The Road Less Traveled
One year ago I was attending school in a frozen tundra known as Rexburg Idaho. Theres about a 90 percent chance that if you aren’t Mormon you don’t know where this is and have likely forgotten Idaho is a state.
I had a great semester there but woke up one morning and decided I was ready to leave. I said a prayer, halfheartedly applied for a few Winter internships (It was November and at the first sign of a snowflake I was somehow hoping to score a Winter internship) and then kind of forgot about the whole thing. A few weeks later while in class I had a missed call from someone who’s company I applied for asking if he could speak with me. I excitedly returned his call only to have hung up the phone minutes later feeling like a broken record. He said my resume and cover letter were basically laughable and that his last intern, Suki from Stanford, barely got the internship and she was much more impressive than this girl living in Rexburg (where is that again?) Idaho. I then proceeded to ask him why he bothered calling me back and he said he wasn’t sure other than he Googled me and he saw my faith was important to me and he agreed to meet up with me. (It turns out the guy was kind of a jerk and I learned that Suki the intern from Stanford was a crier and after waiting two hours for him in a crowded Starbucks I could maybe see why. Bless you Suki.)
This is the part in the story where you are probably expecting something profound to happen….I didn’t take an internship with him but felt really good about being in DC. Something that I have come to know about myself is that I rarely get strong impressions, but when I do, I follow them and don’t look back. The next six weeks were the longest most confusing days of my life. They consisted of me crying and trying to get a strangers car out of a ditch then giving up and calling my best friend. Me driving home in a snow storm after watching hell’s twins and my car spinning out on the 495, making new friends again in a place far away from everyone close to me, many phone calls to my long distance best friends filled with tears and laughter. You know those crazy embarrassing things that only happen to girls in movies? They actually happen to me.
In DC people ask where you work before they ask your name and many people lead with their resumes. I often found myself smiling but thinking “Ask me one more time where I work and I will flip this table.” But I am tremendously grateful to say everything has worked out for me and I am not in a far better position than I would have been had I taken the internship. I have the most thoughtful roommates that leave me chocolate and sunflowers on my nightstand after a long week when sh*t hits the fan. I have the funniest co-worker and we even finish each others raps. (as in JayZ not lettuce) I attribute everything working out to a lot of prayer, amazing connections and friendships, and a lot of hard work and faith.
I have no idea where I will be in ten years. But I am so grateful that I have often been unafraid to take the road less traveled. To take things up with my Father in Heaven and then to be unafraid to take off.
I feel like a lot of people my age are searching for their passion and that they believe once they find that one thing they were meant to do then they will finally be happy. I don’t really buy into that. Maybe there are some people that have very specific talents and callings in this life but I think for most of us, it is like the parable of the talents. All of our talents aren’t obvious to us yet, but God expects us to multiply them. Some of the most rewarding experiences of my life have come from me doing things that are not the end goal for me but have taught me incredible things along the way.
So many times in life people think that because they took a certain path that you need to take that path also. I am not suggesting you be arrogant but I do believe in quiet confidence and having the inner strength to say “I hear you and I love you. Thank you. But you’re wrong.” and walk away. Don’t be afraid to take the road less traveled.