Recently I have made a lot of big changes in my life. One of them being going back to school. It was a decision I was battling for a couple years. I first attended college in the winter of 2012 after graduating high school in June of 2011. I felt, at the time, that I wasn’t ready. So I dropped out after spring quarter of 2012. I didn’t know where I wanted my life to go, and to be honest I just wanted to be free to do as I please. As much as I’m kicking myself for not getting some sort of education started… I don’t regret it. I don’t think it would have brought me to where I am in life now. Some can say I might have been better off if I did, but the fact of the matter is no one knows because I didn’t. So let’s save the argument. What I can say is that I am thankful for what life has brought me since then. My daughter. My personal growth. My boyfriend. My strength. The friendships I hold. The lessons I’ve learned. Now I won’t lie and say my life hasn’t been a struggle here and there. Financially. Physically. Emotionally. Yet I am still thankful nonetheless. After years of going through the experiences life and God has brought me through, I have been able to understand myself more, and the things I know I want and need. I discovered hobbies and passions that help me be the person I continue to strive to be. In my hobbies and passions I have realized that I want to succeed in a career. So in early 2018 I chose to enroll back into college starting class September of this year, 2019. Getting back into school after not attending for 7 years was a challenge. I had to not only make time for my daughter, my boyfriend, my family, friends, and work; but now school too. There was a moment where I had found it difficult to set time aside to make home cooked meals for dinners. It was very different from what I was used to. It started to make my anxiety sky rocket. I stopped doing some of the things I enjoyed. I was finding myself becoming a recluse. Pushing away from people. Not keeping in contact with friends and family. I started to make myself feel upset about being so distant with the people I care about. For not being “myself”. I saw it was taking a toll on my relationships, but even so I won’t apologize. I won’t apologize; not because I don’t care, but because I realized that in life sometimes we’re going to struggle. That means sometimes we need to struggle alone. Sometimes we need to push ourselves away. I, in particular, needed some time and space to self reflect as it’s only natural and healthy to do so. I understood not a lot of those I’m close to were able to fully comprehend all of my choices, (or what I’ve been going through). I know it might have been a little confusing, and hurtful. I didn’t seclude myself to be cruel, or because I have stopped caring. It is not to be selfish. It is to succeed. I’m trying to set a course and stay on the path I have laid out in front of me. To reach my destination. I am doing what I feel I need to do for myself, and a life partner, and as a mother. i need to set a healthy example for my daughter. Because like myself, I hope to see her succeed in life. I do not apologize for putting my needs first. One day I will come out on top, and remember those who have supported me. Even from a distance. One thing we all need to selflessly remember is we go at our own pace. If that means taking time to step away from relationships, or from our hobbies, then so be it. It’s never to cause pain, or for resentment. It’s for personal growth. It’s part of adulthood. We all have our own priorities, and our lives aren’t always going to be the same. And that’s okay. We all really only have this one life, and if we cannot find the time and space to figure out what is it we need to keep going then we won’t be able to succeed. As individuals and as a whole. So, it’s okay to be distant. It’s okay to put some things in life on pause. It’s not permanent. Its hardly ever permanent. Really it’s just to grow. So I won’t ever feel bad for putting myself first. I know my mental and physical health matters above everything else. If there are some that chose not to understand, then they are meant to be in my life. Those who care will be there to help be supportive. Even if it’s at a distance. So for those who I have struggled with speaking to, and/or setting time aside in my busy life to spend to personal time with; I still care. I always have. Sometimes I just have different priorities. And that’s okay.
We as humans have over time naturally adapted to the second nature most commonly referred to as “self-pity”. When we are feeling down about ourselves, or a situation in our life where we have experienced an unforgettably unfortunate event, we tend to put our focus into ourselves. We ask questions in hopes an answer will appear from thin air. We look for signs and directions to help lead us on a path that has not yet presented itself. Hoping that maybe the answer has been right in front of us all along and we just didn’t know where to look. Or, at the very least, where to start. One thing we forget when we are wallowing in the pits of negativity; where we had allowed our minds to wander, is the bigger picture: the grand scheme of that damn thing called life. It’s easy to forget the world around us. Picture you’re in an enclosed room. No windows. No doors. Just the the four walls around you. Nothing to show you what’s outside. No books, no television, no phones, no magazines… just you and the air you’re breathing. Your mind can tend to be just like that room. Only focusing on what’s in front of you. Never outside the box. Now let’s say someone has come along and built a window on a wall to the room you are in. You can see what’s outside of those four walls. You can only see what’s as far as the window will allow, but enough to understand there is more happening than what is in that single room where you have been trapped. Ergo: the bigger picture. Take that metaphor and apply it to your life. The life around you. Take a step closer to that window. Each moment you feel more comfortable, take a closer step until you are face to face with the glass. Open your eyes. Open your heart. Open your mind. See what there is out of what you have known. What you have gotten used to. Realize and understand there is so much more than what you are allowing yourself to see and believe. The world outside of what we have allowed ourselves to perceive can do one of two things: 1. Show us that our problems we are facing are so minute compared to what they could be. What they are. Or 2. Help us face what we have been denying all along: the truth. It’s that simple. The path we have been wanting to find. The answers to the questions we have been seeking. It’s just outside that window, if we would just take the courage to take that step. Take another step. And another. Until we are face to face with reality. There is and always will be more to life than what is directly in front of us. Now imagine that window be made into a door. Always allowing you to renter but giving you the choice to close that door and never go back. What would you do? Would you open that door? Would you take a step outside? Would you continue to keep stepping forward and never go back? Would you always keep that room in your memory? Allowing you to take comfort in what you known and what you’ve learned? What would you do with the knowledge you know? Would you analyze the problem at hand? Would you realize that there are bigger problems than what you’re facing? Would you realize that your problem could be worse? That there are people out there going through unimaginable situations? Or would you face your fears? Your demons? Would you look them in the face and make your own path? Would you get your answers yourself? Because you know that the life around you has more to offer? Would you take every moment and every feeling and turn it into a lesson? Would you then apply it to your present? Your future? What would you do? Don’t just ask yourself. Answer it. Don’t wonder. Just… do it. Look out that window. Open the door. Take a step out. Keep going. Don’t ever look back. And always… Always be grateful for what you have.