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The Magical Power of Failure

March 16th, 2017 at 2:00am

From the moment you can talk, adults are asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As you get older, the questions get more specific: “What colleges are you applying to? What will your major be? What are you going to do after you graduate?” To that I say enough! No more admonishing declarations of, “You need to find some direction.” There is nothing wrong with being a little bit lost.

Being lost can be great. It forces you to keep moving, to examine who and where you are. It allows you to change your mind. Being lost can be liberating. (Photo via @nalleycasey)

I used to think I had it figured out. After I graduated from high school, I was going to go to college, graduate with a BA in English, and then get an internship at some amazing publishing house. Then two semesters in, the realization hit that getting an internship is H-A-R-D, and, actually, I don’t really like being an English major. All at once, everything I thought I had wanted had changed—which lead me to believe I was nothing but a failure. (Photo via @jaidabrinkley_)

And, truly, I had failed. I had failed at everything I thought I wanted. I had gotten so focused on my plans for the future that I stopped paying attention to my life at present. I told my mom I had messed up, that all of my plans were now ruined, and she said, “So what?” At first, I was shocked. I wanted to say, “But everyone knows I’m a failure, Mom!” But then I realized, she was right. My decisions weren’t life or death—I was allowed to make new choices, and I could do whatever I wanted. (Photo via @maddyhaller)

So I stopped making plans. On a whim, I changed my major. I started taking courses I was interested in, instead of just classes that I thought would get me ahead. I joined clubs and made friends and found out that college really isn’t that stressful if you love what you’re doing. Eventually, I applied for an internship with CollegeFashionista. I had no expectations; I just wanted to try something new. And yet, three semesters later, one internship has evolved into one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, an experience that I never would have found had I not allowed myself to be a bit lost. (Photo via @nalleycasey)

So the next time someone asks you what you want to be when you grow up, don’t sweat it. You don’t have to have it all planned out—you just have to keep moving and enjoy the magic that is getting lost and found.