. It shows such personal growth and makes for great inspiration. I will definitely write more in the years to come. xx

  6. Love your "Hobbies" priority... so very true! Good luck with your move!

    1. Isn't it so true!? I have been trying to stick to 3 hobbies in each of those sections. Thanks so much for reading, Rachel!