Growth is not limited to our adolescent development. It far exceeds the days that come to mind of growth spurts and learning new things in school. I like to look at it this way: school taught us how to learn, but life is where learning takes place. We must be taught how to learn to be able to appreciate the skill set it takes to analyze, problem solve, and navigate in life. There is not a clear-cut solution to all of life’s problems, but having been given the chances to learn and grow, we can be better equipped to handle the challenges that come our way.
It took me a long time to surrender to the lessons I did not want to learn but ended up cherishing the outcomes. Taking that step beyond learning for the sake of knowing more information is probably the breakthrough I did not know I needed. Having a renewed perspective of life and the learning opportunities that present themselves at every corner made me realize that I needed to embrace the lessons I was facing as I transitioned from my comfort zone to branching out into new, unknown territory.
Trying to maneuver through life might be the hardest thing any of us have to conquer. I like a good challenge, but I like it to be on my terms. As unrealistic as that statement is, I think we are guilty of facing challenges conditionally. We put irrational stipulations and guidelines on our ventures to learn, and for some, this is the extent to which their continuation of learning takes them, but for me, I am not willing to put such a limitation on rich experiences. I will forever be a life-long learner.
Every day is a new chance to view the world differently. We have the option to grow or remain on a flat line. Growing as a person is an incredible feeling. I have seen big changes happen in my life, especially in my later years of high school and after graduation. I have set the precedence for myself to continually be looking for a new piece of information to hold on to or gain insight into understandings of different perspectives.
As seasons change, people grow. Like flowers bloom, growth blossoms.
Passion: A strong and barely controllable emotion
If there is one thing I have a lot of, it is passion. Once I set my mind towards something there is no stopping me. To get ahead in life, I have to have an end goal, or there is no point in trying to make advancements. It is important to pour every ounce of passion into my work, goals, and dreams to ensure that life is well lived. Wherever there is passion, there are no regrets.
Compassion: The humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it
I try to live with a servant’s heart and see the people in the world who are hurting and need help. Having empathy and compassion for others seems like an obvious characteristic we all should hold, but I also see that it does not come naturally for some. It takes a special heart to see the need in the world. This act of compassion should not be done out of pity, but it would not hurt to look at the world through the eyes of those hurting and show extra compassion when it comes to wanting to see a happy change in the world.
Humor: A comic, absurd, or incongruous quality causing amusement
I have a sarcastic sense of humor so that it can go either way. It feels good to laugh. We should make a point to find humor and laughter in each day. I know for me and the stress I find myself dealing with, if I do not laugh about something, I will end up in tears to just get it all out. And trust me, laughing is so refreshing. Even if it is watching some old reruns of Friends, I feel an instant burden lift after I get some giggles out at the one liners Chandler often throws out.
Style: A particular kind, sort, or type, as with reference to form, appearance, or character
I am not a natural fashionista, but I do try to pull out some stylish looks now and then. Whenever I am pulled together, I feel better, and in theory, everything seems to fall into place. Regardless if my personal style is actually up with the season’s latest trends or not, it does not matter. As long as I am comfortable, that is all that matters to me. I am less worried about setting trends than I am about thriving to survive.
The colors of the world. The people. The flowers. The sights. Everything. We have majestic works of art all around us. We take the simple things for granted. Our busy lives consume our attention, and we forget to stop to smell the roses, as they say. With spring finally making its grand entrance, I am reminded of the beauties of nature all around me. We live in such a vibrant prism of colors, but too often we see only black and white.
We are quick to stay in the comforts of home and stick to a strict routine. I like a solid routine as good as anyone, but there comes the point when I need to venture out and open the seal to an adventure. It has probably been a month or so back when I had a severe case of cabin fever. The cold winter weather had me in one more cranky mood, and the forecast for the Tuesday of that particular week was a teaser for spring, but I did not care. I had to get out of the house, away from my mountain of homework and textbooks, and spend the morning in the fresh air. The need to blow off some steam and recharge was something fierce, so a walk was necessary. Jennifer was on board with my spur-of-the-moment plan, so we spent the better half of a morning walking, talking, and enjoying the almost warm day.
