Learning To Accept Life’s Curveballs

📷: Brandon Young

Five years ago, I never thought I’d be here. I never thought I’d be living by myself across the country, that I’d have published a poetry collection and be working on releasing a Christian book, that I’d be in a relationship with someone living 2,500 miles away, or that I’d be this happy. I never imagined that I’d lose one of my best friends, that my heart would be so broken, that I’d watch one of my biggest role models head to heaven, that I’d be so frustrated with myself at times.

I never imagined my little world would be as messy, as confusing, as up-and-down, as beautiful as it is right now.

But even though life’s switched, moved, shifted, changed, and spun me in circles, even though everything that’s happened has been completely out of my plan—I wouldn’t change a single thing.

When I was in high school, I thought I’d marry my high school sweetheart. God had other ideas. Now I’ve watched our relationship become a friendship, one of the most valued ones in my life, to this day. When I was in college, I thought I wanted to settle down. Little did I know one of the most painful heartbreaks, and an unexpected job opportunity would push me into becoming the absolute best version of myself in a few years’ time.

I had so many plans. I wanted life to look a certain way, I wanted to be with certain people, wanted to chase certain dreams. I thought I had it all figured out: the goals, the future, the way things would look down the road.

But life threw me curveballs. And I had to learn to change my approach, my stance, my position, and go to bat again.

And I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful for the way certain things have fallen apart to teach me how to push forward, even when others doubted I could. I’m thankful for the jobs I’ve worked hard for, even if and when that meant saying ‘no’ to other opportunities I wanted at the time. I’m thankful for the times I was let down, bruised, or shattered by people I loved, by change, by loss—because each of these painful moments have shaped my character, my resilience, my strength.

Life hasn’t gone the way I planned, but honestly, this is the biggest blessing of all.

Because sometimes unanswered prayers lead to better opportunities. Sometimes closed doors force you to turn around and see the open ones. Sometimes you have to strike out before you hit the damn ball.

And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s not about the home runs, the grand slams, even the simple contact of ball and bat—it’s about getting up there, readying yourself, and looking for the next pitch.