Summertime. There is no other time like it. Warm weather promises happiness, never-ending adventures, and romantic prospects with love stories just like the movies. If any of you knew me circa 2014, you’d know that this was my thought process. In the movies, I’d imagine myself to be that quiet, observant type character who might have a crush on you, you’d just never know it. Or in my case, you’d definitely know it, you would just have no desire to act on it. My game back in the day consisted of staring at you until you looked back, but after you did I’d walk away… the braces or extensions weren’t helping either… Anyways, back to the reflections.
I often wished I was in a children’s book and could take on the role of the ugly duckling or the caterpillar. I wished that it could be revealed that I was actually a swan and thats why I stood apart from the ducks or that I could start out small and flourish into this beautiful butterfly. However, the inability to escape the trap that labels had ensnared me in for so many years, combined with the hurt and self loathing that came with those wounds hindered my ability to make the dream of metamorphosis a reality. I tried to fill the void with anything really. Clothes, cosmetics, food, but mostly with people that I wanted to be good for me. Everything that could disguise the harsh reality that I was in a mind maze of sorrow with no way out just dead ends.
Though my narrative is turning into some morbid tale, I promise it isn’t some hipster indie film, with the protagonist who will do anything to escape themselves or their small town upbringing or something like that. I do love those stories, but it isn’t mine. It takes way more than some three minute montage with some sad background music to be okay. Its alright that your relationships with those people fell off and that not so shocking plot twist wasn’t surprising for you. I had always struggled with these thematic flaws movies always had. What’s real and what’s fake? I was always told that the reason everyone loved movies is because it was a story that could never come to pass in the real world. If these scenarios were meant to be real, they’d never sell.
After the movie epiphany, I had another one. What I had failed to realize about butterflies and metamorphosis is that there will always be a part of that caterpillar which used to be. Those wounds made my skin thicker and the same labels that haunted me for so long gave me the desire to always strive to be kind to anyone I came across. We don’t always see it at the time but our trials and tribulations are almost always the fertilizer we needed to make our best selves and abilities to grow.
Attention: I am writing to tell you all that I only have three weeks left in the semester! I repeat: three weeks left in the semester! When I’m in school, it is hard to make time for the things I love when I always seem to have something to do. In psychology class today, I learned that too much stress is not healthy. Go figure, right? But something else that stuck with me is that moderate stress levels are optimal for performing well. If you aren’t on your toes and not focused, than you’re performance can suffer. I think this stood out to me because I met someone yesterday that told me the key to success is to always stay hungry. She said “If you don’t always have a goal, than what are you living for?”
Have you ever had one of the moments where everything just seemed to make sense? Well, this was one of those moments for me. Often times, we lose the passion that we once had to be successful. Though it is easier to just throw in the towel, it is important to remember that our resiliency is what defines us. A great example of resiliency are California Redwood trees. Against all odds, the little saplings that they begin as grow into these magnificent forests that are beheld as a natural treasure. Trees are revered for their struggle, their age, and the resiliency. So many of us act as if we don’t have these attributes and that can seriously damage us in the long run.
What is something that you once strived to do but let life stop you in your tracks? Reclaim your time today and make time for the things in life that satiate your inner hunger.
So I met with my advisor and as it turns out, I have a longer than I initially anticipated to get my degree. When I found out, I was admittedly gutted. The only thing I can relate the feeling to is when I was a senior in high school and the added snow days kept making graduation further and further away. The bad thing is though that junior year isn’t the time to want to throw in the towel. As I sat there and tried to figure out what things I could’ve done differently in the past, the main thing I realized was that there were changes I hadn’t yet made.
Did you all know that it is my junior year of college and I wasn’t involved in any organizations? How about that this is my first semester on campus? It even sounds crazy writing this down but it was my reality. The keyword in that last statement is that this was my reality. If you want to make changes happen, you first need to reflect within yourself and ask the simple question: Are my present actions making my future desires possible?
On Wednesday I had time to ponder this question and boy, was I on the wrong track. Even if I were to graduate in a year and half, what do I have to show for my college experience? The degree obviously wouldn’t hurt but what about the intangible things in life like new friendships and perception changes? I am the first to admit that I can get so focused on the finish line that I forget to enjoy the race. If a light bulb just went off in your head after reading that, you may want to reassess the path your taking.
It seems easier said than done to enact a change, but this could be your chance. Look at me for example. I just joined two organizations. Instead of placing all of your hope into your future life, try to slow down and put some work into your present life. I don’t want my future to look like a pile of missed opportunities tucked away into my trunk of remorse. I want to be able to say that I took the chances I got to have fun and enjoy coming of age. What are some things you’ve missed out on while forgetting to live in the moment?
The date is January 13, 2018. It has been 13 days since I made a personal vow to myself to become a more productive person as well as a more motivated person. With that vow has came many interesting things to say the least. So far, I have decluttered my room, symbolically let go of the past by letting go of possessions that no longer hold value, and rearranged my room. I also have started my Junior year of college at the University of Louisville. I’m attending four classes and a lab Tuesday- Thursday. With less than two days in, I’d say that’s quite a start. Something still doesn’t quite fit, though. The thing that all of these lifestyle changes have in common are that they are all just physical changes.
