I should know by now that things don't always (or, rather, hardly ever) go according to my personal plans. God has His own plans for me, and He has been teaching me this past year that I need to stop attempting to control everything.
I didn't mention it much, but last year I went away to a Christian college about nine hours away from my home. It was an amazing school, I was in a wonderful one-year program called Israel and Archaeology. Once the year was over, my plan was to stay there and get my bachelor's in accounting and then maybe even my master's. I applied for and received a position as an RA, so I would have a job. I was so happy to have the next four-five years of my life planned out.
But then. (How many things turn on those few words?). In between semesters, I started having doubts about where I was headed. As amazing as the school was, it was expensive, as most colleges tend to be. I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to study. I considered transferring to my sister's Bible college, about an hour and a half away from where I was currently attending school, but as a transfer I wouldn't get the scholarships I needed. So that backup plan was gone.
After many tearful video and phone calls with my parents, I made a decision that would have seemed like a failure to the high school Emily. I decided to move back home and attend community college studying business. Back in high school, it seemed like the "smart students" went away for school while the people who weren't really going anywhere went to school locally. But I needed to realize that what other people, especially mostly disinterested ones, think about my choices does not matter.
I'm happy with my choice. I haven't had to pay anything for school or textbooks this fall without taking out any loans. I'm saving money and able to work more hours and save more. I still don't have any long-range plans, but at least I'm not taking out thousands of dollars in loans with no plans.
I'm back with my family, my friends, and my church. Do I miss the friendships I made this past year? Yes. Do I miss being that far away from my family? No. Do I regret my decision? No, not at all. Missing something doesn't mean you shouldn't have made the choice or that you made the "wrong" choice.
This isn't what I had planned, but it's where I am.