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New Normal

Welcome back again! Sorry for being away for so long. Things are just a little crazy!

Everything that has happened since February has come at me unplanned. I was thinking about this yesterday; how seemingly every single thing I had planned for myself this summer and into the future has been changed drastically.

After the end of this school year, my plan was to take an internship at an architecture firm in LA, or Paris, or New Zealand. I was going to continue to work towards my 3500 internship hours required to get a license in architecture. I was going to be thousands of miles from my little home town and my family. I was going to continue on the path that I assumed I needed to be on. With those experiences, I probably would have met a ton of awesome new people, and I probably would have hoped to kindle a new love. BUT, since school changed so abruptly during spring break, and all my plans for the summer were dashed away, I learned to be okay with the here and the now.

Now that it is June, only 3 months after the start of quarantine and social distancing, I feel like a completely new person. Every single day that has passed since the start of COVID19 has been different from the previous day. If you know me, you know that I am usually always busy, you know that I am usually always down for adventures and excursions, and you know that I love to plan and organize. So with everything being up in the air, and most of my typical busy-making tasks taken away, I really struggled in the beginning of this whole ordeal.

But now looking back on everything, I feel so incredibly grateful for how these past few months have panned out. None of it happened in my typical Katie-fashion, but it was exactly what I needed. I would highly recommend you to sit down and write out (or just spend a few minutes thinking) the things that have happened to you since the beginning of quarantine which have brought you to where you are now. Especially important, also, is to think about some things that came about unplanned, but now you could not see yourself doing without.

For me, I have experienced a surge of self-worth and self-love since the start of quarantine. I really faced my demons in the first few weeks, and having done that I feel so powerful now. Also, being forced to return home to live with my family in my hometown seemed at first like something out of a nightmare after becoming adjusted to living on my own. But now I have grown so much closer to my family than I think I have ever been in my whole life. I have a totally new appreciation for them and for this sleepy little town that I call home. And now, with all my newfound self-love, I'm not sure if any sort of traditional relationship style would suit me. I love having the freedom to do and go what and where I please. I spent so much time pinning my worth on the love I received from others. So, that now that I have overcome that, I don't want to go back! Additionally, and best of all I think, I have a totally new outlook on my future life.

All through my young adult life, I thought the only way for me to succeed in life would be to go through college, get an office job right out of school, and then work for the rest of my adult life while I acquire a spouse, kids, a house, and all the other things that we might view as the American Dream life. But wow that all sounds so hideously boring to me now. In just three months I have learned so much about myself, and I now question sooooo many social norms. I don't want an office job. I don't want a house. I don't want to be pinned to one place by job, housing, or family life. My curiosity for the world and all the people in it is so peaked right now. All I can ever think about is travelling, spending time outside, and meeting and learning from cultures and people across the globe. Surely none of us need to give up our dreams in order to make friends, family, or society feel comfortable with our existence. There is always a place for us, and if that place doesn't seem to exist, make it exist.

I was introduced to a quote recently by Helen Keller; "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." I am going to get this quote tattooed on my body as some point in the near future because the simplicity of it makes it all the more obvious as to its meaning. Live your life like it is an adventure, because you're not truly living if you aren't. The world is huge. There is so much out there, and to choose some way to spend the rest of your life based on the last few years of your high school education, or the last few years of college, or even choosing based on your family's wishes, completely neglects all the incredible journeys your life could take. Don't be afraid to fail. Try something. Then try something else. Then try something else. You have your whole entire life to find something, someone, or somewhere you love. Don't waste it!

So now I question myself, (and I suggest you question yourself as well), and ask if I had the chance to return to "normal," would I? The answer is a very firm and simple, no.

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