6 years ago this month, I was driving my trice-recycled ‘94 teal Chevy Malibu with the windows rolled down from my high school to the Senior Picnic–just days before graduation. “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer came through the radio waves and it just seemed right. I was full of optimism and excitement for a fresh chapter. And what better way to kick off the next adventure than a class-wide picnic with my 700 other classmates?
If I remember correctly, the picnic was lame and I didn’t know where to put myself, like the rest of my high school experience, because some things never change.
I was driving to my last day of work this morning, in my ‘10 Ford Focus that mercifully doesn’t spray water in my face every time it rains like the Malibu did so I’m clearly moving up in the world. Andy Grammer’s familiar tune came warbling through the FM again and I felt the echoes of that same optimism bubble up. And then a new Maroon 5 song came on with the same tune they were using 6 years ago. Some things really never do change.
But some things do. I’m more cautious now than I was back then. I’m not as willing to chase every idea but have learned to patiently wait for my dreams to surface. I’ve stopped caring about eating lunch at the cool table and although I’m slower to act on new ideas, I’m braver in carrying them out. During the last 6 years, I pushed to find the limits of how many things I was capable of doing simultaneously and now I’m content to find the few things in life that are worth pursuing deeply.
I’m thankful for nostalgic songs that inspire reflection–even if that includes some awkward high school memories–before starting this next adventure. Besides learning the Russian language and acquiring a fur hat, one of my biggest goals for our time abroad is to grow in wisdom, character, and flexibility. Hopefully by the next time I hear Andy Grammer on the radio in June, I can see those fruits in my life.
Until then, just gotta keep my head up.