When I was growing up, I always felt like everyone else had their thing. Daphne was really good at running, Stephanie was a really good vocalist, Mallory was a really good artist. Everyone had that one thing that they loved that they were really good at, or they had their whole life planned out and knew exactly what they wanted to do when they grew up. I was not one of those people. I was just kind of okay at everything. I didn't know what I liked, let alone what I wanted to do some day or who I wanted to be. I was a hermit, living in a comfy little shell, peeping my head out to get a glimpse and then snapping it back in the second something seemed scary. I was comfortable. Things were easy.
My entire childhood everything stayed the same. All the same people, all the same places, nothing different- ever. I was shy, timid, and sheltered. (Legitimately zero culture. I didn't fly or see the ocean until I was 23. Yes, I'm serious.) College hit and I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was terrified at the thought of going to a state school where there would be tens of thousands of people. Things would have to be different. Things would have to be uncomfortable.
I settled for community college and then a small private school. I settled because I was scared.
I was two years in and the fact that I settled was painfully obvious. I was unhappier than I'd ever been, and I still didn't know what I was going to do. I felt like a complete failure. I was working full time to support myself and pay for tuition, taking 18 credit semesters, and sleeping two hours a night. I was exhausted and I felt like I was getting nowhere. I had the wrong perspective and a bad attitude, which my english professor so kindly kept me after class to lecture me about one day. I was angry, but he was right.
Attitude and perspective are everything. When I was younger, I just decided I wasn't good at anything, that I just couldn't have a thing. I carried that mentality all the way to my junior year in college where I was aimlessly reaching for goals that I didn't even have because I never believed I could reach any.
After I realized this, I started stepping outside of my comfort zone. I set goals with the intention of reaching them. With every step I took, my confidence grew. The steps were small, but they were successful. I wasn't scared of change anymore. In those two years of my life, I realized that it's not about where you come from or even where you're going but how you get there that matters. All of life is only how you look at it and how you look at life determines where you will go. People will live up or down to the expectations you have of them and those people include yourself.
Some of you might see this as a fail, but I dropped out of college after the fall semester that year. I moved to a big city where I knew approximately 0 people, and I pursued stepping out of my comfort zone. Those tiny first steps in college led to a bold confidence in myself which led me to pursuing things I couldn't have even dreamed of when I was younger.
I don't have all the answers or a how-to on knowing what you're supposed to do with your life, but I do know that the road to get here was not paved with rest stops and a (mostly) trusty GPS. Honestly, I'm still on the road and I'm still figuring it out every day. The journey to getting here is what has molded me into the person I am today, and what will continue to mold me as I travel it. Life isn't mapped out. It's messy. Theres no right or wrong way to do it.
Don't put yourself in boxes. We are not confined to being defined by what we are afraid of or what we fail to do.
My name is Samantha Coyle. I live in a big city and I love it. I'm not scared of new things and easy isn't what I aim for. My things are giving, encouragement, relationships, Jesus, modeling, photography, writing, traveling, food, shopping, laughter, social media marketing, brand curation, eating dessert first, picking really bad Netflix movies, burning everything I bake- the list could go on.
Try new things. Take yourself out of your comfort zone. Whatever it may be, I encourage you to keep taking small steps. I promise you they'll lead to big ones.