Do you ever sit back and wonder if younger you would be proud of the you that you’ve become? I do and I think about it often. Ten years ago I couldn’t have predicted that I’d be where I am today. I was just starting my junior semester at the University of Florida. The plan was to graduate as a Gator and get the heck out of the Sunshine State. Maybe jet off to a city like New York, Chicago, or just somewhere that would give me ACTUAL seasons.
After two semesters in Gainesville my plan was proven very wrong. I soon found myself prematurely leaving UF, back in my hometown, fresh out of a breakup, attending St. Petersburg College, and wondering what the heck I was going to do with the rest of my life.
It was a low point for me because it was the first time that I had truly failed at something I had set my mind to.
What I couldn’t see when I left UF was the positive impact it would have on the next decade of my life. It led me to moving back to my hometown of Clearwater and enrolling in an internship with the city’s events department. That same internship was the very reason that I met a certain Benjamin Brubaker – and I think we all know how that love story played out.
Leaving the internship launched me into my first “big girl job” at a consulting firm in Clearwater. It was a humble start as the office meal runner and personal assistant to the president of the company. It’s now seven years later, and I’m still working at that same firm. My experience there has taught me how to operate the business side of my blog.
Had I not come home from UF, the last ten years of my life would have been written a completely different way. What I thought was life throwing me a spiteful curve ball was exactly what I needed to get me here today ten years later. I married a man that supports me and loves me unconditionally. We’re a family of three with our pup, Nash (the Pomeranian I’ve always dreamt of having). I took the time to fall in love with the very city that I was so desperate to leave. If ya ask me, I hit that curve ball straight out of the park. Grand slam, baby.
If I could tell my younger self one thing it’s this: setbacks will happen. In ten years, it’s almost inevitable. What matters is how you handle those setbacks, because they could be blessings in disguise. I know 18 year old Kahla would roll her eyes, but if she knew how her life was going to turn out at 28 – I know she’d be proud.
Here’s to you, 2020. May this next year and decade shape up in unexpected and fruitful ways. In ways that I’ll plan for, and ways that I won’t. I’m along for the ride because I’m certain I’ll get to where I’m meant to be.