This I Believe

Sarabeth - Basalt, California
Entered on February 19, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Things Happen for a Reason

I’m not that old; I’m only 25. But it’s been a tumultuous quarter century. Being twenty-something is not as glamorous as one might reminisce or estimate from the tabloids.

So far, I’ve seen that life has a lot to teach, but somehow, things happen for a reason. Right now, I am caught in the midst of another one of my life crises. They say there is one at mid-life, but I seem to have them yearly. Recently finishing my masters in order to get a leg up in a job market that requires two legs up, some inside contacts, and the early retirement of key staff, I am once again working pay check to pay check and struggling to find permanent housing options. I am facing this in addition to being subjected to childish parental behavior stemming from an impending divorce, which constantly makes me the victim of coercion and manipulation from both sides.

Life is tossing me obstacles, and past experience has taught me that this is all happening for a reason. In fact, sometimes I play a game with myself where I ask the question, “What was I doing exactly one year ago from today?” and the response usually elicits some realization of the progress I have made either within myself or my life circumstance.

One year ago, I was in Paris for the first time with my mother, taking my semester respite from a master’s program I reproached. Looking back, I successfully earned my degree, developed a strong job portfolio, received the encouragement and confidence I needed to embark on my career path, and earned employment at what I thought would be an amazing institution. I could not have foreseen the opportunities my master’s program would have presented me, nor could I have understood how it would reinforce the qualities of life, like small towns and snowy mountains, that I need to feel fulfilled.

Of course, believing that things have purpose and will sort themselves out has not been a skill I have possessed very long. Going off to college, I did not recognize that aimlessly choosing a major and taking meaningless courses was part of the process in order to discover that I was passionate about fine art, had creative talent and needed to transfer to a different school. Later, when I was about to graduate, I felt lost and hopeless about my next step and fell into a dark depression landing myself on the psych ward for a week. I would never have guessed that exploring the depths of depression and cohabitating with other patients labeled with disorders would have shown me the strengths of who I really am and appreciate the spectrum of how people deal with life.

So now, I have resigned to reflecting on the past and understanding its meaning while negotiating my present circumstances with the faith that things happen for a reason.