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When All is Crumbling

As I sit here attempting to transform my thoughts into something more tangible, I can feel my relationships crumbling. The ones that were supposed to be unconditional, the ones that were supposed to last forever are now on the brink of desertion. I've transitioned past the denial stage where I tried to convince myself this was temporary, it was just a phase and everything will go back to normal. I lingered there as long as I could, but even that came with a time limit. I've overstayed my welcome, and it's now time to face the facts.

Relationships aren't as simple as sharing your lunch or spending recess together and instantly becoming best friends anymore, and they haven't been that way for a while. They seem to progressively get more and more complicated with each passing day. I've become accustomed to relationships being effortless. Isn't that how they're supposed to be? You get along with someone, laugh at the same jokes and enjoy the same things in life, so why not spend some time together? However as we all grow and progress, everyone chooses their own paths. If you're lucky, you'll travel the journey side by side. If not, maybe your paths may cross at some point. 

Although I've acknowledged it all to be true, I've still expected certain bonds to remain unbreakable. Whether it's blood or shared experiences, there has to be some bond strong enough to keep relationships intact. Just because you're related, does that mean this person can read your mind? Does this mean you'll grow at the same rate? Does this mean you'll have the same interests? Does this mean you'll actually enjoy each other's company? It's preferable, but is it always the case? No. 

At the same time, I've been lucky enough to experience bonds that have survived the pains of time and distance and still remained as strong as ever. With some of the closest people to me at the furthest distance, I can't help but have faith in the idea of it. The idea that love has the capability to conquer all. The idea that love can survive all obstacles. Despite the love interests that I refused to pursue due to those very reasons, my faith in love, despite distance has never been stronger. I now realize that I don't need any further proof.

I understand that I'm arguing both sides of the spectrum and my thoughts are scattered, but I suppose that's the beauty of it. The beauty of accepting that no bond is guaranteed yet seeing the most doubtful ones survive. Knowing that no matter how different your chosen paths in life may be, there are people out there that love you unconditionally, that are willing to help no matter what. 


Playing with Fire

What do you do when the thing you desire most is the same thing that has proven to be catastrophic? It must be avoided at all costs or you'll find yourself playing with fire. After moving forward, why regress to the harmful?

You find the universe leading you to follow your heart. Continuous signs tease you with what you can no longer have. Is it a test, a chance to prove your progress, or a sincere form of permission to let go of your inhibitions?

You begin to question your motives, intentions, feelings, everything. Is this the average case of wanting what you can't have? Perhaps, it's the obvious act of self-destruction. The distractions that seemed to occupy your mind, and possibly even your heart, not too long ago no longer seem to satisfy you. Thus proving that they were, in fact, mere distractions and nothing more. You begin to question each thought, each emotion, in an attempt to differentiate illusions from reality.

You ignore the signs for as long as possible. What are "signs" anyway? Don't they just hold as much significance as you allow them to? Seeing that car on the road meant nothing to you until you started dating and eventually broke up with an owner of one. To an extent, we see what we want to see and avoid what we can't bear to face.

So, you convince yourself that this is nothing more than a series of continuous coincidences. Continue on with your duties and responsibilities as usual. Divert your attention with anything and everything possible. Remind yourself of the previous destruction that no longer seems as horrible as it once did. Do it all yet do nothing until you reach the point when your feelings will finally surpass all possible rationale. The point when you finally decide to follow your heart, risking everything in the process.

"And it was in that moment that I realized that no matter what would be said or left unsaid, this wasn't the end. There has to be much more to this story."