Nothing had brought me to a breaking point, but some big things were happening at school, and it just came down to keeping my sanity or exploding with emotions. It felt so good to be in the moment with no distractions. This made me realize how beautiful this world truly is, and how easy it is to miss the beauty in plain sight. It does not matter how busy we think we are, or how many deadlines we have piling up, always take the time to appreciate everything this world has to give us.
Life is short, and we only have so many days on this earth to soak up rays of the sun, breathe fresh air, and smell the fragrances of flowers. Sometimes, I wish we could all go back in time or revise our ways of thinking to that of a child’s untainted innocence. Their curiosity of people and their surroundings is a perfect example of how we should view this beautifully, wonderful world.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2017
It is hard for me to wrap my head around the ability to search and put into words the answer to this life question. Who was I before I was told who to be? Have I always been me? Will I always be me? Why did I have to be told who to be by the world? I know you should never answer a question with another question, or four in my case, but this is such a multi-layered question. As I hit another milestone in life and look down the road to some big things, I feel nostalgic for a simpler time of life.
The last couple of months have been stressful with school and making big decisions about the next steps I want to take in my education. I should be happy, and trust me, I am, but I cannot help but think of my journey so far. I get asked often enough why I chose the career field I did. I never have a spectacular answer that is clear cut. Sometimes, I go into great detail, but more times than not, I do not have a crutch of a reply to fall back on when asked. Does it matter the exact reasoning behind my decisions? I am invested in my choices and have pursued them successfully thus far, so there is not room for someone to talk me out of it. Not that anyone ever has, but I have tended to walk away from those conversations wondering the purpose of bombarding me with questions of that nature. Playing on defense just to prove my decisions (that are not unheard) is not where I want to stand for the rest of my life. Justifications are not warranted on every occasion, but it frustrates me when someone cannot continue a conversation without a rapid fire of questions.
That aside of a story may not seem relevant in this context but bear with me. The motives behind the third degree of questioning bring everything into perspective. Subliminal messages of conversational undertones convey meanings that impact how we live our lives. These messages may not come to fruition right away, but the echoing words of a conversation can come back to haunt a person. This influence of words from a worldly aspect plays a role in our ability to think and speak for ourselves. The reactions we receive, determine our next move in the game of life. And maybe some of the questions we receive are meant with the best of intentions, but the false audience we create for ourselves and look to for approval use this opportunity to chip away at the confidence and self-esteem we have.
I have not remained constant in my naïve thinking I once fell as a prisoner. Growing into a mature and contributing member of society is what we all should strive for, but the methods to which we reach that status is not as simple. We must be an individual in thinking and steadfast in judgment. The world is not our ruler. It is not enough to say we made the right decision; we should know we made the decision for ourselves, and that the decision was not made for us.
Much of my reflections over life have only been in the last couple of years. This reflection took a deeper cut. I may not remember the exact time and place I made a decision about my passion and future career, but I can say this: I made it. No one told me I had to be one thing over another. I had the freedom to decide, and that is the best gift of empowerment a person could have. Following a phantom dream serves no purpose, and for someone to push that on another person has to be one of the cruelest acts.
Sure, life could have been much simpler had I let someone make all of my decisions for me, but I would not be the independent person I am now. I think I can answer my questions now. The only time I was ever told who to be was the day I was given my name. From that day, I was destined to be me and nothing less. I have always been me. You either love me or hate me. I tell it as it is, and if my honesty cannot be appreciated, I am not the person who has the problem. I will always be me; growth changes a person, but at my core, I will remain. The world may have attempted to tell me who to be and what to be, but I am standing up to that and proving to the doubters I am not backing down from my aspirations to be demoted to a comfort zone. My life’s playbook has no room for mediocrity, so as for me and my story, I am not accepting anything less than what I set out to achieve.
The world may try to mark me, but I am going to leave a mark on the world.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2017