Today is a beautiful day. We have been having very nice weather here in Williamsburg, even if it has been pretty hot. Last week felt especially hectic and was full of class, quizzes,
papers, meetings, job fairs, and interviews. I was so thankful for the weekend, and like many of us, I am so ready for fall! It will be great when it finally gets here, but for the time being, I am still trying to enjoy the sun (yesterday I went to Jamestown Beach for the first time since last semester).
The other night, I was watching “The Notebook,” which is definitely one of my favorite movies, and I found myself strangely relating to a lot of how Allie, the main female character, was feeling. Now, I am not referring to the parts where she is head-over-heels in love and all that– except that might be good because Ryan Gosling is pretty cute in that movie– but I mean the parts where she is struggling to understand what she really wants in her life. Near the beginning of the movie, when Allie and Noah are on their first date, he lays down in the middle of the road. Allie is reluctant to join him at first, but it’s easy to tell she really wants to. Noah says, “You could try it, if you wanted to,” and after Allie responds negatively, he continues, “That’s your problem, you know that? You don’t do what you want . . . Just relax. Just trust. You need to learn how to trust.”
I feel like this is me a lot of the time. I want to be adventurous and be the person that I feel like I am inside, but sometimes I need a little push; a little extra encouragement. I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling. Relaxing and trusting the process is an important part of living according to what is good and right. Easier said than done, though, of course.
Near the end of “The Notebook,” Ryan and Allie have another conversation it seems like he’s trying to get her back, but also he really just wants her to be honest with herself about her feelings and her desires. Ryan says, “Would you stop thinking about what everyone wants? Stop thinking about what I want, what he wants. What your parents want. What do you want? What do you want?” Allie says, “It’s not that simple.”
After writing all this out, I feel kind of silly relating my life to a romance movie, but honestly, I can relate! In the recent past, I’ve had some experiences where I feel like others were asking me to just be honest with them and with myself and answer the question of what I really want. But, sometimes I feel like it really isn’t that simple— it’s not just about what I want, or where I want to go. In some situations, I think I know what I want, but then in the moment things get jumbled up, and I find myself second-guessing my ideas and desires. In those situations especially, it’s hard to explain to another person who’s asking me, “What do you want? Just tell me what you want,” that I don’t really know! Even when I really want to be sure of myself, sometimes I’m just not.
It’s fun and freeing to live in the moment, but then a day later, or even a few hours later sometimes for me, I get filled with these questions about what I really want, and it’s complicated all over again. Conflicting feelings can make it hard for me to remember what my true desires are, and some days I honestly think I don’t know yet. I guess life experience helps us unravel our true desires and callings. In a few years, I will probably still be struggling with knowing what is best for me, but that is part of what God is for. Putting faith in God to lead the way and guide my life is crucial– especially during this time in my life where I’m closing one chapter and preparing to being a new one. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge God and he will make your paths straight.” I have no idea where I will be this time next year. On a regular basis, I usually am not sure where I want to be, or who I want to be with, or why, or how, or any of those other things either. To me, figuring out what I want is harder than being unsure sometimes.
I forget the source, but I read this quote somewhere and I think it’s a good one for when I feel extra indecisive and need to remember the importance of being in tune with my desires: “The first step in getting the things you want out of life is deciding what you want.” Maybe I should put that on a post-it.