mural "You are exactly where you need to be"

Exactly Where You Belong

A few weeks ago as I was walking across my university’s campus to go to my Tuesday yoga class, I noticed these words written on the sidewalk in chalk: You are right where you belong.

"you are right where you belong" in sidewalk chalk

I knew that these words had been written for the incoming freshman to make them feel more welcome, but I honestly felt like they were written for me too.

I’d been struggling over the past few months with feeling like I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place, or if I was going down the right path. I’d been laser-focused on accomplishing certain goals, and I had been failing at achieving them. For over two years now, I’ve thought I was going to have another baby – but infertility struggles have prevented that so far. Failure. At the beginning of 2022, I had a specific career path in mind, and even interviewed for a job I felt like I would be perfect for, but ended up not being chosen for it. Failure.

If you follow my blog, you know that what ended up happening with my job was that I worked with my boss to find a better fit at my current place of employment, and it’s been a really great change for me. And if I hadn’t been rejected by the other place I interviewed at, I would have never even considered moving to my current department. (I’m still in Library-land, now working in the Special Collections and Archives department.)

The unexpected job change still kind of rattled me though. (In a good way.) I had been so sure that I was going to be working at a different place, or possibly having another baby, that I never allowed myself to consider other possibilities. I had been stuck in a season of waiting, instead of a season of truly living. And I needed to be rattled in order to me to make me realize that.

It’s hard to give up on dreams – maybe “give up” is too strong of a phrase. It can be hard to simply have your dreams change. It sort of feels like a shift in identity. But I’m trying to lean in to the place where I’m at, and make the most of it.

As I go about each day, I’m trying to believe that I’m exactly where I need to be – that the people I interact with and the places I go are purposeful and important. That they are integral parts of my journey, and that someday I’ll look back and be able to see that so much more clearly.

As I’ve been mulling around this idea of being right where I belong, I went downtown for coffee one evening, and came upon this beautiful mural:

mural "You are exactly where you need to be"

I couldn’t believe it – two times in about the course of week, I was being given a very specific message. I had gone downtown so many times, but I had never seen this mural before. It felt like it materialized just for me. (I’m sure it didn’t, but honestly I really had never noticed it before.)

I think finding contentment and joy in the situations we’re in is a discipline. It’s so easy to be anxious instead, to worry that we’re supposed to be doing something different with our lives – living in a different town, pursuing a different career, etc. I’ve felt so much peace since seeing these visual reminders – I’ve really been believing that there is a reason why I am where I am – in Abilene, at my job, in my community…

Maybe the place you’re in is not where you imagined you’d be by now. Maybe you’ve had to give up on certain dreams, or make new ones. What if where you are right now is exactly where you need to be? What if you truly believed that, and lived like it was true? What would change in your life? What would stay the same?

I’m excited (and a little nervous) to see where life takes me in the upcoming months. I feel like life’s going to continue to surprise me.

Thanks for reading ❤

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