New Chapter • New Mindset

Lauren DahlhauserComment
Taken on my recent trip to Arizona at the Grand Canyon during my Spring Break in March. 

Taken on my recent trip to Arizona at the Grand Canyon during my Spring Break in March. 

With graduation just around the corner, this goes without saying but, I’ve got a lot of change to prepare myself for.

Although, realistically, how well can you really prepare for a chapter of life that hasn’t been written yet? In addition, how can you fully embrace the current times and fully write out the closing paragraphs of the chapter you’re in while preparing for something you haven’t even experienced? And then to top it off, how do you keep the anxiety, stress, and excitement levels low enough so that a breakdown or over-anticipation don’t knock you down out of nowhere?

I can’t be the only one who has pondered or asked these types of questions. (But if you’re in the same chapter of life and you haven’t asked any of these questions, would you care to teach those of us freaking out your ways? Thanks.)

The truth is, a chapter comes and a chapter goes. It’s how life works. A lot of times it’s hard to move on, but if we don’t learn to do so, it’s like reading half of a book and then shutting it, never to find out how the story pans out in the end. Or maybe it’s like skipping pages and jumping back and forth, reading bits of the past and getting too antsy and reading snippets of the future. (We all know you crazy people who like to read the ending first are out there. News flash: that’s cheating.)This isn’t how books are meant to be read! From a logical stand-point, we can’t know the end until we reach the end. And from a Christian stand-point, this isn’t how God intended us to live out our lives.

Chapter by chapter, God already has our lives planned out. He wants us to trust in Him enough to fully embrace the present moments while knowing that what is to come, good or bad, is what was intended to take place at that moment in time. I’m going to be blunt and honest about one thing: I sort of suck at not skipping around and trusting in God. I’m going to be blunt and honest about one more thing: I’m learning.

Looking back at old times isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s so important not to get hung up on those past experiences. You can re-read the words as much as you’d like but those words are stuck permanently on a page in the past. Just appreciate them, and move on. 

It hasn’t sunk in yet, and it won’t until I walk across that stage, but I graduate in May. I’ve had elevated moments of pure excitement about being done with school and picking up on a new chapter with the freedom of going any direction in life that I want. I’ve also hit frantic, hopeless states of rock bottom a few times. It’s moments like these that either cause me to freeze up because I feel so overwhelmed by life, or breakdown because I don’t believe I have the strength to get back up and push forward. 

I’m not going to sit here and say I’m never going to breakdown again, (it’s basically impossible to avoid a meltdown here and there when we’re living this thing called life), but it’s time to take on life with a new mindset. I’m ready to believe in myself, trust in God, embrace the present, and prepare for future endeavors.

I’m young. I’m healthy. I’m not tied down anywhere. I have a brain and a heart with drive and passion. It’s time to stop neglecting these realities and take life on by the reigns.

I’m still finishing out this chapter of life, but here’s to a new, exciting, and adventurous one to come.