Fuel for Change

There comes a time when we find ourselves at crossroad. We find ourselves at an intersection at which we have to make a decision. We can think, over-analyze and play out both situations in our minds in hopes of determining which one will be more advantageous. Although, it doesn’t really help when you are unable to predict how each route might turn out or when you can be certain that neither option will transport you to your desired destination. What’s worse is when you cannot turn to your usual allies for help. Sometimes, that’s due to false steps made in the past, and other times, it’s just nothing more than a shitty situation. Either way, there comes a time, when you just have to leave things in the hands of God, nature, fate, destiny, the universe or whatever it is you believe in and hope that they are on your side.
I’m completely against the idea of relying on faith only when you are facing difficulties; it is important to always be thankful and have a clear channel of communication with whomever or whatever it is you believe in. For me, that’s God. However, it is only natural to ask for help. And it is in times like these that we hope for a miracle. We expect problems and worries to immediately disappear. We expect the solution to our problem or the answer to our question to fall from the sky and hit us on the head. If only it were that simple.

Signs are usually given to us a bit more discretely. It could be something as simple as one of your favorite songs playing on the radio that just happens to have relevant lyrics or you randomly stumbling upon a quote that touches your heart and shakes your soul. Sometimes, it’s the people that unexpectedly enter your life and can somehow understand your trials and tribulations. Sometimes, it’s the comfort provided by a dear one telling you everything will be okay, whether you believe it or not. Sometimes, it’s the person you would least expect standing by your side. After all, there must be a reason for people to be placed in your life when they are.
 No matter how much of a control freak you may be, situations always arise in which we have no control. As much as you’d like to steer the ship in the direction of your choice, there are times when all you can do is sit back and watch it all unfold. These are the times when you should expect the worst but hope for the best. Here’s to the belief that everything happens for a reason.


Flee to the Mountains

Peaks and valleys, highs and lows, that’s what life is. Nothing stays constant, neither good times nor bad. If you’re one of the many who are under the misconception that your life is just one blow after another, maybe it’s time for you to reconsider. Most likely, you’re simply overlooking the simple pleasures.

Everyone has low points in their lives, but once you hit rock bottom, you’ll know it. There are no ifs, ands or buts. It’ll hit you hard, so there’s no room for second guessing. However, it’s also true, that one will most likely reach their highest potential after hitting their lowest point. Sometimes, we just need reminders of the places we don’t want to end up and the people we never want to become. Sometimes, we need that extra motivation to create the life we want for ourselves.

While I believe in the strength and power of relationships, sometimes more than others, the only person we can truly and unconditionally turn to is ourselves. People often look for help or happiness in others. We hope to find someone that can suddenly make everything okay. While the thought of finding that person seems ideal and magical, I’m not too sure whether that exists. Sometimes, a person can be right by your side while you crash, and they might even be a part of it. But in the end, you’re the only one that has to live with the consequences.

Although you can’t expect someone to heal all wounds, they might be able to make it hurt a little less. They can’t magically fix everything, but they might be able to comfort you as you do. Sometimes, it’s simply an honest conversation with someone who refuses to judge. Getting things off your chest can help you escape from your own thoughts. Other times, it can just be the company of someone who was with you through it all. Someone who knows everything, yet nothing needs to be said. There are no explanations needed, just the closeness developed during a life-altering event. One can only hope that such intimacy can only bring people together instead of creating a complicated distance.


Safe Here With Me

Faith, it's what gets us through the day. Whether it's faith in God or some other sort of higher power or faith in yourself, there is something that makes each and every one of us look forward to another day. There's something that helps us get out of bed in the mornings and move on with our lives regardless of the circumstances.

Like most other things in life, faith can be inconsistent. Life-altering events, tragedies and miracles, can either wither our faith or instill it within us stronger than ever before.

As I witnessed a new-found friend's faith in one of his strongest friendships, I couldn't help but wonder when I lost sight of my own. This led me to question some of my own relationships, especially the ones that I have left behind. When did I lose faith in people and relationships? When did I start being satisfied with the idea of letting go and moving on rather than fighting for the ones that matter most?

