It has been a while since I last posted something.
I’ve been meaning to write expansively about the incredible month that followed my Hawai’i trip, which included the two-week RA training where a whole new family was introduced into my life yet again, and all the mini adventures that I was able to go on before school started… but life got in the way. I’ve also been meaning to finally talk about the end of my tennis career, then the unexpected beginning of my cross country career, and my early struggles as a resident assistant who shuffled from floor to floor and lost so many residents so quickly, which led to me questioning my importance and validity… but again, life got in the way and I didn’t have the time or will to write about anything. Just simple scribbles in my notebooks and on scraps of paper and old, weathered receipts.
But right now, thoughts are a bit too heavy to hold inside and I’m determined to pour out the inner workings of my mind so that I can cleanse my troubled soul.
It is no secret that I have been working on myself this whole summer. I was set on letting go of the things that hurt me and focusing on a positive lifestyle filled with good vibes and reckless youth. I was ready to fall in love with myself and love all of my being wholly and genuinely, and that has been an arduous, yet productive process. I’ve been doing great, but sometimes I fall and need a little nudge.
Last night, I had a gathering with some of my teammates and we all went around and said encouraging, positive things about everybody in the room. When my turn came for people to say nice things about me, I had to muster up all the courage not to cringe. We are always our biggest critics… it isn’t easy to accept compliments. But I opened my heart and let the warmth seep in, and my friends shared such kind words with me that I never thought I would hear.
I had no idea that I exuded confidence, a go-getter attitude, an “I don’t care what anybody thinks, I’m gonna do me” demeanor, yet they expressed their admiration towards being sure of what I want, how comfortable I seem in my own skin, and the optimism that comes along with it. It’s crazy to think that people cannot see the insecurities peering through the cracks of my fragile heart, but perhaps it means that I don’t give myself enough credit for the positive parts of me.
I may be a glasshouse of emotions, and most people know that I wear it all on my sleeve, but maybe I need to start recognizing the natural strength that I carry with me all the time. When things start to go awry and I worry about the pressures of society, my competency, or my future, I panic and lose sight of the person that I am. And that scares me.
But I am strong. I am capable of so much. Just the other night, I had to do one of the hardest things that my emotions have had to face and detach myself from somebody that I cared deeply about. It hurt, and it still does, and it probably will for a while, but at some point, we have to realize when somebody isn’t treating us as best as they can and walk away before those wounds can turn into scars. If I could properly express how much I loved this person– writing pages and pages of poems and prose of nothing but my thoughts of them, and I don’t even know why, can’t explain it, honestly— you’d understand why this was a difficult, painful feat… but I found the strength to let go.
The bottom line is that God has graced my life with cunning intuition and a sharp sense of what is good for me, and I always follow those gut feelings. Those soul calls. Even in these darkest days, I’ve got sunshine, and it’s amazing. I see it during those excruciating, early morning runs, and I’m panting and suffering, but there is that ray of light cascading through the redwood trees. I see it in the smiling faces of strangers that pass me by in the hallways during moments of deep, brooding thought… I don’t know them, they don’t know me, but they smile and say hello and hold the door open for me and it is so subtle yet so nice. I see it in the cafeteria, just when I’m about to throw a silent fit about how terrible the food is that day, and I see that Judy’s got some salmon cooking in the oven and I am forced to practice patience and gratitude… not everybody gets to eat like me. And that’s the thing– as shitty as things might seem, as low as I may feel some days, I am always a blessed human being. I am blessed. There’s no doubt about it. There really isn’t a problem big enough that I can’t dismiss…
So that is why I am an advocate of controlled recklessness. I’m young and still have time to be selfish. Spend that temporary money; too much in your pocket will drive you to corruption anyway. Your body is both a temple and a canvas, so adorn your walls as you please with the most beautiful body art of your choice… and you don’t have to explain to anyone the significance of anything. Be spontaneous and explore the backroads and rooftops and alleyways and the deepest, darkest forests, as long as it sends a thrill down your spine. Literally do anything, if it makes you happy. Drink those three cups of coffee everyday. Move across the country with a couple suitcases and your favorite blanket. Love a little, love a lot… You are not tied down to anything. Your worth is not contingent on the opinions of others or the status quo. Be confident and be brave. Be reckless with your soul. Life is too short to hold back, anyway.
I am pretty certain that the progression of this blog post has been anything but clear-cut. Kind of like a professor giving a blurry lecture and they’re jumping from topic to topic because they’ve got so much that they want to cover in too short of a time. I am that annoying, scatterbrained professor (and I might honestly become it, too), and I apologize. I began writing this post with the intention of getting a grip of the floating thoughts in my mind and stringing them together so that it makes even just a little bit of sense for me. I hope to write something cohesive soon… but for now, this will do. 🙂
1. When your friends ask you to hangout, and you don’t feel like it, don’t go. Don’t ever do things halfway or do something that makes you uncomfortable. With everything, give all of yourself, even the pieces you never knew existed.
2. It is okay to not know. Everyone always despises the phrase, “I don’t know” but no one tells you that it is okay to not know. The becoming is more important than the being, anyways.
3. If someone ever makes you feel less, in any way, you have every right to walk away. You have every right to cut out toxic people in your life. To close the door on people who make you feel bad about who you are or what you stand for. Friends don’t tear down, they build up.
4. Loss is always going to happen. Just like paint will always chip and rain will always fall, loss will always be part of life. No matter how much I don’t like it, or avoid it, it is going to walk my way at several times in my life. Learn to embrace it and learn to get closure.
5. Give yourself a chance. Stop saying, “I don’t think I can” or “But what if I am not able to?” and give yourself a chance. This may be cliche, but try to believe in yourself. When you get older, your knees won’t work the same and you won’t have the best memory, and you are going to wish you’d given yourself a chance years sooner.
6. Fall in love. Don’t be guarded before you fall in love. You could fall in love three times and still not find the right one, but none of it is going to make “the one” matter less. Don’t fall into that idea that your first love has to be your best love. Fall in love as many times as it naturally happens.
7. Firsts are going to be messy. First loves, first kisses, first dates, first failed tests, first college class, first time you drive a car, first time you ride a plane – first times were made to be imperfect. Just because it’s messy and all over the place, doesn’t mean it can’t be good or worthwhile.
8. You want another scoop of ice-cream? Go get it. Get three more scoops of ice-cream if that is what you want. “Fat” is not the opposite of beautiful and it is not the opposite of happy. Don’t let anyone tell you that your body type isn’t beautiful. Beauty is a social construct, create your own, become your own.
9. Let yourself be alone. Loneliness is not a bad thing. It is healthy and normal. Everyone needs to spend a good portion of their life alone. We learn who we are when we are alone; life is less crowded and more clear when we are alone.
10. If you aren’t happy where you are, change it. Quit your job, move, become a vegetarian, get a new hobby, pick up an old hobby, whatever you do – make sure it benefits you. Life is too short to not be alive, to not be passionate, and overflowing.