Today, I gave my two weeks’ notice for my current job. It’s the same job that I have held throughout the past three years of college and today I said goodbye. We have a life made up of countless choices. Many of these choices are simple happenings in the day to day, but some of them can begin to shape your life. This was one of those choices—a choice that I had been going back and forth with for months. Within those same few months, I decided to do what many Elon students would consider unthinkable: I chose to forgo the all-consuming internship opportunities that are put on a pedestal in college. Instead, I chose to take the summer as a time for growth, a time to serve. This is exactly what I will be doing at Young Life Camp this summer. With that being said, I do have to fulfill internship credit in order to graduate next May. I will hopefully be filling my time in the Fall working for a local non-profit.
I chose to forgo a paid position in a job that I have established myself in for a chance opportunity at a non-profit start-up company. I chose to cross out the junior year summer I had envisioned for myself, one that I would use to get myself ahead in the career that I had been planning for, for a summer filled with serving, reflecting, and growing. I chose to “live for today.” This semester I made a lot of choices; I do not know if they are smart or even the most realistic, but they are the choices that bring me great joy and excitement as I look into the future.
The decision to do the unthinkable, to break the stereotype, and to flip the switch, are slowly beginning to help shape both my future situations and the person that I will become. I relate it a great deal to my decision to participate in the design thinking studio this semester. We all chose to leave behind our regular course schedule for an inter-disciplinary, cultured semester. We chose to dive deep into the unknown rather than continue to learn the same way we have for the past 20 years. This experience is breaking the mold, it’s doing the unthinkable, and it’s making me think about the choices I am making and decisions regarding my future, my well-being, and my happiness.
I recently read a book that changed my life. Donald Miller writes in his road trip memoir, Through Painted Deserts, “We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it? It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out. I want to repeat one word for you: Leave. (…) And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.”
I want the experiences that I have to change me and continue to change me throughout my life. I want to gaze out into the unknown and grab hold of it with confidence. I want to leave fear in the dust when I jump onto the train of life. I want to leave and come back changed. Changed for the better. I want to gain perspective not by taking a step back, but by taking a step forward. Forward stepping that breaks through the bubble. Taking a leap of faith, making the unthinkable choice, that is what gets you to this overpowering feeling of fearlessness. It is life filled. It is invigorating.