As I sat down to write this blog, on the eve of my 26th birthday, the cliché quote, “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it” popped into my head. This seems to be a very fitting phrase for this time in my life, as I am sure most young adults can understand. I feel myself reading every BuzzFeed or HuffPost article that has a title involving young adults, the “quarter-life crisis” and the nostalgia of the 90s (yes, the 90s were the best decade!). I had to stop and ask myself why I read every “25 things to do before you turn 25” article, because at the end of the day I am here to do God’s will.
Over the several years I have transitioned out of college straight into a Master’s program while holding anywhere between 3-4 jobs just to make ends meet. I also am heavily involved in anything Catholic, love to spend lots of time with my family and friends and somewhere in there, I fit in sleep. I feel as though I hear the same story from most people my age. We are all busy all the time and it is hard to find room in our schedules to add anything else. Most days, I think of all I have to accomplish and just get exhausted thinking about it. I am constantly asking myself if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I’m constantly trying to “figure out the rest of my life.”
When I think about how I reached this point in my life, I can’t help but think back to my days in Catholic School. As each busy day passes, I always remember to say a prayer at the beginning and end of each day as well as before every meal. I remember to go to prayer first in times of need. I remember being able to say my prayers at school and go to mass with my classmates. I wish I would have appreciated what I had at the time.
I have been in Catholic Schools my whole life. From 1st grade to 12th grade, I attended Catholic school. I wore my plaid skirt and saddle oxfords every day. I was taught by some of toughest and kindest teachers you will ever meet. I had to kneel to make sure my skirt touched the ground. I had to polish my saddle shoes. I went to mass at school. I experienced Catholic school traditions that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I am beyond grateful for my education in the Catholic schools. My teachers pushed me, challenged me, gave me more homework than I ever thought was possible and they cared for me each step of the way.
Catholic school helped create who I am today. It helped me realize my talent for leadership and service. It showed me how to handle stress during demanding situations (shout out to IC spirit week!). Most importantly, it taught me to never give up and to always do more than I think I am capable of doing. Through all of these things, God was there each step of the way. He was guiding my teachers, classmates and helping me to discover my talents. God was there.
While I think those articles with titles such as, “Things to do before you’re 30” can be fun to read, they also make you feel as though you’ve reached your peak and can no longer share with the world. God, my Catholic education, my mother and other influences in my life have helped me see that some talents will not be discovered before a certain age or time. Talents are revealed at different times in our life. These can be times that we need this talent or times when we need to share this talent with another person in greater need. In prayer, ask God to help you discover your talents so that you can share with the world. My Catholic education taught me that your light shines brightest when you are sharing it with others. It is important to understand that where you came from influences who you are, but does not dictate how you will contribute to the world. I could just brush off my 12 years of Catholic education or I could use what I gained to do God’s will in this world. I think that the whole “figuring out” thing is really God’s business. God will bring you to it, and He will bring you through it. He will make sure you have what you need when you need it, not a moment sooner or later.
Being a young adult in today’s society is not easy. I feel pushed and pulled in all directions. When I feel distraught, I think of the firm foundation laid for me by my mother, my Catholic education and most importantly, God. I know that when I feel unsteady, my feet are firmly planted where God wants them.
-Maggie O’Neill is one of our regular bloggers. She’s a graduate of Holy Rosary School and Immaculate Conception Cathedral High School.