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What Do I Do With My Life? Reagan Fillinger

with Reagan Fillinger | January 12, 2024
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Don't know what to do with your life? Figuring out the next path can be draining. Reagan Fillinger gets it—and pitches ideas for figuring out your future.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Shelby Abbott

    Shelby Abbott is an author, campus minister, and conference speaker on staff with the ministry of Cru. His passion for university students has led him to speak at college campuses all over the United States. Abbott is the author of Jacked and I Am a Tool (To Help with Your Dating Life), Pressure Points: A Guide to Navigating Student Stress and DoubtLess: Because Faith is Hard. He and his wife, Rachael, have two daughters and live in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Don’t know what to do with your life? Reagan Fillinger gets it—and pitches ideas for figuring out your future.

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What Do I Do With My Life? Reagan Fillinger

With Reagan Fillinger
January 12, 2024
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Season 2, Episode 71: What Do I Do With My Life?

Guest: Reagan Fillinger
Air Date: January 12, 2024

Shelby: What's something that bothers you about college culture?

Reagan: I feel like, because in my old school, because it was like tiny, and so it was split like athletes, non athletes.

Shelby: Oh really?

Reagan: And I swam, and so what bothered me was like, you couldn't like mix.

Shelby: Really?

Reagan: Yes, like in the cafeteria, like you couldn't sit. You had to sit with your team and we called, them like NARPs, Non Athletic Regular People.

Shelby: Oh my gosh. That's so mean. Did they know that you were calling them NARPs? They did know? Oh my gosh.

Reagan: To their faces. And I was like, I literally said, like, I was friends with people who weren't athletes, but I like said to them, I was like, I don't get why you go to this school if you're not an athlete. And they were like, what do you mean? I was like, I wouldn't come here if it wasn't on scholarship. [Laughter]

Shelby: So you were like mean and condescending to people.

Reagan: I know.

Shelby: You’ve grown allot in the last four years. Right?

Shelby: Somewhat anxious, always authentic. This is Real Life Loading...

I'm Shelby Abbott and I'm here with Reagan Fillinger, a student at George Mason University in Northern Virginia. So Reagan, your time in college has kind of been all over the place and filled with really a lot of changes. I wanted to talk with you today about some of the stuff you've learned over the past few years and really want to hear how God basically like drew you back to Him during some really hard times.

The school you were just talking about, that was a small Christian university in Tennessee, but you don't go there anymore. Tell me how you got to where you're at now.

Reagan: So, I stopped swimming after my first two years of college, because I was burnt out. I tore my UCL in my elbow, like my freshman year. So I was out like half the season and I was like, this is too much now. I was studying education. I didn't like that. I was like, “I don't want to be a teacher anymore,” and I was six and a half hours from home. I ended up leaving and just taking a semester off. So, I applied to GMU, which is my last choice.

Shelby: It’s where you’re at right now.

Reagan: Virginia Tech, UVA, and then I thought about JMU, but then I didn't apply. But I was just talking with my younger sister because she ended up like going to UVA. I was walking around with her and it was their first football game of the season last year. So, we're walking and she lives near all the frats and we're like walking and I was like, everyone looks like a clone. They all look the same.

Shelby: Yes.

Reagan: She was like, yes, I don't think you would like it here. She was like, I think it's really good that you didn't end up here because they rejected me.

Shelby: Yes. Well, UVA is a little snooty that way. I went to Virginia Tech.

Reagan: They rejected me too.

Shelby: Did they really?

Reagan: Yes, but it was for a valid reason. I found out after. Because I paid like the application fee, submitted my application. I decided I wanted to do their Fish Conservation Program. I went from Education to Fish Conservation and the guy, he made it seem like I could take a biology class and a calculus class. He made it seem like I could take it as soon as I got to tech. But then I found out afterwards, you had to--

Shelby: Was it a prerequisite?

Reagan: Yes, you had to have it already, and so then I knew I was going to get rejected, but I still cried. I was really mad. I was really embarrassed, because we're a UVA family. I have five sisters and two of them went to UVA and now my younger sister is there. So they were like, You, I want to go to Tech, okay, like, that's fine.
We're not going to wear their ugly colors, but like, we support you. And I was like, okay, thanks. Although they rejected me and it was so embarrassing.

