Since middle school I've been that girl that runs around telling everyone that, "everything happens for a reason." I must have seen it on MySpace or somewhere online, haha. It wasn't until now, turning 22 next month, that I've realized the real truth in that statement.

A few months ago is when I really understood what it means. I started to live my life with no boundaries. I said yes to every opportunity, hung out with people I didn't think I'd ever become close with, and stopped caring about making everything so perfect all the time. I am a perfectionist, and it's difficult to live in a world that is the complete opposite. No matter what the task was, I did my absolute best to ensure it was done perfectly and there were no hiccups. Living this way enabled me to put so much unnecessary stress on myself, which then made me so anxious for no reason. If one thing messed up in my perfect master plan, I would freak out on everyone around me and get so angry at the smallest things.

And then all of a sudden it hit me. I sat there and thought to myself, "maybe everything right now, is exactly the way it's supposed to be." Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you would've been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but for some reason, you didn't end up being in that place (even when you had the intention to)? I mean, think about it, really think about it. We try so hard to plan our futures and figure out our next step so that we're prepared, but sometimes the things we plan for aren't meant for us. It was during this revelation that I thought, "no matter how hard I try, if this (whatever dream I am chasing at the moment) doesn't work out, maybe it just wasn't meant for me to receive it."

I think society and comparison is what makes us all think we're supposed to have it all figured out right now. We're brought up to believe that we're supposed to go to college, graduate, and get a career. There is an unseen playbook we're all following, because we're told it'll lead us to a successful future. So, not only do we have the personal pressure of wanting to live a successful life, we continue to compare ourselves to our peers. You see people you graduated high school with. Some are in the military, some have families of their own, some are traveling EVERYWHERE, some are working full time, some are going to school full time, and then there's you. Whatever you're doing doesn't seem nearly as cool as what everyone else is doing. They look like they're having the time of their lives, and you're miserable, drowning in your own responsibilities.

Like I've said before... comparison is the THIEF of happiness.

I realized this, and I changed my thinking. I stopped looking at everyone else's lives and focused on my own. We're all on our own separate journeys. Just because you graduated in the same year as someone, doesn't mean your lives are supposed to line up. You cannot measure someone's success simply off of the content they post on social media. The beauty of social media is that it's designed to allow the user to post whatever they please. That being said, you can make your life look amazing, when in reality it's actually a hot mess.

Focus on your journey, pay attention to the signs, and roll with the punches and adjust. Life is about adjusting to change, so when change comes, don't panic! Embrace it! Change means growth! If you don't fail at least once, you're not trying hard enough, so don't get stuck on chasing perfection. Perfection is an illusion! No one's life is PERFECT and no situation is PERFECT.

We need to stop being control freaks and enjoy the roller coaster of life. There are really good highs and really bad lows, but that doesn't mean you quit. We need to accept things for what they are and realize that we can't have control of every aspect of our lives, even if we want to. If it's meant for you, you will receive it.