Lately it seems like there’s a lot of bad stuff happening in the world. I don’t know about you, but day after day my Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of bad news and almost nothing else—a space that used to be full of puppy videos and exciting updates from my friends both near and far now is filled with anger, hate, and, most strikingly, fear. And a few puppy videos… but not nearly as many as before. I find that I have to keep reminding myself that there are still good things going on in the world, we just aren’t focusing on them right now. And that’s okay. The political climate of our country right now requires us to be vigilant and stand up for what is right. But recently, I’ve been struggling to make sure that looking at my social media doesn’t ruin my day.
A few days ago, I had spent too much time looking at Facebook and reading articles about racism and antisemitism running rampant, and was basically having a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (thank you very much Judith Viorst). I was feeling frustrated, worried, and honestly scared about the events that have recently been going on (no, I don’t mean the attack on Sweden) and the future of both America and the world in general. And it definitely didn’t help that I was also feeling frustrated, worried, and scared about my own future that day, too. You see, I’m in this place right now where I’m networking my heart out (if anyone has any contacts in publishing please hit me up with a message, leave a comment, find me on LinkedIn, slide into my DMs, send me a carrier pigeon, WHATEVER works for you), but because of the nature of the industry, I can’t apply for real jobs yet, and of course, while I can research my heart out, it’s still too early to find a place to live too. So, while my friends are figuring out where they’re going to grad school, applying for jobs, getting engaged, or even just picking classes for the fall 2017 semester, I’ve been kind of stuck. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled for my friends—I love seeing them get closer and closer to attaining their dreams. Brie Larson said just the other day, and I truly believe in this, “You know what’s better than winning? Watching your friends win.” But, especially on the day in question, I was feeling like I was trapped in quicksand rushing downwards towards graduation (and everything that comes afterward), unable to move or prepare or do anything whatsoever to get ready to hit the ground.
That evening, I was walking across campus to a meeting when I ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while. We walked together for a while and we were talking about our plans for after graduation. He told me about how his plans were falling into place, and when he asked me about mine, I explained how I was stuck waiting. We had reached his destination, and before he left, he stopped, looked at me, and said “You know, these things have a funny way of working out” and walked away.
I couldn’t get those words out of my head as I walked on towards my meeting. They had immediately lifted my spirits. At first I was a little alarmed by them. Yes, things often have a way of working out, but I couldn’t just sit back and wait for that to happen magically. It still takes hard work, drive, and passion to make things work. But I also believe strongly in the power of positivity and positive thinking. Yes, I still need to work my butt off to figure out what I’m going to be doing next year, but it’s okay that I’m not quite there yet right now. I’m doing everything I can and that’s enough—regardless of where my friends might be. This is applicable to my worry about our country also. These things have a way of working out. We have survived through countless wars and trials, which I can only imagine felt similar to what we’re experiencing now. We will survive this too. I refuse to even think that we might not, because that constitutes giving up, which is exactly what we must not do right now. It will take hard work, drive, and passion to make it through, but I know that I don’t have to worry about that. My entire Facebook newsfeed is filled with people full of the drive and passion to keep us moving forward. But we must be careful to stay positive as well.
My friend could not possibly have known that his words were exactly what I needed to hear to pull me out of my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. And at the time, I didn’t have the presence of mind to thank him. So instead, I’m passing them on to all of you. Be positive. Work hard. Trust yourself. Trust the people around you. These things, whatever your things are this week, have a funny way of working out.