The Domino Effect: Finding Purpose in Life's Surprises
During this last week, though, I've been thinking more about dominoes...but in the form of the Domino Effect. Basically, the Domino Effect is the chain reaction produced when one event triggers other events. What domino effect have I been thinking about? The surprises in life - both good, bad and utterly heartbreaking - that have led to me starting grad school in five short months.
In a way, I suppose my story starts over five years ago on a plane. I wasn't there, but my grandma was, flying from Houston, Texas to visit us in sunny Poway, California. She talked to a woman across the aisle about a small, Christian college called Point Loma Nazarene University. A few weeks later, we drove up to visit - we figured, "Why not?" I loved the school's size and views, received an academic scholarship and, suddenly, I was a PLNU student.
But my story also starts in a doctor's office, in May of 2013. I'd been losing weight, battling constant acid reflux and feeling more tired than usual - but I never expected celiac disease to enter the picture. When I heard the news from my doctor, I didn't even know how to spell "gluten." Yet, my mom helped me survive the first grocery trip where we had to read ingredient labels. Yet, my dad reminded me I was strong and beautiful even as I was hospitalized for celiac complications. Yet, I started a blog weeks after my diagnosis because I couldn't find many blogs about going to college with celiac disease was really like...and I've been writing here ever since.
|Gluten free for the win!|
The rest of that semester - having four classes with my ex - was one of the hardest. Yet, looking back, it was also the start of so many beautiful opportunities.
The same night he said it was over, I started a grad school spreadsheet. Suddenly, I was free of my ties to California...and I decided to apply to grad schools all over the U.S.
|Read all my writing for Entity Magazine here!|
A few weeks later, with too much time on my hands, I added my resume to an internships website. A few days later, I was contacted by Entity Magazine - would I be interested in helping launch a magazine all about empowering women? I wasn't looking for a summer internship, but I said yes. And I said yes again when I received the chance to serve as Entity's Senior Editor after I graduated college.
Months after the breakup, I even met someone else. I wasn't looking - all I wanted to do was graduate from PLNU and move onto the next adventure - but we found each other anyway. I learned more about what I really needed from a partner and what I wasn't getting from my first relationship. I discovered that there really are other fish in the sea, and that going with the flow can help you find them. And while distance means we've agreed to become just friends, I know the good memories and lessons from this relationship will stick with me.
|The sneaky "take a photo while they take a photo" shot...|
Would I have gotten into Minnesota State University, Mankato without the work experience of Entity? The literary passion and writing portfolio fostered by my teachers at PLNU? The support of my college friends and family? The heartbreak-fueled freedom to just chase my dreams, wherever grad school might take me? I honestly can't say.
I can say, though, that college, celiac disease, relationships, my first full-time job and the grad school application process has forced me to grow in so many more ways than I ever imagined. I've been pushed - sometimes to the breaking point - but I've also been remolded into a stronger, more passionate, confident version of myself.
|Outside our yoga studio last weekend...|
*Also found at Flaunt it Friday, Share Fest, Inspiration Monday, What'd You Do This Weekend*
What is one domino in your life that fell and triggered some amazing opportunities? Tell me your stories!