Life is not easy, we all have those days, but if you can understand what it means to say, “life is a beautiful struggle” you’ll never lose hope. Because you’ll chose to see the beauty in everything.
Psychology tells us that a lot of who we are today is due to our childhood upbringing, but I dare to challenge that. Yes, a lot stems from the things you were put through as a child. However, I also believe that you can take that even further and say that a lot of who you are stems from the way you chose to deal with those challenges. Whether it was to rebel, use drugs , participate in underage drinking, excel in school, or even attend church.
As a child and teenager I had to overcome multiple obstacles. Some of these obstacles were growing up without a father, having multiple alcoholics in my family, dealing with my mothers drug addiction and having the odds against me throughout school. I come from a family where you are born, go to school, have kids by the age of 18, and settle down with whatever job you can get without a college degree. I saw my mother work three jobs at a time to support my sister and I before she got caught up in drugs. I chose to deal with these trials in various ways, from binge drinking and partying to attending church. These two coping mechanisms are obviously very very different and they also gave very different outcomes. However, the way I chose to deal with the difficulties I was faced with was what made me who I am today. The way I treat people, the way people view me, and the way I act in all aspects of my life reflect those choices.
What is the point of sharing this, you may ask? Well the point is you have choices everyday. Some of your choices will be bad, you’re human. BUT if you remind yourself before you make those choices that your past choices shaped you into the person you are then maybe you will decide to chose otherwise. This is where reflection comes into play. All it takes is for you to pause, take one minute to think about the choices you have and the direction you want your life to go. The impact of just one choice may surprise you years down the road. Chose wisely because the state of your future self, quite literally, depends on it.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” -Robert Frost
At the start of my freshman year of college I was at the beach with my best friend Lily, we were sitting down relaxing (as most people do at the beach), I turned to her and said, “Do you see that?”, she looked at me confused and then I said, “That vast body of water out there is our future.” Although Lily was confused about this, I think now she understands exactly what I meant. The future, much like the ocean, is filled with an immense amount of growth, opportunity, and uncertainty. I think that a lot of us get so hung up on the uncertainty that the future holds that we forget about the other two. We forget that living life in one place, doing the same thing over and over, and playing it safe is not benefiting anyone, especially not ourselves.
It is very easy to get caught up in our everyday, sometimes crappy, 8-5 jobs. We go to work everyday and do the same thing, after awhile it becomes so routine that you could do it with your eyes shut. For those of us who don’t yet have those crappy, 8-5 work days, trust me it’s coming. For now you work a minimum wage job in between studying for school, attending classes, and making sure you get your extracurricular activities in. If you’re like me you might be in a sorority or a fraternity where you hold a position or you’re in a club on campus or on one the school sports teams. Needless to say life becomes so hectic that we forget that life is about growth and self reflection. It’s about making mistakes and learning from them.
This is exactly what this blog is, it’s my attempt at taking a step back from my overwhelmingly busy life to reflect on my past, present and future selves. To reflect on the growth and opportunities that have come before me and to celebrate what most fear, which is uncertainty. I hope to inspire those who are currently sitting on the bench at their own game, to take hold of the play book, that is their life, and start coming up with their own plays.
“Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.”
~ Yvonne Woon, Dead Beautiful