Shelby: Well, that that's exactly what someone from UVA would say. If you wear their ugly colors, maroon and orange, and they have what orange and blue. That's it. Yes, they're colors. So yes, it's not that far off

Reagan: Both have orange, which is not the most forgiving color to wear.

Shelby: That's true. What is your I mean, okay, so you were doing Education and then you were doing Fish Conservation maybe what are you doing now?

Reagan: I'm in Environmental Science with a concentration in Wildlife, because I felt like that gave me a more well rounded thing. So, I'm actually taking like Marine Mammal Conservation and then like some other stuff.

Shelby: Cool, yes. So like, what, manatees then?

Reagan: I’m actually right, doing a lab presentation on the fecal microbiota of captive manatees. [Laughter] Because I was like, what could I talk about that has microbes in it? And I was like, I guess like poop. [Laughter]

Shelby: Makes sense. It makes sense. Well, what do you want to do then when you graduate?

Reagan: I want to work with a campus ministry. [Laughter]

Shelby: I'm sorry for laughing because that's what I do, but it's like quite a left turn.

Reagan: So, yes. I was education, because I like my sister's a teacher. I thought I wanted to be a teacher. A lot of my other sisters, like one of them is a federal agent; one of them is a police officer, and the other one-she's a doctor and a major in the Army. So, they all have like very like intense things.

Shelby: Yes, seriously.

Reagan: And I was like, I don't really want to do anything with like a weapon. I was like, maybe I'll be like Issa and I'll be a teacher, because she really likes it. And I loved the field work aspect of it, because I worked at like a before and after school care program in high school and like the past couple of summers. I've been like with working with kids.

Then I got to my sophomore year and we started writing lesson plans, and I was like, “I absolutely hate this.” And like they were going on about dealing with like admin and like the parents. I was like, mm hmm. Nope. So. then I thought about social work. Then my advisor convinced me not to switch my major.
Then I was like, I don't know like what I want to do, and then it was like I don't want to swim the school's expensive. I'm six and a half hours away from home. I didn't really have like a great like Christian community there. That's probably like one of the most like spiritually like dark places I've been, and so I came home. I was like I have no clue what I want to do. I started - I actually like had been working at Wegmans the grocery store on breaks And so I worked there they needed people in seafood.

So I Transferred from the Front End to the Seafood Department. I started talking with one of my managers and we would talk about like the fishing stocks and he would talk about like ordering the different stuff. And I was like, this is really like interesting from like a conservation side of it.

Then I was like, maybe, maybe I want to do environmental science. Yes. So then I started that and then I transferred to Mason spring of 22. But then I didn't get plugged in with Cru® until fall of 2022. Fast forward to Spring Semester, I went to Panama City on a missions trip, because I was like sitting in large group when they announced it, and I was like, absolutely not. I am not doing that. That's terrifying.

Shelby: Sharing the gospel out on the beach?

Reagan: Yes. I was like, that's so scary. Like I've never intentionally like gone out and shared my faith with anyone before, before I went on that trip. So, I went and I really liked it, because it was like a conference plus going out. In the mornings we would learn how to use different like tools for evangelism. And the first day. Maggie—

Shelby: --Your Bible study leader.

Reagan: Yes. She talked about like anxiety and I was like sitting in the seat, shaking and trying not to cry. And I was like, Oh, I feel like I'm going to have like a panic attack, but I really don't want to have one in front of all these people. I also don't want to stand up and leave in front of all these people. So, I just like sat there, and then I actually went out, Maggie and I went out on the beach together with like one other girl.

Shelby: Did she initiate the conversations first to not, like, terrify you? Yes. Okay, good. How did it go then?

Reagan: It was so good. Like, I was really surprised, people were, like, super receptive to it. Because I was like, these people remind me, like the students that are on spring break. I was like, this reminds me of me, my sophomore year. And I'm like, would I want these people to come up and talk to me?

Shelby: Talk to me about Jesus - yes.