Is it the pragmatic side of me? People come and go; it's a part of life. Just as there's a reason for them to surface when they do, there must be a reason for their departure as well. Sometimes, people simply grow apart. People seek different things from life and therefore embark on different paths to obtain them. Other times, uncontrollable factors, such as detached emotions and feelings or bad timing and distance, get in the way. It could be a clash of personalities or just an unresolved misunderstanding. Or there might be no apparent reason at all. Sometimes, relationships just fade.

People often lose significance in our lives while others gain it. That's also natural. It doesn't mean we constantly seek replacements. Everyone has their own special place in our hearts, however it's astonishing to witness how quickly things can change. How do we go from speaking to someone on a daily basis to suddenly losing all contact? Similarly, how does a stranger gain the privilege to hear about our thoughts, feelings and experiences as if they have always been a part of the journey? When the person that already knows it all disappears, how do we suddenly gain the courage to start all over with someone new?

It's all about being open to the possibilities. No one can be sure what kind of significance someone can hold in our lives or what they will have the capability of teaching us. However, once they become a part of our lives, it's almost becomes a bit ineffable to realize where we would be without them. Not in the sense that we would not survive without them, but in a more momentary sense. Had this person not entered your life, who would you be talking to at this very moment? Who would you be spending your days with? Who would you be sharing your life with? It's all part of a larger plan. We may not comprehend it in the moment, but looking back, all of the pieces suddenly somehow fall together.


Back on Defense

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. There are certain things we excel at, whether it's a sport, an activity or simply a characteristic which shines just a little bit brighter than the rest. Similarly, we all have our shortcomings, things that we could be just a little bit better at. It might even be a person. This is natural, normal and expected. But what happens when your strength is the same as your weakness? What if the remarkable characteristic that distinguishes you from the crowd is the very reason for your downfall?

How is it that the very thing you love can transform into the thing you begin to despise? Is it a matter of allotment? Perhaps, we can only tolerate things within limitations, good or bad. After all, it doesn't take long for too much of anything good to turn bad. We begin to take the good for granted. We forget that things could be worse. We forget to appreciate.

However, is it fair to expect yourself or another to restrain, to obstruct themselves? Who is to determine the fine line between good and bad or between too much or too little? And even if someone is willing to hold themselves back and give you what you want, it's simply unfair to ask someone to hold their thoughts back, to hold their abilities back and ultimately, to hold themselves back.

Perhaps, these extremes are necessary in order for us to determine what it is that we seek. Everything seems tolerable within limits, but having to ability to bear something in an extreme can be a struggle. Maybe, life just likes to challenge us with severe versions and cases of the things we chase in order for us to ensure our desires. Many things seem attractive on paper, perhaps due to the direct opposition to the things we dislike or are used to or maybe it's simply the overall idea of it, but experiencing them can lead to a completely different view.


Until the Stars Look Big

Caring for another and putting in effort to see them smile, make them happy, show them that you care. It seems simple enough, yet it can be one of the toughest things to do. Why? Perhaps it's the fear that your actions won't be reciprocated. Maybe it's the desire to have more power in the relationship. Or it just might be the misconception that if we refuse to show our sentiment, it will magically disappear.

I feel that there's a significant difference between caring about someone and caring for someone. Most of us, I hope, care about everyone we know, from family to acquaintances and maybe even strangers. We would be willing to help anyone in need as long as we have the necessary means to do so. However, truly caring for someone is a whole different story. It's more than simply being there for someone when some sort of crises arises and help is needed. It's more about going out of your way to do something nice for someone. It's about wanting to take care of them. It's about wanting to lessen their worries and sorrows. Why? Well, just because, just because you can, just because you want to. No reason, just because. 

What is it about those select few that land them in such a coveted position? Do they actually deserve it or are they automatically placed there due to some unbreakable bond or inexplicable connection? Maybe a bit of both. Sometimes, relationships don't have an explanation or reason why; they simply form, and they simply are.

