thoughts on: firsts, lasts, and progress.

with the start of senior year, or any year for that matter, at a trot, the essence of "lasts" is in air. from the realization that this is my last year at home (and the realization that it may be more upsetting to me than even my mom) to even mundane "lasts"-- last first day of school, last school functions, last time to have to ask to use the restroom (can i get a hallelujah on that one?!)-- i am reminded that things are beginning to come to a close.

yet, amidst all the "lasts" of this season in life, surprisingly there have been many "firsts". from first dates to first friendships to the first time finishing a sandwich with mayonnaise on it (update: still gross. i was very hungry.)-- it is these "firsts" that make the "lasts" so sweet yet so wistful. because i am a planner at heart, every time i begin a new phase in life, my mind is automatically focused on what the end contains. is it worth it? will it work out? what is the "right" response or step-by-step plan? AND, where is the dang "_____  For Dummies" book on this? my list of thoughts are endless. (note to self: put "stop making lists" on today's to do list.) 

in a season that is so vital and exciting (yet equally scary as ever), i am reminded that life is so special, so fleeting, but most of all, life is so beautiful. it is easy to get caught up in "the big plan". it is easy to assume that with every decision you make, you have to have it "all figured out". it is easy to think that "i know/do not know what i am doing". i put quotation marks around phrases such as these, because honestly, they make me laugh (or at least do that pretentious humph that we all do when someone says they watch The Bachelor, but we secretly do too). how unrealistic to think that every choice we make, despite our better judgement, is the best choice? heck, i still internally debate the pros and cons of using a pencil or pen on a regular basis. how unrealistic to think that every 18-year-old can truly know what he or she should be doing with their life? most days, i still want to be the next Hannah Montana (wait, i take that back. sorry, Miley.). most importantly, how unrealistic to think that we could do it alone? because, i know i sure can't. 

^^^(the college question is definitely directed towards every adult who asks a senior in high school one or more of these questions: what school are you going to? have you applied yet? what is your major? are you sure you want to go there? etc., etc. no, i am not bitter. just confused as to why it is any of your business, lady-i-ran-into-at-the-store-who-hasn't-seen-me-in-3-years. okay, maybe i am bitter.) ^^^

after becoming content with the fact that a) i do not have it all figured out and b) that is perfectly okay, i have learned the beauty in being a person in progress. someone who is humble enough to answer the tough questions with honesty-- even when the answer may be i just don't know. to be the friend who meets someone where they are in life, not pretending to be the psychologist we all want to be or acknowledging that we have been there, done that. yet, most of all, to be the one human on this planet not focused on solely ourselves. because, when we take just one step back outside the realm of our minute problems, we are met with an even bigger question: what is our goal at the end of the day? and does what we choose to do in the small or large decisions reflect and respect that standard?

questions such as these are tough. they just are. it takes a bowl of ice cream and too many late nights to wrap my mind around them, honestly. though tough, just as important. with decisions and "firsts" that are more crucial than deciding what is for dinner (but if you are curious, pancakes. i'm having pancakes.), we must train ourselves to look away from our ideal five-year plan and instead be fully present. "forever" is not created over night; if we have our heart so set on how to perfect our future, we miss what truly establishes our forthcoming: now. it is the new, intimidating "now" that cultivates long-lasting friendships and relationships, the "now" that establishes our priorities, and the "now" that sets the foundation for our mindset on each circumstance that life throws at us.

because sometimes beginning a new relationship, or filling out college applications, or starting a new job or [fill in the blank here] can be scary when you do not know the outcome. yet, despite the confusion and uncertainty at times, let us stop thinking of the "what ifs" in life. instead, let's just start. progression has to begin somewhere, right? it does not mean we will never make a mistake. it does not mean it will work out according to our own plan. it does not mean that you will have all the answers. but, it does mean that you are actively here, and you are intentionally trying.

Charles Eames said it best-- "art resides in the quality of doing, process is not magic."
and, in my opinion, doing life (with love, grace & growth) is an art form in and of itself.

yours truly,


  1. What great encouragement for this season of life! love you :)

  2. I love this post so much!!! "Firsts" seriously freak me out. Like, a lot. I get way too worked up over things like that, and I love what you said- I need to JUST START!

  3. Cateeeee, this is so good! Each post you write gets better and better. & each and every one of them is so relevant to me, and I'm sure, a billion other people. Keep up the good work love!


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