Reagan: I was like, I don't know that, at that time. I would have, but I was really surprised. We actually - there was another day that we went out and this one girl, we were like sitting, talking to her and her friend. They both just had like really hard, stuff from their past, like family trauma, all this.

We're talking and then this like random guy and girl come up and sit down. It turns out the girl was one of their friends, and the guy was like the boyfriend of this one girl that was like very invested in the conversation. So, I was like, “Oh man, like it's over,” because it was awkward. She like turns to him and she's like, can you guys stop?
Because the friend and the boyfriend were inside a conversation as we're trying to talk to them. And we got to the point where we started going through the Knowing God Personally book. But yes - and so she goes, can you guys stop? She's like, either go away and have your conversation, or be quiet because I want to hear what they have to say.

And I was like, yes, it was so crazy. Just so many experiences like that and at the end of every day, at the session, they would invite people to come up and share. And like the worship was insane. It was so good. And so then I got back and I was like, “I don't think I'm going to do anything with environmental science post grad.”

Shelby: Yes.

Reagan: Because my, all my family, we're all believers. My dad is like an Elder at our church, and he's actually in seminary right now. He's like hoping once he retires. He wants to be a pastor. So I come home and my mom's super involved, I come home and I'm like guys, I think I want to go into ministry, and they were like what the heck, this is crazy exciting. So they were like super excited.

Shelby: Yes, that's great. That's such a cool story.

The interesting thing as you were talking about all that stuff with Panama City. I don't know if you knew this, but I took over as the emcee for that conference in 2001 and I emceed that conference. [Laughter]

Okay, shut up. But yes, so I was emceeing that conference your entire life basically. That's really where I learned how to share my faith in many ways, because I went as a student. I'd been a Christian for like two months and I learned to share my faith there, and I felt the same as you. It's like you have got to be kidding me. We're going to go up and talk to strangers?

Reagan: I know, I was so scared.

Shelby: But these people are drunk! Like, what are you talking about? But it was like the most intense, crazy experience of my life at the time. And it totally transformed the way I thought about how God could use me. I was a baby, baby Christian and I was like, God could still use me to do whatever He wants to do. It was incredible.

I felt really honored to be able to be a part of that conference for so, so long. Doing that kind of stuff and seeing students like you come in terrified in their seats, being trained how to share the gospel, and then they go out and do it. And then they share up on stage afterward

Reagan: Yes.

Shelby: This is what happened today. This was the most incredible thing I've ever done and just watch life transformation, and now that's birthed a desire in you to do full time ministry. Isn't God cool that way?

Reagan: I know. I was shocked. I was like what the heck, and because I was talking to people in there, but what about your environmental science degree?

I remember like one of my mom's best friends at our church, because I was like I guess I'm just getting this degree like for nothing. And she was like, it's not for nothing. She was like, you never know, like how the Lord is going to use your degree. She was like, it's not in the way you expected. Because I had friends be like, what the heck? Like, why?

I was like, because environmental science was my plan for me and I was like clinging to that. Then going to Florida, I was like, okay, so this is actually where the Lord like is calling me. It's not to work with - because I wanted to move to Oregon, and I wanted to work at like a salmon fishery, like hatchery and help them with their migration - is like what I wanted to do.

Shelby: Wow. You look like someone who would be a native to Oregon. You look like someone who would like really thrive in Oregon. You've got that Oregon vibe.

I know that a lot of students have a tendency to really look at their college career and be really driven and set on what they want to do and the timing of everything, and they're afraid that if they change their mind about their major or what they want to do, that things are going to get messed up. They're going to throw a wrench in the process, and they're going to add two years to their school, and the timing is just going to be complete chaos.

But Reagan, you're really a testament to the fact that God can work in the chaos as much as He does in the order and structure of things like after high school. You're a person that went to one school for a couple years and then you switched to a different school, and you're in a major right now that even you're not even sure you want to use that in your career.

As you look back on your time in college so far, really what stands out to you as being the best of your experience, and then maybe talk about what was the worst of your college experience.

