My entire life I was encouraged to follow my heart. I was raised with a stubbornness, determination, and independence that was meant to prepare me for whatever journey it took me on. At a young age, I decided that I was going to change the world, or at least my part of it. By the time I hit high school, I had a sense of wanderlust and dreams that felt too big for my little town. And when it was time came to go- I went.
For the rest of my life I won’t forget the day my dad left me at college. You see, I had been waiting for college since I was twelve. I had found my home at the University of Oklahoma long before my time to come and had spent years watching and waiting. Yet, when the time came for my dad to leave, all the moments of wishing it would come sooner faded away and I wanted just a few more minutes the other direction. Before he left he told me, “This is what we’ve been working for B.” I knew that was true, but I hadn’t expected it to break my heart.
And my heart continues to break. There are mornings where the broken pieces of my heart are almost too heavy to carry out of bed. There are evenings when I call my grandparents, just for a friendly hello and end up hanging up the phone to cry. Moments while facetiming my siblings that I physically hurt because I want to be with them. These moments are homesickness, but they are also so much more. These moments keep happening to the point where I started thinking, perhaps I wasn’t ready.
Then I found something that really encouraged me:
It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you are ready. I have this feeling that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. -Hugh Laurie
Something else added to that was a poem I came across which you can read here. In the poem it talks about “Of course it hurts when buds are breaking…hurts for that which grows.”
Growing pains are a thing. I don’t remember them personally, but I did have friends and later heard stories of people who experienced them. Perhaps, the heart hurting in my case is much the same. The pain isn’t my heart breaking, though it very much feels like it, but my heart growing. My heart is stretching to love more and contain more.
I am falling in love with people and places I never imagined. I am learning that love knows no distance, as my heart is also very much belonging 2 hours from wherever it is at any one time. I am learning to love ideas and passions. I am falling for dreams and plans that have not become reality yet. I am being challenged to love deeper and more than I have ever been before- That’s the point of college isn’t it?
I know. I know. I’m drowning you in cliches. Some of you are rolling your eyes. You’re saying, “BRandy, you’re in college because you want to be a doctor. I don’t want you trying to care for my babies if you don’t know what you’re doing.” I get that, but I think it is so much bigger than that.
My heart is being broken. It is hurting very much, but just as a doctor would tell a worried mother about growing pains, this is normal. I do hope though, that while following my heart, this pain never passes. I don’t want my heart to stop growing.
So let it be known, you’ve been warned. Following your heart will break it. It will be very hard. It will be painful.
It will remake your heart so much larger, and more beautiful. It will be worth it.
So my advice?
Follow it, boldly.