Destiny and the plans that didn’t quite workout

by Anna Warner

Destiny and the plans that didn’t quite workout

Destiny: the plans your mind longs for with hope and ambition. The pathway you expect to call your name. Plans… I sigh, acknowledging that they morph into a journey you were not expecting to go on. An engineer becomes a writer, a lawyer becomes a counselor, and a businessman becomes a social worker. No one enjoys those moments when life spits on his or her agenda and drags them onto another road of ambiguity. I never thought I would be here in this office typing a column in Greensboro because (like most humans) I had sculpted my destiny to be slightly different.

I’m 19 years old. Brown hair. Green eyes. Hard-headed. Dream-oriented. You know, the typical adolescent girl fighting tirelessly to get where she longs to be. My mom is a writer and my dad is an entrepreneur. I was born and raised in Winston-Salem and have always had a dream of helping people through words and service.

I had it all figured out, my whole life and how I was going to get there. After all, 19-year-olds have it all figured out, right? My dream was to go where my parents had gone: Chapel Hill. I had sketched out my destiny on a scratch sheet of paper and felt a stinging feeling of determination until that day when I received a letter in the mail from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: “Denied.” That word seemed so emotionless, as if I was a mere robot forced to swallow information without a single knot forming in my gut.

My high school was extremely academically competitive — poet laureate here, future politician there. I was conditioned to believe that I was just intellectually average. I will never forget the day when my counselor told me, “I don’t care if everyone in your family went to Chapel Hill; it was foolish for you to think you could get in.”

Okay, so my plan needed some tweaking. I wiped away the tears and applied to Appalachian State, thinking maybe they saw the perpetual flame that sparked and crackled inside of my mind until that frosty January morning when I received yet another letter: “Denied.” At this point, it was just.