Reagan: Because I went to a private Christian school before, because I knew with swimming I was not going to go like D1. I knew I wanted a smaller community. I wanted to go to a Christian school, because I was like, “Oh I want faith to be like integrated into everything.” It kind of felt like because of that, it wasn't super personal for people.

A lot of people were just there because of the scholarship aspect for sports. It was like, we had like chapel and that was it. Versus like going to a state school now, I think you have to be so much more intentional with like pursuing your community and, and trying to find a community of believers.

I think that's like the best part was like joining Cru®. Because now like two of my best friends are in Cru. One of them is Bella, who you're going to be talking to and my friend Dylan. The two of them, like, we were talking the other day. And we're like, we feel like we've known each other like so much longer because the two of them, like it was so easy to connect with them because we shared like the most important thing in common, which is our relationship.

Shelby: A passion for Jesus. Yes. I love that.

Reagan: So I love that. I love the best part.

Shelby: Yes. The best part for sure is something that's what you're explaining is it seems to be not universal amongst a lot of students who are involved with Cru, but the one thing I loved about being involved in campus ministry as a staff member is that when, because I was at James Madison University - also a secular university, when students came, they came because they wanted to.

Reagan: Yes.

Shelby: Their parents weren't making them show up to a Bible study on a Tuesday night, and then a large group meeting on a Thursday night, and then a social on Friday or whatever.

They were coming because they actually wanted to. And so that already clears a few hurdles in terms of getting down to like, okay, is this person actually serious about walking with God? You've already cleared a few things. You don't have to go backwards anymore. I love that. That's really cool.

What was the worst part about the college experience for you, changing majors 600 times, making fun of people who aren't athletes, making fun of the person you're talking to on the podcast right now? [Laughter]

Reagan: Okay. I think that honestly, my freshman year was pretty good at the other school I went to. But my sophomore year, I think it was like a dumpster fire. It was so bad. I had a lot of personal stuff going on, experience like a couple like deaths of loved ones close to me and so that was like hard, because I was kind of like trying to like process through that grief. I was kind of like okay, I don't understand why it just felt like one thing after the other, and I really started struggling with my mental health then.

Instead of going to like the Lord or going to my family, I very much distanced myself. I also was like in a relationship that I just should not have been in. And so like all of that, like coupled together, I just started making like super poor decisions. I had friends who were believers who continued speaking truth to me. But I think some of it was hard because I just kept things to myself.

It got to the point where I was like, I still know I'm a Christian. I accepted Christ at like seven years old, and I know like I can't get rid of the Holy Spirit no matter how hard I try, but I don't really care about my relationship with God right now. And that's not something I want to work on.

He doesn't really seem like He cares about me because all of these things are happening. And then I came home, because like the semester ended.

Shelby: End of your sophomore year?

Reagan: Yes. I didn't want my parents to know anything that was going on because I ended the relationship I was in. And I was like, well, like, I'm going to do better now, and they don't need to worry. I just like, I don't like to talk about difficult things. It's definitely better now, but like at the time I was like - never wanted to talk about anything

So, I came home and I was like, “Well, I can't live under my parents household and not go to church.” That's why I would go but I would literally just like sit there I was like I hate this and it's like the church I've grown up in. And everyone's known me since I was like a baby. I'm like, “Oh my gosh, like leave me alone, leave me alone.”

But slowly I feel like the Lord just started to soften my heart just like being around my family, like church family, and like my biological family. And just like seeing my mom and my dad and my sister, in their relationships with the Lord. So I was like, “I can't go back my old school.” I didn't know why. I was just like I get a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I think about going back. Now I'm okay. I definitely think it was like the Holy Spirit. But at the time I was like, I don't know what this is. And so I ended up not going back. And then it wasn't until like--

Shelby: Did you take a semester off?

Reagan: Yes, so I was at home, which was really good. I still was like, there were some choices I was making at my old school that I still then continued to make at home.

Shelby: It bled over into it?

Reagan: Yes, but like not as much, because I was like, I really don't want to get caught by my parents in their house with like any of these things I'm doing.

Shelby: Yes, it’s that weird - I’m a kid again feeling.

