A note from the girl who doesn't belong, but keeps showing up...

I've wanted to belong in so many different places.

I've joined sports I didn't love, I joined a sorority, and I've joined organizations I wanted to fit into so bad but just couldn't.

Time after time, I feel like I am living the life of an imposter. I know that I'm not meant to be in these situations, but I continuously have felt the pressure to fit in and be someone I'm not because I've felt that these places are the key to my happiness.

I lied to myself throughout college. I declared a major in political science, and I got a degree in political science because I kept telling myself that I need to be a lawyer and I need to be in politics. I HATED politics. Sure, there was a second I may have liked them and thought it was a good idea. But for the most part, I was constantly sitting in class scrolling through whatever website I could find to shop from. My political viewpoints changed so drastically and so suddenly I was left wondering who the hell I was and why I ever decided this was a good major in the first place. I can remember walking up the steep, old stairs of Elizabeth every day wishing I was anywhere but on my college campus. Anything to distract me from the torture of listening to old men ramble on about government. I am pretty sure there were a few classes I showed up for the syllabus, the mid-term, the final and then not a single class more. I wasted my parents money on a degree that was almost useless. (More about that another time)

This wasn't the only lie, though. I was convinced that joining a sorority was the key to my happiness. I signed up for rush, I went through recruitment, and I ran home to a sorority that wasn't the right fit for me. Once again, I found myself deep in a tangle of lying to myself. I pushed through it for two semesters because I thought "maybe I just need time to adjust". I wasted my time and the sororities time by even joining in the first place. I hated being told what I could and couldn't do, I hated having mandatory chapters, and I just hated showing up to everything.

Then, I joined Young Life. I honestly showed up to the first meeting thinking it was just a normal club, but then they displayed "leader training" on the powerpoint and I was like "oh shit, what did I just get myself into?"

This story is a little different than the rest. Because I found purpose here. Unfortunately, my purpose wasn't Young Life either. Don't get me wrong - I am a Christian and I believe that this is a fantastic organization that leads young people in the direction of Christ. But it's also a lot of "cants". You sign a contract when you become a leader saying you'll be all of these "things". But I fell short on almost all of those. I lived with my boyfriend out of marriage, I definitely drank under age, I curse too damn much but like I am working on it. I made some amazing, perfect friends in middle school (who are now like 16 and how the HELL did that happen?!) that I sometimes questioned if I was their leader of if they were mine. Because of these kids, I grew SO close in my relationship with Christ and I never felt like an imposter with them. I would do anything to go back and be a leader to them one more time. I miss my Wednesday club days where I would just get to hang out them, and then I miss camp. I miss showing up to Southwind with a group of screaming middle schoolers and I miss cabin time, I miss learning about Jesus through them, and I miss camp food.

I wish I could've been a perfect leader who really found her purpose in this organization. It grew me in a lot of ways - but it also made me realize I probably wasn't someone who should be leading kids to Christ when I really needed a leader myself.

College was such a difficult time in my life and reflecting back on it now, there is SO much I would do differently. There are so many different things I would've joined, I would've tried, etc. But all of those choices lead to me a point in my life where I've realized that imposter syndrome and my will to keep showing up molded me into a strong women who doesn't need to check all the boxes to fit into somewhere. Finding a purpose is so much more than what meets the surface. Everyone has a different idea of success, purpose, etc. But if you keep showing up and trying, one day you'll realize that you are right where you need to be.