I'm an all or nothing type of person. If I attempt something, I give it my all. Similarly, if I'm invested in someone, truly invested, I'm all in. It becomes difficult for me to hold myself back. However, the truth is that not everyone that is placed on a pedestal deserves it. What if the one you care for isn't able to display their affection? What if your efforts aren't being reciprocated? Do you continue to care because you're just that good of a person or do you stop even if that means succumbing to their carelessness? What if the random acts of kindness are what makes you who you are, and you're unwilling to lose sight of that regardless of others' actions?

That's probably the worst part, having to choose between the little acts of affection that make you who are or holding yourself back because that's what makes sense. While the tide of confusion can be agonizing, with its passing comes unquestionable clarity. If your actions refuse to be reciprocated, you will most likely lose the urge to continue the efforts. It's only natural. By the same token, if the emotions are true and strong, the mind will find a way to rationalize it. Sometimes, it just takes time to find certainty as to where others stand in your life and where you stand in theirs.


A Few Words of Love from One Man

We’re all fighting our own battles. While some are tougher than others, there is always some sort of struggle, no matter how big or small. Sometimes, it can just be a struggle to get up in the morning and put that smile on. Sometimes, it can be a struggle to get through the day. Sometimes, it can be a struggle to find a moment of peace.

"Where there is no struggle, there is no strength."

Despite the various struggles, we encounter countless people throughout our lives. Some remain mere strangers that we exchange smiles with, others become acquaintances that we exchange casual words with and a select few find their way so deep into our hearts that we end up exchanging a part of our lives, a part of our struggles, a part of ourselves.

When we find ourselves constantly fighting our own battles, what is it that makes us fight for others? How are we able to forget our own struggles, even briefly, in order to fight for someone else? When do someone else’s struggles become more important than our own? How do those select few make their way so deep within our hearts?

Perhaps, we all have that nauseatingly soft side that wants to see the ones we care about happy. Maybe, it’s just nice to have something to distract ourselves from our own problems. And for certain people, we just want to be that person. The person that can make a difference, the person that they can go to, and most importantly, the person that can miraculously heal all of their wounds.  Or maybe, we’re just secretly hoping that they would be willing to do the same for us.

But, what if they don’t? What if the person that you would be willing to go out of your way for doesn’t seem to be willing to reciprocate your actions? Well, that’s probably one of the worst feelings, and there’s no way around it. At first, you may attempt to make excuses for the person. You try your best to use all rationale to defend their actions or lack thereof. And after a while, you’ll probably run out of excuses and be forced to face the facts.

The truth is, these actions, or lack thereof, can be hurtful. However, it’s also true that the urgency to help someone, share with them or stick by their side is not something that can be forced. It’s either there or it’s not, and it’s not something you can hold against someone. Another truth is that just because someone doesn’t care for you the way you want them to or isn’t able to show that they care, doesn’t mean that they don’t.

"Whenever you feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster, just find the person who makes the bumps a little smoother, the curves a little straighter and the free falls a little less scary."


Bent and Broken

Ignorance is bliss, or so they say. I've always been against the idea. I feel that acceptance and confrontation make you stronger and help you move on, while ignorance is simply a sign of weakness.

After all, ignoring something just because it is difficult to admit makes you nothing more than weak, right? Does it change things if the confrontation will lead to deterioration rather than growth? Does it change things if the acceptance will snatch away all of the wonderful memories you like to reminisce upon every once in a while? Does it change things if it doesn't improve the present or the future but only eliminates the smiles of the past?

What if this will deplete all of the progress you have made recently and leave you backtracking rather than moving forward? What if this realization will only make all of this that much more difficult the next time around? What if this will change the way you look at the one person that matters? But most importantly, what if this will change the way you look at yourself because it will transform you into a hypocrite?

Ignoring certain conflicts doesn't necessarily signal weakness. It's all about choosing your battles. Fight for the things you believe in and as for the things that don't seem to be worth the consequences, just let them be. Every truth doesn't need to be vocalized, but know it in your heart and mind and act accordingly. Just because you choose not to act upon it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Could ignorance really be bliss? Maybe. 

"Follow your bliss, and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls."


