It was the most frigid, most bone chilling Friday night when I had grabbed dinner with a friend. We had reflected on this past semester and how different it had been from our freshman year…grades, family, friends, and so on.
Looking back at what a whirlwind of five months had gone by, I realized a tremendous amount of my life had changed. That night after dinner, I went home and thought about what I had experienced my freshman year compared to this semester, who I kept close to me and who drifted away, and how I let the old habits that needed an end to perish and the new habits that needed a beginning to be born.
It’s crazy how much of a 360 my life had spun on me; but I'm thankful for every single moment--every second of it. I laughed until I cried, I've met the most amazing people who aren’t going anywhere for a while, learned a thing or two about myself I didn’t know before, saw the difference between a blessing and a lesson, and ultimately just started to fall in love with life.
It’s inevitably all a roller coaster. Life is never at it’s pinnacle, at it’s 110% top-of-the-list amazing self. Although we all wish it is, it isn’t. And I realized that there are really those days where it seems like the whole entire earth aligns within itself and everything falls into place and there’s not much to worry about. Yet, there’s certainly other times where life made absolutely no sense, nothing fell within favor, and everything seemed to crash into the abyss at once.
So, I freaked out. froze. Completely froze, and I wanted to stop time. Everything. I didn’t know what to do, so I thought it was best to avoid all situations entirely.
If there’s anything I’ve learned this semester, avoiding the situation entirely doesn’t benefit you, me, or anyone on this planet.
In effect of not confronting whatever came my way, seeking comfort from external sources became important. It became important to seek validation from others, to assure confidence in my actions from the outside, to live up to extremely high expectations, and to please everyone else but myself.
What is mentioned above is not okay and should never be the case.
Being able to love is more than seeking comfort from the outside. It’s so much more than that. It’s seeking comfort within yourself, for yourself. It’s your own thoughts, actions, commitments, decisions, goals, and expectations that you set for you and only you.
So, in turn, I essentially restructured my thinking. My whole entire thought process, my habits, my reactions to certain situations, how I adapt to certain situations, and the ability to come to terms with what’s happening in the current moment and to change it for my own decisions, goals, and expectations.
Often times, when we find that we are lacking in one or more areas of our life, we reach for that validation from anywhere else but deep within ourselves. We yearn to find something familiar, to take shelter under reassurance, and to make sure we are loved.
What we don’t realize, is that the comfort we are looking for is right inside of us. It’s our ability to love ourselves, no matter how terrible the universe is treating us at the moment or how amazing life is going. It’s the ability to see a lesson and a blessing in every situation, for better or for worse.
It’s giving credit to yourself when you’ve picked yourself back up from one of the hardest points in your life. It’s realizing that you, and only you have the ability to do something extraordinary one day. You have the ability to pursue your dreams and desires, and make whatever you want to happen on this earth, happen. Yes, there are obstacles that get in the way, but they’re there for a reason. It’s in these obstacles and hardships in life that you realize how valuable it is to keep pushing yourself and to applaud yourself for being strong when you deserve it.
Loving yourself is to cherish the thousands of laughs you share with your best friends and the huge city you live in. To relish in the memories of throwing your first snowballs at your friends (originally from the south so I just had to throw that in there) and the Friday evenings you all come together after a stressful week and just talk about everything in the world. To be thankful you are able to wake up late on a Saturday morning and pull out your favorite four-dollar mug you bought on your first trip to New York and sip on your favorite green tea in the comfort and warmth of your fuzzy blanket and laptop in front of you. To be thankful that you are able to attend a four-year institution where education may be vacant for others elsewhere. To realize that it’s okay when the world seems weird and nothing makes sense. Things didn’t make sense two years ago--but it all turned out okay, and you’re here, aren’t you?
There's beauty in the madness of all of it. The madness of final exams, of wanting to change your major three times, of things not aligning exactly how you wanted them to, of the worst timing, and so on.
With that being said, the most crucial thing that happened to me in the past five months is that I realized the beauty in finding yourself. I never gave myself that chance before because I only ever set myself to unrealistic exceptions and limitations—but it is when you seek your passions and what you love and stick with the good times and surround yourself with the good people and cherish the special moments that you’ll not only get a bellyache full of laughter, but a sense of comfort within you, yourself, and only you. Here’s to hoping the rest of sophomore year is just as amazing.