I was in the backyard playing with the dog when I started to think about how things have changed for me over the last 5 years (or since I graduated with my bachelors degree). As I walked across the stage with diploma in hand, I was saying goodbye to a place where so much had already changed in my life.
I pursued post-secondary education mainly to pursue my boyhood dream of becoming a major league baseball player. I walked on to the varsity team and remained redshirted my first year. During that time, I started to realize just how much practicing with the team felt like “work.” There’s nothing inherently wrong with work, but baseball was my passion. I loved playing the sport, through and through. I spent most of my childhood on baseball diamonds and virtually all of my teenage years driving across Ontario and up and down the eastern states of the US to play baseball. I was dedicated.
As my passion for playing faded, I found a new interest — student life. I became heavily involved in the campus community at SVSU, which was a stark contrast from high school. Although in high school, I was more focused on baseball, so who knows if I would have gotten involved with student groups in high school had there not been baseball in my life.
I started out my student life ‘career,’ in part, because the hall director of the building I lived in asked me to do so. My first position was as the vice-president of the residence hall’s council. It turns out that was just the springboard I needed to dive headfirst into extracurricular activities. I spent time as a resident assistant (2 years), went to state/regional/national conferences (8 in total, 4 in my first year), volunteered often (in 3 different countries), participated in university committees/boards, and was even elected as the student body President my senior year. On top of all this, I still had time do well academically such that I was accepted into the international honor society in psychology (Psi Chi) and be part of a poster session at an Association for Psychological Science convention.
Upon graduating, I was getting ready to begin studies for a clinical psychology PhD. Little did I know that 3 academic quarters into the degree, I would realize that I didn’t want to “save the world one person at a time.” Shortly thereafter, start my own business/practice. And shortly after that, move to New Zealand!
It’s been quite a whirlwind over these last few years. California, New Zealand, British Columbia, Hawaii, and now Washington, DC. Here I am working on an MBA. I have three semesters left until I’m finished. As I try to project into the future where I’ll be (or what I’m doing), I can’t help but chuckle just a little bit. Three years ago, I would never have imagined I’d be living in the DC area, much less in business school. But here I am — on both accounts.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you stopped to reflect on your life and found a similar thread of unanticipated changes in your life. And those changes, (by their very nature [and definition, in this regard]) could not have been predicted prior to their occurrence. They took you by surprise. They’ve certainly taken me by surprise. Sometimes, we fall into the trap of being critical of these changes (or sometimes, lack of changes). I would implore you not to do so. It’s impossible to know how pursuing scenario X, being presented with scenario Y, or being surprised by scenario Z, will eventually lead you to ultimate fulfillment.
Instead, today, simply look back and reflect on the abundance of synchronicities that have conspired to bring you to where you are today. Smile as you think about the unlimited possibilities that await you and the myriad ways they can transpire.