A Song Only You Can Hear

I've always been fascinated with the idea of time. How it has the ability to heal certain wounds and not others. How does so much change with time yet nothing really changes at all? How is it that in certain cases, even a lifetime couldn't be enough yet in other situations, a single moment can change it all?

How can just a few days with someone be nearly enough to lower the guard you have put up for years? How can a few moments of honesty suddenly vanquish the wall that was made sturdier day by day? How can one moment transform an entire relationship, transform it into something you've always been against and it suddenly seem alright. The worries and hesitancies suddenly disappear and for once, you actually find yourself living in the moment. You find yourself enjoying your days rather than stressing about the upcoming consequences. Your rational self is unexpectedly being spontaneous and rather than thinking everything through, all you can do is feel your emotions. It's like some kind of movie, because this just can't be real life.

And just like that, in only a matter of days, hours, moments, things suddenly go back to normal. Things go back to the way they've always been, but it will never quite be the same; you will never quite be the same.

The movie's over, and all you can do is relive it through all of the wonderful memories.

"The suffering that might come from a mistake is usually less intense and less enduring than the suffering of wondering what could have been."


Spinning On Our Own, Never to Be Undone

"...He is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."

Isn't that what we all do? We spend hours over-analyzing what we could have said or should have done differently or scripting out that crucial talk that could make or break a relationship. However, the truth is that we can neither change the past nor fully control the future. And as much as we like to think that we have it all under control, there is only so much that is truly within our power. Not everything is in our hands, and sometimes, we just have to ride the tide and go where life takes us.

There's that never-ending battle between fate or destiny and our decision-making power. I'd like to think that life somehow intertwines the conflicting concepts. Certain things are within our control, while others are simply part of a greater plan. So you have your own vision filled with dreams and goals, but you must be able to adapt to anything that life may throw your way. We all live with the idea that we always have tomorrow. We can talk later, and things will come together when the time is right. When in reality, nothing is guaranteed. Just when you think you have it all figured out, life will turn it all upside down; who said it was supposed to be easy?

"Fate is a manifestation of natural causes. That's it. It is not a conscious entity. It has no plans."

And once again, it's all about perspective. You can linger on everything that should have happened differently, everything that you could have done or said that would have changed it all or you can simply make the most of what you have. You can live with the unresolved issues of the past or the fear of the changes the future could bring or just make the most out of the present. You can dwell upon the missed opportunities of the past and the lack of time in the future or simply live in the moment for once.

Say everything that's on your mind and do everything you've been yearning for. It's all about being open to the opportunities and making the most out of the time that you have. Sometimes, the few moments of happiness in the present can make up for all of the heartache of the past and offer greater memories to remember in the future.

So, taking my own advice and listening to my own words, a friend and I have decided to write down at least one thing that makes us happy each day. We're also adding pictures and turning it into a summer scrapbook. It's only been a few days, but I must say that it has made me appreciate all of the little things just a little bit more.

"Enjoy the little things in life. For one day, you'll look back and realize they were the big things."


Even the Wrong Words Seem to Rhyme

Life is funny sometimes. We see others, at their best and worst, and we tell ourselves that we will never be "that girl", "that guy" or "that person". We claim to not be judgmental, but let's get real, we all do it. And before we know it, we find ourselves becoming the person we despised, the person we swore we'd never be.

Sometimes we find ourselves fighting for the things that don't seem to be worth the struggle to anyone else. Other times, we find ourselves trying to ignore the obvious, simply because it conflicts with the perfect vision playing in our heads. We do irrational things that we didn't know we were capable of. In the process, we end up surprising ourselves, but in the end, we realize our worth.

Just as it's not fair to ignore the bad in a person for the good, it also isn't fair to ignore the good because of a few bad decisions. When you spend time with a person, talk to them, get to know them, you get a feel for who they are and what they stand for. You realize how much they could possibly mean to you and whether that's worth putting up with their worst.