Reagan: Yes, and so I think that that was definitely like - I don't know where it is in the Bible - but it talks about the Lord doesn't tempt us beyond like, what we can like, handle, and how He always provides a way. And so I think it was just like, physically removing me from those things and like not going back to my old school.

I think just like in that time at home and my younger sister actually went to Mason for Spring Semester with me because she didn't get into UVA, but that has always been her dream school. So, she applied again and ended up getting in and leaving.

Shelby: But it was really cool overlap with you for a little.

Reagan: Yes, so we had that one semester together and we were so close to home. And so I think like just through that, I can't pinpoint like one moment, but the Lord just really softened my heart towards Him

Shelby: This reminds me just in many ways about the importance of community and why it's so important to be around other people and live the Christian life in the context of other human beings.

Reagan: Yes.

Shelby: When you're not doing that, when you isolate yourself, Proverbs talks about that too, like, isolation leads to destruction. It's like, going to destroy you. Because you know, maybe you didn't feel isolated being around 1,200 other people your sophomore year of college and you had a boyfriend or whatever. But like, it's, there's isolation and then there's like, spiritual isolation, you know. There's like, oh, I'm alone by myself in my room, and then there's like I'm surrounded by other people all the time and I feel completely alone. That's a different kind of pain

Reagan: Yes.

Shelby: It really is.

Reagan: Yes, definitely felt that and even like It was like, I would only feel like, okay, if I had someone with me. The moment I was alone, the weight of it would like hit me. There were so many times when I would just try to go to bed and couldn't, and it would just be like, you're crying because I was like, I hate feeling like this, but I don't know how to make this stop.

Shelby: Yes, I mean that it had to be just an excruciating year for you. Did you try to like because you were losing people and being reminded of the sorrow? Was if you don't mind me asking, was there a way that you kind of medicated with that instead of going to the Lord?

Reagan: There were times when I was like, let me like try like praying or like reading my Bible and I didn't find like any comfort in it at the time. I had friends who would try to like come alongside me, but I think I definitely surrounded myself with people who enabled me. It was a lot of let me just like numb myself so I can't. Then it's a lot of like partying and stuff—

Shelby: --like drinking and stuff.

Reagan: Yes, and then I also like, because the emotional pain was so bad, I struggled, then started beginning to struggle with self harm, because I just want to feel pain in a different way.

Shelby: Okay, yes. I don't know much about that, but I have heard about that, like this emotional pain and psychological pain that like you want to go away and so you want to do something else to try make those things go away.

Reagan: All those things gave me a sense of control. It's like I'm choosing to like to put this in my body. I'm choosing to do this to my body.

Shelby: Thanks for being honest. I appreciate that. I know that's not easy to talk about. Well would you say probably now, would you consider yourself to be on the other side of that?

Reagan: Yes. I think the lord really just like—

Shelby: --Transformed.

Reagan: Yes, I was definitely on a spiritual high, going into my freshman year. My friends, my freshman year was like solid believers. And I'm still friends with like some of them even still today. I plugged in at like a great church. Then I think like beginning of kind of the downhill was COVID, because we got sent home

Then it was like super isolating and everything started happening. I think even in that spiritual high, I think it was very much doing all these things and I'm doing the right things. I found this church that I'm talking to like I'm I don't know. It was very like me focused. So I think I can be very prideful. I think the Lord really just like broke me down until I had nothing left to choose except for Him

Shelby: Yes, yes. Gosh, there's so much interesting stuff that you said there. Because first of all, after having the low point that God brought you to where you're at, there's hope there. There's hope for someone who's listening and might go, maybe I'm there right now, and there is light at the end of the tunnel, in the way that they may not be able to see.

Reagan: Yes.

Shelby: Right now, currently, in the darkness that they're experiencing. That being said, too, I think one of the most dangerous places that any Christian could be, spiritually speaking, is in a position of thinking, “I got this.” Or, “I'm like, the man.” Or like, “I'm the woman.” Yes, no, the Lord will humble you real quick. The Lord will humble you. He will.

