• Shannon Brault

Identity (Summer 2019 Recap)

Welcome back! With college quickly approaching, I had a BUSY summer. I’ve been writing here and there when I had the time, but I haven’t gotten around to posting anything. I’ve been working hard on my blog and have more posts to share later, but here’s a quick update on what my life has looked like this summer since school started today! 

My summer started on May 16th and oh my, has it flown by. I had three weeks where I just chilled at home, hung out with my friend that was here from Austria and went to track practice. Then I had to do the whole graduation thing, orientation for college, prepping for moving to a new state and stressing about every little thing I could in between (ya know, the usual). I worked the park program job again this summer, WHICH I LOVEEEEEE!!  Essentially there is a team of 11 leaders at three different parks around Richfield and we play with kids ages 6-16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The kids are the best and I had a blast. It is my favorite six weeks out of the year and I love everyone I work with. We just get to play, be with kids and go on field trips for 6 weeks. I was super sad when it ended and I didn’t really know what to do. I had a week to be at home before I spent the month of August traveling to a cabin, Toronto and Glacier National Park! All of it was fun and full of learning. I then moved into college and am currently trying to get acclimated. 

This summer has been filled with lots of learning opportunities as it feels like my life is changing drastically each day. 

The summer after senior year is interesting, to say the least. You’re in this weird gray area where you aren’t a high school kid anymore, but you’re also not a college student or fully in the world yet. It’s a transition period, which can be hard on anyone. It’s been really tough for me trying to figure out who I am outside of everything that I’ve ever known. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and I have just felt so lost, because it feels like all the things that have defined me for so long are no longer things I can fall back on. I’ve honestly been struggling a lot trying to figure out who I am. There is so much pressure to know who you are, what you want and where you want to be, but when you try and rush the process, you are left more lost than you were in the first place. There is also so much pressure to reinvent yourself after high school, when in reality that is a bunch of bs. I feel like I have done the least amount of activity this summer, yet I am the most stressed I have been in a long time and I have been telling everyone that I’m having a huge identity crisis (which may be a bit dramatic, but you get this gist). Bottom line is that it’s been tough. I have been trying to figure out how to put my feelings into words and what lessons I can get out of this to share. People always tell you that you’ll figure it out eventually, but yet there is so much pressure put on 17 and 18-year-olds to know what they want to be and how they are going to get there, though I know people of all ages feel this way from time to time about different situations in their lives. College is nearly forced upon kids who aren’t ready and they are then sent into crippling amounts of debt that they’ll spend decades paying off. If you asked me what I wanted to be a year ago when I was applying for college, my answer would be completely different than it is now that I’m actually in college. I applied to ten colleges for Elementary Education between August and October of last year. If you asked me what I wanted to be in the late fall I would have told you that I wanted to be a Physical Therapist. A few weeks later I would have told you a Nurse. Then I would have told you I want to be on the research side of Psychology. Then I would have told you I’m sticking to my long term goal of being a Writer/ Content Creator and now I will either tell you a writer or that I have no clue. Now I understand that’s what happens for so many people. You change your mind, you change your major, you change your career, and you change your life path. Adaptability is key. People always say “everything will work out”, but what they forget to mention and forget about in general after they are past the initial hurdles is that it is still so difficult to live in this reality where you have no clue what you’re doing and it feels like you have no control over where you’ll end up. For me, it’s this fear that I’ll never figure it out and that I’ll never know where I want to be, or how to get there. I say I have no idea where I want to be when in reality I know where I want to be but it seems completely unattainable. Earlier in high school when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would smile and reply “Beyonce without the singing,” which most people took as me just saying I wanted to be famous…that was not the point. I’ve always wanted to leave this world a better place than how I found it. For so long, my life motto was “life and love aren’t about what you gain, but about what you give”. I’ve always wanted a platform to help others and influence others in a positive light. This summer I especially have gotten so angry with celebrities who have all this money and influence and such a massive audience and they don’t use it for something bigger than themselves. I could care less if I’m ever rich, but I have always wanted to be someone who could inspire others and remind them about the beauty of life. I’ve always wanted to be a reminder that you’re never alone in this world. You’re never alone in your experiences, struggles, trials, and triumphs. If we are alone, then we are alone together and we need to learn how to lift each other up. In the past I really just wanted someone to come around, pick me up, and brush me off. I wanted someone to not just tell me things will work out, but to make me feel like they really will be okay. So how do we get there? The truth is I don’t have a clue. Does anyone really know what they’re doing? Or are we all just just pretending and trying to make sense of the world as we go? You can plan out your entire life and plan out how to get to where you want to be and chances are that plan will either fail you or change completely. Plans change, our goals shift and the end result could look so completely different than how we originally intended it to look like, but that’s just life. As frustrating as it can be for me to accept that, I know that that’s just how it is and I’ve been working on it. I’ve always heard that if you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans and while I think you should still have plans and goals for your life, you need to be adaptable. Chase your goals and work your ass off to get there, but if there’s a bump in the road don’t just automatically quit. Sometimes you need to quit. Sometimes your dreams for your life are unhealthy and put you or your health in danger. Sometimes your goals are ultimately self-destructive, and in that case, you just need to readjust your focus, but these roadblocks are just things you need to get around. I guess my point is that I have no idea what my future holds. I have no idea what my life is going to look like this year or even two weeks from now, but maybe that’s the point. Maybe you need to lose part of you to figure out who you really are. Maybe these gray spaces are meant to be loud and present so we can figure out what choices we’ll make when there isn’t one correct answer. YOUR LIFE IS YOURS. Do what YOU love and love what you do, and if you’re like me and have zero clue what you love to do and want to do for the rest of your eternity: keep an open mind and know that none of us have it figured out. There’s no guide on how to live a perfect life because perfect doesn’t exist. Perfect is the enemy of great and if you’re searching for a perfect life, you very well might never find it. All you can do is work your ass off, love others with all your heart and keep adjusting to life’s struggles.

P.S. the real question is: If there were no obstacles, what would you do? Do you have an idea in your head? Okay good… now go do it.


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