They say that when mistakes are repeated, they are no longer considered mistakes but rather a reflection of character; I beg to differ. Some things take longer to set in, and repetition can do the trick. Certain repercussions seem to be more clear the second time around. And when they are repeated, they can no longer be ignored.

Most people end up living in regret- regretting all bad choices and wrong decisions, over-analyzing everything that could have been done differently. But the bad choices only lead to better ones. They help us grow, learn and become better versions of ourselves.

"If you've never fallen, you will never know what it's like to get up."


An Arch to Build Upon

We're all afraid of something, and knowingly or unknowingly, we try to compensate for it with something else. We direct our attention elsewhere, focus on other things. We attempt to accommodate with other distractions. But the truth is, none of those distractions can be permanent.

But then again, I'm the kind of person that tends to see the cup half full. So, "when one door closes, another opens". I like to think of it as when one door closes, a thousand others open. Opportunities are everywhere, and they're endless; it's just a matter of capturing them.

When we become comfortable, it makes it even more difficult to let go of the ease and attempt for something greater. After all, isn't that what life is all about? As terrifying as it can be to let go of the familiar for the mere possibility of some thing more, we're supposed to continue to grow, learn, experience. We're supposed to accomplish things larger, better, greater than the ones before. It's what we strive for, what we live for.

"You can't climb to the top if you don't start at the bottom."

Ironically enough, I found my dream internship right after I composed this blog post about opportunities. What are the odds? Please take a minute to vote for me:


Enjoy the Silence

Due to my passion for writing, I understand the intensity of words. However, I think we all forget to say the right ones here and there, because we get lazy, busy, distracted or scared even. We tell ourselves that the ones we love know we do just like the ones we miss know it too. There's no need for repetition; it's simply unnecessary.

But the thing is, while people may know how you feel, hearing it brings with it it's own sensation. It suddenly feels more real, the feelings come to life. The simple "I'm proud of you" or "I love you" can keep one going another day. It can be the motivation they were seeking. 

Certain feelings that you decided to keep hidden could have held together a relationship. The right words could provide redemption for all the time wasted years later. Random honest confessions could provide the closure you were longing for. Knowing something in your heart just isn't enough sometimes; certain things have to be surfaced.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a
listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all
of which have the potential to turn a life around.” 

Never Backed Down

As much as our connectedness amazes me, I have begun to despise the idea of dependence. Throughout the past few years, I’ve made a conscious effort to avoid having to rely on others. I’ve learned to make myself happy instead of looking for happiness in others. I’ve learned to care for myself, and if there’s something I really want, well I go out and get it, on my own of course.

I have always taken pride in this trait as I see my friends hurt, because the person they once relied on might be leaving. I heard others go on and on about losing their best friends or finding out that they were never true friends to begin with. I’ve seen the ugliest breakups and heartaches and always took pride in the fact that I did not have to go through that, and I would make sure that I never did.

Yet today, I find myself questioning this independence that I have found. Does it conflict with the forming of meaningful relationships? How meaningful could the relationship be if I wasn’t hurt by it ending? How much did I truly care if I’m able to distract myself with my demanding career, rigorous workout routine or even newly found replacements?

After all, it shouldn’t be necessary to choose between finding happiness within yourself and happiness in others. Perhaps, like most other things, one must find a balance. Extremes are never good news, no matter which way you lean.

"Don't depend too much on anyone in this world, because even your shadow leaves you in the dark."


Nothing Like the Rest, Darling

Inspiration. It drives us to discover new aspects of ourselves, to achieve or make things that might not have even crossed our minds had it not been for that one instant. I get inspired from words, thoughts, people, places, sounds, pretty much everything I can sense, anything I can feel.

But inspiration isn't merely finding something you adore and taking it, claiming it to be your own. Rather inspiration is finding something you adore and transforming it to suit your ideas and lifestyle. Taking something and making it your own by weaving it with your own aesthetic, putting your unique signature on it. Adding that twist that truly makes it yours and prevents anyone else from claiming it.

