I realized something recently: this is it.
And no, not in the Michael Jackson sense. And I’m not throwing my hands in the air in exasperation either. This is it – this is my life. I graduated college, scrambled to get a job, moved to Milwaukee, and then waited for everything to “start.” Waited for that magical moment when the rest of my life got underway.
It’s been just over 18 months, and I’m realizing now that life doesn’t just happen. It’s what I make of it. I treated college like a preface to “Joanna’s Life Story” when in reality, it was just a chapter leading up to where I am now. I see the life my parents have. Deep roots in their community – church, charitable organizations, school events, and their careers. It’s why home feels like home.
Eighteen months in Milwaukee and I’ve hardly set roots. The farthest I’ve committed to this city is getting rid of *most* of my moving boxes. I think I’ve confused settling in with settling. Establishing roots isn’t a compromise – I can still push forward, stretch myself, try new things, and most importantly continue to learn.
My life is what I make of it. Nobody else can be held responsible for my happiness. Everything from here on out is mine for the making – career, family, home, faith, and friendship. I’m taking what’s mine – my future – and deciding for myself where it goes. For now, it means taking the next step in my career and pursuing a teaching degree. It means supporting J and his work at GE. It means making a home for ourselves in Milwaukee. And I couldn’t be happier.