I was sitting next to Samuel in a movie theater watching Frozen II, and I was crying. I was crying hard.
(No movie spoilers ahead, promise). I was crying because of Anna’s song called The Next Right Thing. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it for almost two weeks.
I first caught the phrase earlier in the movie, when the trolls say to Anna and Elsa:
When one cannot see the future, one must do the next right thing.
I remember glancing over at Samuel that first time, eyes already welling. The phrase floated down from the speakers and implanted in my heart. What I didn’t know was it was going to show up much, much bigger later in the movie.
Anna’s song is about grief, about the unknown that lies ahead, about taking one step when taking two seems daunting. Feeling overwhelmed, fearful, sad, and unable are universal emotions, and they are stronger than normal during certain points of life.
My point in life is caught between grief and a fear of the unknown. I grieve for family in heaven, for broken hearts, for lost people, for stages of life I can’t go back to. That grief can be smothering. It can be a hinderance. It can completely debilitate.
I search for a pause button because of my fear of the unknown future. I am not ready to grow up. This is crushing, because I have to. I am 22 years old, currently on the search for a job after I graduate college. I will have to tell everything I have come to love the last four years goodbye in less than six months.
I am not ready. I am heartbroken.
I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath
This next step
This next choice is one that I can make.
My mom often tells me to take it one day at a time. I sometimes have to break it down to one hour, one minute at a time when a day is too much. In unknown days like these, I understand how Anna feels when she belts her song.
It may overwhelm me, but I can make the choice to do the next right thing. The next baby step that will one day align on the path of my life.
So I will.
I will speak. I will hug. I will smile at strangers. I will let a tear fall and another one, too. I will press play on a favorite song. I will laugh. I will dance in a parking lot. I will snuggle just a little further under the covers. I will call my mom. I will pray.
So I’ll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing