So I had this crushing feeling in my chest when I was twiddling my thumbs at work today. I couldn't get some thoughts out of my head: What is all the fuss about? Like, what's all the purpose of this effort that I'm putting in?

Look at this adorable kindergarten child:

Today, she visited a pumpkin patch, tasted apple cider, and sampled apple cider donuts--all for the first time! Not only is she surrounded by equally excited and happy classmates, but she is also dressed in her favorite snowflake sweatshirt and Hello Kitty headband. To her, life does not get better. Obvious spoiler: That's me, like fifteen years ago.

Now look at this bored intern:

If you showed that little girl this selfie from the future and told her that she was going to go into the business world, she would simply NOT believe it. First and foremost, who made the executive decision to get rid of the bowl cut. Second, why do I look so...so....I wouldn't even be able to put my little chubby finger on the word because I had never felt the need to make that face before. Really, just imagine how you pictured your older self when you were in kindergarten. I saw myself being anything from a violin teacher or famous singer to an international chef or a flight attendant. Working a desk job was never exactly in the vision.

So here I am, present day. I am nowhere close to the music, culinary, or airline industries. I think about all the sad, sleepless, stressful nights I've had at school because--deadlines. And then I think about what's to come if I end up pursuing the career that I'm currently pursuing. MORE SAD SLEEPLESS STRESSFUL NIGHTS BECAUSE DEADLINES.

How did I end up on this dull path? I feel like I'm being propelled forward in a direction that I don't actually want to go in. *I want to take a moment to make it clear that I understand how blessed I am to have the opportunity to continue with higher education and also that my job is something that I am extremely grateful for--it's not something that I want to settle for as the defining part of my day.* If my circumstances were different, regrouping and switching career paths would be a viable option. But, the best thing that reality has to offer to me right now is the opportunity to make my path more enjoyable to travel on. It's no cure-all, but I've learned that the only way to start feeling and looking more like my kindergarten self (minus the bowl cut and bangs, obviously) is to try new things, no matter how small.

This summer, my "things" that I am most proud of are the new workout class and service opportunity that I have taken. They're not groundbreaking activities by any means. Then again, visiting a pumpkin patch, drinking apple cider, or eating apple cider donuts all seem like pretty ordinary things too...but tell that to this girl and see if that changes her mood!

Essentially, it's about exposing yourself to new people, ideas, experiences, opinions, cultures, whatever. So, not to be nauseatingly inspirational, but go ahead--wander into that new coffee shop, sign up for a class at that yoga studio that you peer into sometimes, pull up that farmer's market even if you don't eat fruits and vegetables, whatever! Just try. It can't hurt. Seriously. Okay it might hurt I have no idea. Try it anyway!!!