Moving to Colorado in order to give a year of service to the Episcopal Service Corps has proved, thus far, to be one of the best decisions that I’ve made in my life. However, like many things in my short experience of being a young adult, I found the process to be exciting yet also causing me an intense amount of worry about what this new chapter of my life would lead to. I’ve found this to be a common occurrence in my life when it comes to making important decisions and dedications, as I’m sure it has to anyone my age as well as those much older than me. While I’ve found comfort in the fact that I’m not alone when it comes to this, I still find myself in moments of great distress when it comes to making a decision that will undoubtedly change my life in some way.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel much more confident in the twenty-four-year-old Andrew than I did in the eighteen-year-old Andrew or any year before or after this point in my life. With age has come more wisdom, passion for my interests, and empathy for others along with a lot of other things unmentioned. Wisdom, for me, has been a double edged sword of sorts in the fact that it has provided me with the confidence of making a decision because of my greater faith in things working out how they are supposed to in the end; however, it also has given me the tools necessary to examine the situation and all possible outcomes, giving way to my worrying about something I’ve decided to put my all into.
Being unsure of your decisions or where you’ll end up in life is, again, not at all uncommon for someone my age. Many people try multiple occupations, experiment with different ideologies, and go through a multitude of relationships with others before discovering exactly who it is that they are. I am currently in the ongoing, seemingly never ending, process of self-discovery while being involved in organizations where I find myself having to give assistance to others. This has proven to be a difficult task at times, considering the fact that I often have to show the part of me that is completely confident while pushing the part that is unsure into the background. This is especially true when working with the 32nd Avenue Jubilee’s after-school program where I do my best to assist the kids there with school work and engage with them while at times pretending that I don’t remember what it was like to be in grade school. This attitude can also be beneficial at St. Clare’s ministry, where I assist with a church service and dinner that hosts mostly homeless individuals. I find myself talking to those in attendance about faith in things getting better and the importance of keeping a positive attitude while I am questioning my own place in life and wondering when I will figure out what it is I should be doing in this world.
I don’t think that my being unsure of what my calling is in life is necessarily a bad thing at this point in time, as I am constantly told by others that I’m still young and will figure this whole thing out eventually. I also see this year, among many things, as a chance for self-discovery and developing and utilizing skills already identified. I am very grateful and feel very fortunate to have this type of opportunity that many don’t get the chance to try. Still, I can’t help but feel the overwhelming irony in my personal and spiritual journey; it seems that many people my age are completely certain of which direction they are headed while I still search for a sign of a position that would fit me.
While the eighteen-year-old Andrew would probably find a reason to wallow in this fact or arrogantly shove it to the back burner, I’ve discovered that the best response I can have to being unsure is to dive into a new situation head first. I realize now more than ever that I will make a ton of mistakes throughout my entire life and that it is the only way to get better at something you’re truly dedicated to doing. I no longer sit idly by and wonder why God hasn’t thrown an answer in my face, but actively engage in all of the blessings and opportunities that God has given me in order to figure out where my skills are needed in this life. I may struggle with finding my niche for some time or I may discover what I should be doing tomorrow, but I know that with my faith in letting God show me the way I will discover what I’m searching for in due time.
It has become apparent in our community that I love to listen to hip hop and an inside joke that I hold a great admiration and, according to who you’d ask, obsession for the rapper Yelawolf and his music. All joking aside, his music has gotten me through a lot in my life and to add to the inside joke I leave you with a quote from one of his songs that I think about consistently when pushing forward in my own life :
“Do not succumb to the masses ideas
Over ridicule and judgement
For those who follow the ideas of the weak
Will perish in a dim fog of enlightenment
Become the vision of the minds eye
And carry a flame to the fire
Do not wait for the fire to carry the flame to you
Build, work, build, work, build, work
Fall down, fail, learn, learn, earn, earn and conquer
Money is a tool for the creation of a creative space
Do not squander the value of a gift from a friend
Family, strangers, enemies, Atheists, partisans, peddlers, people
People in this ocean of hungry minds
Feed, do no starve
Start now, wake up now
A trillion more lives will live happy before one of those trillion care or not about your happiness
Love yourself and hate only you
If you don’t.”