No two people see the world the same way. No matter how many similarities may exist, we all interpret things differently. Therefore, it's almost impossible to have identical thoughts or ideas.

Spending a lot of time with someone or getting to know another deeply can bring you closer, with it bringing similarities. However, no matter how deep a relationship, it's important to remain individuals simultaneously. Whether it's a close friend or significant other, there's no reason to lose sense of who you are, your uniqueness.

We often mistake looking up to someone as wanting to be them, which is not the case. If you admire someone, work to achieve their accomplishments, by all means, but in the ways that relate to your dreams, aspirations, personality, in a way that remains you.

By sacrificing your sense of individuality, not only are you losing your identity, but also stealing theirs.


Wrecking and Ruining

As people, we're always evolving. They say that life isn't about finding yourself, but rather creating yourself. But what happens when you start losing sight of yourself?

You know who you are. You know your desires, passions, hopes and dreams, likes and dislikes. You know yourself. Yet, your decisions are no longer a reflection of your personality. When your actions no longer reflect your values and beliefs. When you lose connection with the people and things that once mattered most. When you just don't feel the way you once did. Yet you continue to fulfill your daily responsibilities, so you fail to see it happening.

It's almost like walking around broken, living life halfway, yet no one can see it. Only the closest dear ones can sense the change, yet only you can fix it.

Such drastic changes usually occur after a traumatizing event. But what if it suddenly catches up to you years later? Could it have been the stress of everything? Or rather the pressure of always holding it together? Perhaps it was the unresolved issues from the past resurfacing.

Either way, change is necessary. Here's to returning priority to the people and things that matter and avoiding the harmful.


Memories Made

It's that time of the year when everyone is expecting a new years post whether it consists of resolutions for the new year or reflections from the old. The truth is, I'm not big on new years and never have been. I believe that every day can be a fresh start if you want it to be, and to wait for a new year to reflect or make changes is simply a waste of time. Despite my beliefs, I would be lying if I said all the new years hype didn't get me thinking. I reflected on my experiences throughout the year and looked forward to the next. Although the experiences have been irreplaceable and the lessons learned numerous, they all have lead to the solidarity of one thing: my belief in myself.

By trusting the wrong people, I learned that I can trust no one but myself. I make a conscience effort to find the best in people, because there is some goodness in even the worst of us. However, I learned that some people aren't worth the effort. I've learned that something that might come as common sense to me might not even cross another's mind. Therefore, I can't expect from others what I would be willing to do for them. At the end of the day, it really is each man for himself.

I've constantly been fighting the never-ending battle between the mind and the heart, and I think I've finally found the solution, one that works for myself at least. My head informs me of what makes sense, what's logical. But the truth is, I'm not a logical person. I feed off of emotions and feelings. That's where the heart comes in; my heart tells me what's right for me. And that makes all the difference.

I've also learned that you either have to put your all into something or nothing at all. Doing nothing might be better than doing something halfheartedly. Don't let anything hold you back from the things you want, not even yourself or your defense mechanisms. Sometimes it's the things we do to prevent ourselves from heartbreak that lead to it.

Lastly, belief in yourself consists of the belief in your dreams. I know how cliche this sounds, but if you don't believe in your dreams, who will? Don't limit yourself to the things in front of you; go beyond that. Push the envelope and open yourself up to the possibilities. It won't be easy, but if you truly want something, you'll make it happen. And once you achieve something you once dreamed of, well, there's just no better feeling.

I'm not going to lie, there are a few things I wish I had done differently this past year. However, if things had been different, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I've learned from my mistakes and have become a better person because of them. And I can't help but think that what I've learned has saved me from worse mistakes. I have a lot to look forward to in this new year, and I couldn't be more excited. I've found a way to combine the things I'm most passionate about and apply them to my career so I can live them everyday. I truly hope everyone finds their passion, because with it will come happiness and success.

"Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe."