Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

On what I've learned about myself in college, and what I have not.


It took me a while, but by my junior year of high school, I knew who I was. I had found my flock and settled into a nice groove filled with activities that I was passionate about; they gave me a purpose in life.

Just when it felt like I had everything together, the facade of stability was over—I was off to college.

They say that college is when you find out who you truly are, and I was excited about that. I realized that what had been making me tick in high school were all temporary things, so I was ready to explore different sides of myself.

I was excited to discover different passions, new things to make me tick. I was excited to discover who I truly am.

But as I near the end of my first year of college, I am more lost than I ever was.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the college experience. My friends are amazing, and, overall, college outweighs high school in so many ways. There are aspects, however, mostly regarding myself, that I simply did not expect.

I expected finding my place to come easy, as I thought the firm grasp I had on who I was in high school would transfer smoothly. I was sorely mistaken. I have tried one thing after another—whether it be in courses ranging from various subjects to groups that I thought would fill me with purpose. Nothing has clicked. As I move into my second year of college, I will be starting with a clean slate. New classes to uncover, and new groups and activities to explore.

And while exploration is fun, it is downright frustrating.

I long to feel like I have direction in life. I ache for the feeling that what I do matters. I am searching for things that will light my fiery passion again, so I can know who I am.

But I am misguided by the need to be stable. Anxiety pushes me to find myself immediately, but isn't that what college is supposed to be all about—finding myself? I should not expect to get it all down in one year. I need to give myself time to grow and evolve, but for some reason, I am freaked the hell out by the not knowing.

I am glad that I was ripped from the comfort of my home town and high school—Lord knows I needed that. Every time I get overwhelmed by my lack of purpose, I have to remind myself one thing...

My purpose right now is simply to find my purpose.

It is okay for me to take classes that eventually lose my interest. It is okay for me to be a part of groups and activities that fail to feel like home for me. Every stone I turn over that comes up empty only leads me closer to my goal—whatever that may be.

I fear the unknown, and that is unfair of me. I need to learn to appreciate the unknown, because someday I will be settled into a job with a loving family, and I will regret if I did not explore all possibilities.

So I am learning to grant myself permission to feel lost because it is all a part of the journey. Someday I will get where I am going, and I will appreciate every step along the way that pointed me in the right direction, even if it did not seem particularly fruitful at the moment.

I am uneasily embracing the unknown.

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.

It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Dorothy

This time it's not a dream...


She stared at her tea and thought about it.

And it wasn't like anything else, because it was everything, and it wasn't like the sky wasn't blue that day, but it looked different.

And she had that stupid grin on her face, and her eyes were actually shining, and she felt this was the place, her silver lining, when everything would change for the better.

She is following the yellow brick road, and she's making my way to Oz—the emerald city.

She's making strangers her friends, bringing life to the tin men, giving brains to scarecrows when it's the lions who are scared…but tonight, they are emerald kings, and the magicians can't refuse them, the dark witches won't confuse them, over the rainbow, wait for her.

This time it's not a dream.

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