I have found that with God, it's not about good and bad. It's about humble and prideful. Because there's nobody good except God. Like, that's from the lips of Jesus himself, Luke 18[:19b]. “Nobody is good except God.” So a lot of times we get it twisted as human beings to think if I'm good, then God is happy with me. If I'm bad, then God is mad with me.

It's not about that. It's different categories altogether. It's not good or bad. It's are you humble or are you arrogant? And that's why Jesus had some words for the Pharisees is because they were arrogant, pompous, prideful, religious people. And if you search your heart many times as a Christian, you're like, “Oh, that's me. That's me. That's definitely me.” Yes, so I get it. I understand, and I hate my sin that way. I hate it.

Reagan: I think even when I was feeling trapped in my sin, far from the Lord, I think even like in that there was like a sense of like pride and a sense of like - I'm such a good Christian. I'm doing all these things. But I was seeing it like good and bad. Like I was like, “The Lord like can't possibly forgive me.” And so just like really experiencing that like shame, but also like that doubt and like thinking, “The Lord was like not strong enough.”

Shelby: Yes, yes to forgive that. You've hit on something really important there because yes, it's like the flip side of the coin. There's the arrogance of like I'm awesome, but it's also like the self loathing the shame, the constant like - “I'm the worst or yes, God will never be able to get this.” Like you said, “That's it's the same thing. It's just the reverse pride.” It's the same thing.

Well you've talked about a lot here today, but knowing what you know now with the wisdom that you have after you've come through so much, what do you think you'd say to eighteen year old freshman Regan, if you had an hour to sit down with her over lunch?

Reagan: I think, one of the biggest things is the Lord can handle all of you. Because I think I have like a pretty big like personality as well. And so there have been situations where people have been like you're being a lot right now. You're too much. I just hate hearing that, because it's like I was just being me. Then it's like - I don't know and so I think that like one thing that I've like found comfort in and like that and like as far as like when I sin is the Lord can handle it and He like wants to and He like delights in that.

So, I think that was like my anger is too much for Him, because I was really angry at Him when everything was happening, but it's not. I think that's like one big thing that I would say to myself is, “He can handle all, all your emotions, all of you and like not only can He, but like He wants to.”

Shelby: What would you say that you pound the table about? If someone talked to you about something, it could be anything from serious stuff to silly stuff, what do you get going about?

Reagan: I do not like Taylor Swift, and I feel very passionately, I'm very anti.

Shelby: Yes. Why? Is it because everybody is?

Reagan: I just think she's a business woman. I'm like, she's like capitalizing on this little girl. It's also like, everyone loves her, and I just don't. Her songwriting, like I don't have anything against it. Like she's good at that.

Shelby: Mm hmm.

Reagan: I just don't like her voice either. Like there’s just nothing special about it and everyone's obsessed. [Laughter] I will not even lie. I grew up like listening to some of her stuff. I remember when her album, Red, came out and I checked it, the CD, out of the library. Then imported onto my mom's laptop, you know, whatever, [Laughter] whatever.

Shelby: I just had to take a dig.

Reagan: I just think she's like a little overrated. Because I get what she's doing, but also I just feel like she's just trying to make money. And I know that. I mean, like who - that's like entertainment. But I just, there's some like singers I listen to and I'm like, okay, like they're making music, because this is what they love to do. Yes, whatever. But I'm like, she's a business woman. Yes, it's like a little scary sometimes. It's impressive.

Shelby: It is impressive. The funny thing is too like, if you try to go toe to toe with anybody who's a Swifty.

Reagan: It's scary.

Shelby: It's really scary. They protect Taylor Swift, like they protect the sanctity of the gospel. It's like a lot. It's a whole lot.

Reagan: I said something like, “She looks silly, she looks stupid here,” or something like that. I was like, “She looks weird.” And she's like, “You look weird.” And I was like, “Oh my gosh,” like, “Okay.” [Laughter]

Shelby: Like, I'm sorry, are we in sixth grade again, what’s going on?

Reagan: It was so like, that is the thing that was like, I won't say it to people who love her, especially if they're going on about how much they like her. I don't like when people yuck other people's yum.

So I'll respect it like that is fine. Like I love my favorite band is 1975.

Shelby: And then what did you think about Matty Healy dating her for a while then?