Though I can speak on the many wonders and benefits of physical change, that type of change wasn’t what I set out to make when I made that vow to myself. I want to see a change within myself. I want to observe my mind, body, and spirit change as this year progresses. But, I believe that as I have previously expressed on this blog, change is something that is hard for me to grasp. As the days go on, I have come to notice that though I am coming closer daily to the person I want to be, I’m not even close to unlocking my potential. This may be due to the fact that I haven’t been able to grasp that change can also be a fancy word for growth. Personal growth is something I have always wanted to welcome in but always seem to close the door on. How does one make the jump though from past self to potential self?
As it happens, unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for that question that seems to hinder me. Maybe that’s because there is no set answer. Experiences that are fundamental to the molding of one’s life simply can’t be planned. How are we to know that something great is to happen to us? How are we to know when to expect it? We’re not and that’s the beauty of it all. Our experiences are unique to us because no one else can have that same experience. It is in these experiences that diversity lives and we can come together in what appears to set us apart.
On this day January 13th, 2018, I make a new vow. I will let life come to me and make the best of it. I will open myself up to experiences that I might be on the fence about otherwise and I will allow myself to grow from it. Change can be an intimidating force but it could also be the driving force that you’ve needed all along.
“Do what makes you happy”. This is by far one of the most overused and cliche lines out there. I’ve never necessarily cared for this statement because in my mind, this gave people the autonomy to go out and do whatever the heck they wanted to because that’s what made them happy. When I first started to analyze this saying, I was at a point in where I thought I knew everything and in my mind, overthinking and over analyzing equalled an expression of knowledge on any subject. I was a true intellect (according to me).
The funny thing about getting in touch with your intellectual side is that you have to let go of some of it to gain perspective. The wisest people know that they don’t know much. I threw my inhibitions off, I dove into mind, and as I slowly am beginning to swim to the surface, that little phrase has never been so daunting. As a self proclaimed passionate being, I became faced with the harsh reality that I’m not truly passionate about anything in life. Though that sounds a tad depressing, I am so grateful to meet this sad truth head on because I can undergo a new self discovery.
What can I wake up and do every day without resentment? I love to write and I love music, so I’ve recently revisited my acoustic guitar that’s been catching dust and I’m brushing up on my writing abilities in the form of songwriting. So far I’m really enjoying the time to revisit my former joys and I’m on the way to happy.
The next time someone asks you what makes you happy, really assess that small thought because I believe happiness is the true success in life. Though success can temporarily be measured in material things, material things can’t always make you smile and give you the drive to move forward like happiness and passion can.
As an observant person, I tend to be more drawn to things that make not only my eyes, but my heart beam. That is to say that things which are aesthetically pleasing are fine and dandy, but what draws me in are the things that aren’t on the surface level. For example, though I like new things, I’m typically not as excited about those things as I am when I stumble upon something with age and character. A few months ago, I found a vintage vanity online. When I went to go pick it up, I was more than eager to learn of what the vanity had been through. Come to find out, it was from the 1920s and had been passed down through two generations of people. I got this warm feeling inside almost like I was being let in on a secret that had been stowed away. I get that same fuzzy feeling when I meet a new person. As a Gemini, it’s a character trait to have a natural gift of communicating with others. Though I can generally get along with any kind of person, I just can’t contain my excitement when I meet someone who’s vibes are on the same wavelength as mine. Normally, I meet these people while I’m out and about or I’ll get introduced through a friend. I mean typically like minded people are like birds and tend to flock to each other. Another character trait that people share with birds is that they fly away at the change of the season. Well the winds of change are upon us folks and we’re unexplored parks that these various birds need to rest at. The time to interact and get to know these birds is now. There are so many different kinds so you’re bound to find one that likes what your park has to offer so welcome them. Put aside your preconceived notions and branch out with the hope of letting positive energy in. That’s not to say let any ole bird into your park but let the kindhearted ones leave an imprint on your terrain. Life has too many uncertainties to always carry the weight of an unnecessary burden such as indecision. Show your colors to the world and the world will in turn respond. The combining of colors will make the most beautiful of collages. What will you have to lose by just being yourself? I don’t know just food for thought.
Growing up, I would hear various ideas expressed with one central theme. The central theme was that life was like a jungle. When you’re a young child, the only images that you get of the jungle are the rose colored glasses view with animals in a zoo, safari rides through animal kingdom, and the Jungle Book. As one gets older though, you start to realize how many similarities the world holds to a jungle. The word “jungle” seems to create less of an idea of this sort of elusive place with rocky terrain and various species. The world is just that and the people that are in this world are kind of like vines. You grasp on to these people in order to get to each new stage in your life. It can be easier at times to walk through life alone but vines are a much more fun way of transportation. If there are rough terrains ahead that are sure to cut your feet, it’d be in one’s best interest to cling onto these vines and travel better to the next stop. Vines also hang from trees which mean that they are a part of something bigger than just themselves. Roots that are deeply engrained into the ground can symbolize many things, but morals and values are the big ones for me. Though these vines may seem flimsy at times, we must take time to understand that all vines are a part of this thing that is more than just meets the eye. Though the vine is what we see on the surface, it is ever so important to get to know the tree that they come from so that we can have a better understanding of why that vine is the way that it is. Why it may not be as strong as the other vines or why it doesn’t swing quite as freely as another. A jungle holds so many different species of organisms so the next time we decide to take a stroll (or swing) through it, we must not forget to stop and appreciate all of its various attributes that make it this collective beautiful place.