The career bus stop

Bus

On Friday night I had dinner with Morgan and covered our conversation with more exclamation points in an hour than most people use in a year. There are many places in life right now for which there are no words, so I’ve taken to filling those places with exclamation points. I wouldn’t question a person who decided it wise to offer me a sedative. It probably seems like I need one.

Which only made it more impactful when we recalled that less than a year ago I sat in Morgan’s passenger seat after going out for breakfast on a rainy, cold fall morning and cried quiet tears as she prayed over the next season in my life: a second tour of duty with admissions post-face plant of faith. I wasn’t sad because life was terrible or because I didn’t want to start fall travel; I just couldn’t figure out who hit the rewind button that landed me four years in the past – back in admissions, back in the land of no plan.

That morning, and most mornings since college graduation, I felt like I was at the career bus stop. But it seemed as though I was at the wrong stop, or had missed the bus, or was waiting for a bus that was never going to come. I knew I didn’t want to be on the bus most people got on after college – the one that takes you to a full-time job that you feel indifferent about at best and agonize over at worst. But I was starting to doubt that my own variety of career bus existed. I began to think of my career in terms of hitchhiking; maybe instead of taking a bus I’d pick up rides here and there along the way and eventually get somewhere worth going. 

But a bus finally arrived at my stop, and I was surprised to find it looked like a full-time job in an office setting. When I got on, I didn’t know it was the bus I had been waiting for. I just knew I needed to get on a bus or sleep outside at the bus stop for the rest of the winter. So I got on and hoped for the best.

“The best” is sincerely what I’ve received. That, plus a thousand times more.

(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Here’s what I wish someone had told me: if you are waiting at the career bus stop, keep waiting. Don’t hop on the bus that everyone else is on just so you’ll be in good company, and don’t get on some random bus just to be on a bus because it’s hard to be That Person Standing Alone At The Bus Stop For…Years. Wait for the bus that fits best and then hope for the best.

And while you’re waiting? Don’t worry. I know that’s ridiculous advice – advice that I certainly didn’t take while I was waiting – but I wish I had. Because I had a shockingly small role in the orchestration of this current plan. There were things that I did that were helpful – working like a woman possessed, never settling for job opportunities that were there but not right, becoming overwhelmingly invested in the things that I felt made to do – but in general, I had about 0% of the 100% sovereignty that God put into this plan. He led me here; all I did was follow.

And in between waiting and not worrying? Understand that you don’t know what you don’t know. Be willing to be flexible with what you think you want or need. I never could have imagined a context in which I would be so passionate about my full-time job that I’d give up football and freelance and freedom to be all-in on it, but that is exactly what happened. I learned that God is a giver of good gifts to those who are willing to let go of what they’ve been holding onto too tightly in order to receive something better with open hands.

If you are at the bus stop and need to hear all of those things on repeat, allow me:

Keep waiting. Stop worrying. Work harder than you’ve ever worked before. Never settle. Invest everything. Seek the Lord more than you seek The Job. Be flexible. Surround yourself with people who will hand you tissues while you cry in the front seat of their car when life doesn’t make sense and who will join you in exclamation-laden glee when life becomes all the things they knew it could become for you. Listen to this song a thousand times, and then listen to it a thousand times more. Make the most of where you are right now.

But mostly, keep waiting. Your bus is coming.



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