Reagan: I was so mad about it. I was like, what is this?

Shelby: I love the 1975 just so you know. I also love Taylor Swift.

Reagan: Because I know, he's, Matty is really weird.

Shelby: He's very weird, yes.

Reagan: Very. I would love to like pick his brain, very interesting. But I think he's also such a performer, so people like take him seriously, when it's just like--

Shelby: --when he's like acting.

Reagan: He commits to the bit, yes.

Shelby: He does, yes.

Reagan: And so, I know plenty of people who don't like them and that's totally fine, but I'm like, I don't like when people say it to my face.

Shelby: Yes, that makes sense.

Reagan: And they like, are like hating on it. If they just say, “I don't really like the 1975,” I'm like, that's okay. I do like them enough for the both of us.

Shelby: Yes. It's a yucking their yum. Yes. I totally understand what you mean. I have all of their albums on LP, like 1975. And I asked for Being Funny in a Foreign Language last year for Christmas on LP and I got it, and I was like really happy about it.

What's your favorite song from the newest album?

Reagan: Oh my gosh. I really...

Shelby: I'm a sucker for the second tier mainstream releases. So not like the first one that they do, but the second one. So I love like, Oh, Caroline.

Reagan: That one was so good. The music video was really good too.

Shelby: That was like my favorite on the album for a while, but I think Happiness is one that makes me cry.

Reagan: This is like, that's probably my favorite. The music's just so danceable.

Shelby: It is. Yes. I could play it in the car with my kids. Not every song I could play in the car with my kids, but Happiness I can. And it's just like. It's just a banger. I love it.

Reagan: I think, honestly, I really like the 1975.

Shelby: The first track?

Reagan: The first track on this album. It's so good. It makes me like really emotional. I was like, oh, and I really like I'm in Love with You. I love that one. Yes, it’s so good.

Shelby: That was their first release. I think that was our first single. But yes, it's really good.

Reagan: Yes, I love that one. But I think my like favorite album is Notes on a Conditional Form. Yes, I love that one My sisters are like what the heck? This is the weird one.

Shelby: Yes, it's definitely yes, it's definitely weird for sure. But there's some really good ones in there, too. And like, you know, one of the things I like about Matty too is that he wrote honestly about heroin addiction and like recovery from that, and being just very honest about being in a dark place and embracing the fact that he's not that anymore. And then he wants to move forward. I mean, he's still like yes. He's still who he is. But yes, I think I like honesty, you know. I love that.
Reagan: Yes, I think that's what was like interesting like seeing them in 2016 versus seeing them in 2022. Because like you can see how much they've grown as men and like yes his own like mental health, and like substance abuse and all of that.

Shelby: Yes.

Reagan: They've all gotten cooler, too. Like Ross, his hair now, it looks so good.

Shelby: I love that we're talking about this. Reagan, you are delightful, seriously, delightful.

Reagan: Thank you. It’s so fun.

Shelby: I really, really enjoy talking to you and I'm really excited to see what Jesus is going to do in your life in the coming years. Thank you for being honest with me, sharing your life with me, and regardless of what you decide to do, whether it be ministry or whatever - it doesn't matter, He's going to use you. I have high hopes.

Reagan: Thank you.

Shelby: I really loved how genuine and vulnerable Reagan was willing to be in our time together. We had never actually met before this conversation that you just heard. And I'm always grateful to talk with a person who's willing to be authentic with me and yet still discerning about what and what not to share. She's just so great. I learned a lot from her today, and I hope you did too, finding encouragement in Jesus throughout the process of our conversation.

If you liked this episode of Real Life Loading…, or you thought it was helpful, I'd love for you to share today's podcast with a friend, or multiple friends. Wherever you get your podcasts, it could really advance what we're doing with Real Life Loading, if you'd rate and review us. It's positively easy to find us on our social channels. Just search for Real Life Loading, or look for our link tree in the show notes.

Hey, I want to thank everyone who's on the Real Life Loading team. You guys are awesome, you make it happen, and you do excellent work.

I'm Shelby Abbott, and I'll see you back next time on Real Life Loading...

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