For much of my life, I've tried to live up to what I think other people want from me. I've tried to please them, make them love me more, like me more, want me more, and need me more.
And I mean everyone – my biological father, teachers, friends, boyfriends, crushes, my dad, my boss ... the list goes on.
Much of my four years in DC have been focused on what was next for me as it related to my now ex-boyfriend. We were in love, we were best friends, and we were going to get married. It was as set as it could be, without a ring.
But when push came to shove on next steps, what we wanted for ourselves didn't quite line up the way that it should for a couple planning to spend their lives together -- and I took a big leap into a seemingly dark and deep unknown and ended the relationship.
Nearly eight months later, I've thought a lot about who I am and what is next for me. And the most magical and refreshing part of it is that I don't have to know right now, and that's okay.
For years I have planned out every step of my life, and coordinated how each person fits into it. But now, as much as I still love using them, I realize that lists and calendars and deadlines don't make a life, and they don't create happiness.
And now, I realize that one of the best things about living your life for you - and living it for the NOW -- is accepting that not everything will fit together the way you imagine it, and certainly not every person.
That relationship with my ex is only one of the turning points in the last year that has led me to focusing on a happier me.
Some friendships have gone by the wayside, and others have strengthened. Changes at work have forced me to consider what's important in a job, and my empty-nesting parents' new beginning across the country have pushed me to dial into my goals and dreams more than ever.
My next leap could be to move, or to stay. It could be to fall in love again this year, or maybe a few years from now. It could be to return to school, start a new job, or start my own business.
My next leap is unknown, uncertain, unplanned, and undetermined.
But I do know that my next leap will be exactly right for me.