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Grow Through Life

I recently graduated college and finally attained a diploma that took years of hard work and countless sleepless nights. While I'm proud of this accomplishment, I can't help but question the institution of education. From Pre-K to the fourth year of college, a person spends 18 years in school. Take into consideration that most students take more than four years to complete the coursework and these days, graduate school is almost necessary in order to compete in the workplace, increasing the number of years we spend in school.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that constant education is necessary throughout one's life. It's important to nourish our brains and imperative to think beyond the horizon. However, the aspect I'm questioning is how school tends to consume our lives. How we're forced to learn about the things that don't interest us when we can utilize that time learning about the things that matter to us. How grades are more crucial than the actual act of learning.

We have this idea that we'll start living later. We'll start living after high school, after college, after we find our first real world job, after we find a better job, after we get that promotion, so on and so forth. That's when life will really start. That's when we can start doing what we want. We spend at least 18 years of life just waiting.

But what are we waiting for? Are we waiting to spend more time in the classroom or more hours at work? Why is it that we have to find a way to fit in the activities we enjoy and the people we love into our busy schedules that consist of meetings and deadlines. Isn't that what life is about? The people we meet and the relationships we foster. That's what really matters. Shouldn't we focus on stimulating our passions and cultivating our talents instead?

Life can't begin tomorrow, because quite honestly, tomorrow might be just a little too late. Life is the moment you're living at this very moment. It's the song you're listening to on Pandora and the emotions that it is evoking. It's the cappuccino you're sipping. It's the person keeping you company. This is it, it's up to you to make it worthwhile.


What You Show the World

I have seen things that people would never believe and experienced things that people would never expect. Things I would never allow you to forecast with the brilliance of my constant smile. I'm not saying this to praise myself but more so as a testament to the fact that with courage and faith, all things are possible. With the simultaneous power of these two, one can conquer all obstacles. Allow either of them to wither, and you reduce your chances of moving forward, your chances of something better.

Uncertainties and difficulties always lead to the hunt for comfort. Most of us will find ourselves resorting to the past, to someone, something or somewhere, that can provide some sense of peace or happiness, even if it's just momentary. I've done it in the past and get the urge to do it again every now and then, the urge to return to the familiar. It's safe. However, for the first time in years, I don't want to resort to the past. I'd rather stay in this obscurity and uneasiness while I wait for something, someone, somewhere better. After all, what's the fun in always playing it safe?

For the first time in years, I have a clear vision of what I want. I can actually visualize the future I'm working toward. I can see it. I can almost touch it, it's so close. Allowing myself to retreat at this point would only hinder my growth. And isn't that what life is all about, to constantly continue to grow and learn to be better?

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." -C.S. Lewis


Fly with Me

It has always boggled my mind how an intelligent person can be so reckless. How is it possible that someone who clearly knows better manages to let their feelings get the best of them? Until I realized, I live for passion. Some of us live to think, to ponder while others pine to feel something.

Maybe it's the writer in me. I understand that while the wildest stories may come to life only through vivid imaginations, some factual incident, some magical moment sparked the idea of it all. While many of us watch movies and read novels to escape into a world of fantasy, I live to experience those unbelievable, breathtaking moments in reality. It's that you-just-had-to-be-there moment or that inexplicable, unimaginable instant of enchantment that gives me hope. The stories that others will only consider fabricated or exaggerated are the ones worth telling.

Not every tale has a happy ending. There isn't always a happily ever after, but there is always a lesson to be learned. Every story has a moral, a mental or emotional takeaway. They mold us into the people we were meant to be and bring us one step closer to the story we wait our entire lives to write, compile, comprehend and one day share.


A Little Extra

What is it that makes someone extraordinary? Everyone has something they're good at, something that they're a little bit better at than others. Yet, not everyone has that visible spark that shines despite the circumstances. I believe that some some talents are blessings from God. It's apparent when someone is born to do something, and that kind of talent cannot be ignored. However, there are also talents that are nurtured, talents that are improved with time and dedication.

It all comes down to courage, the courage to pursue something, the courage to truly dedicate yourself to something. It takes faith in yourself. The ability to take risks rather than conforming to the norm, acting on impulse in order to fully acknowledge your instincts.

I have been blessed to witness numerous transformations that have left others in awe. It's wonderful to acknowledge potential in others and to see them succeed. However, it's not enough to witness others. At some point, that inspiration should be merged into your own life.

Far too often, we see others climb heights, yet not many believe that they have the ability to reach similar, if not greater, heights. While it's true that some are blessed with more favorable circumstances, it is our own dedication and hard work that shapes our destiny. Luck can only take you so far.

It's not always what you have but what you choose to do with it, how you let it affect you, that makes all the difference.