Change Can Be A Good Thing

Change Can Be A Good Thing

Because of what I experienced it has lead me to you.
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It was raspberry ice tea, chills running down your spine because of the cold floors touching your feet, watching the sun rise from your bedroom window. It was stepping outside to the smell of fresh cut hay, laughter after a long days work and falling asleep to the sound of the pager in the kitchen. Things at that point in time seemed alright, the puzzle was put together some would call it much simpler.

Fast forward it a couple years and certain things have changed. Your hair is longer much longer than it use to be, you put more trust in 1200 pound animal than you did with your own blood, and your soul has grown into a beautiful sunflower. Why a sunflower, because they are tall, beautiful, independent and so much more than any other flower I would ever want to be.

I have reflected on my life this past week and I have compared it to where I am now as a person. The times have change and I am learning to adapt to it, for example there is no more raspberry ice tea but just mango water from the student restaurant. No more falling asleep to the sound of a pager, but just the faint ticking of a clock to sooth my mind. These small changes have brought some of the greatest treasures my way, and I am so grateful them.

I am grateful for experiencing the beauty of the ocean with you for the first time since I was five years old, Chinese dinner dates, fortune cookie readings, celebrating graduation, and every accomplishment that I have been blessed with since that moment. I could go about every single moment that I am grateful for but it would take a little over a year to share each memory. You took a world that seemed extremely shattered, bruised, scared and woven it back into a beautiful adventure that I once pictured it to be.

Change was always a scary thought especially when it involves my life because I am never quiet sure on how to handle it. When we met you took the time to listen to my thoughts that I had stored away for a long time. You took what I said held it in the palm of your hand and piece by piece, you slowly glued my puzzle pieces back together.

Change to me is no longer a scary thought for I know you will always stand along side me and we will tackle it together. I am grateful that God has sent you my way, there is so many adventures awaiting us that I can not wait to experience each one with you. Change can be beautiful and because of what I experience it lead me to you.

All my love,

Rachel




Cover Image Credit: Rachel Cianfichi

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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."
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It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1152445/images/o-HIGH-SCHOOL-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg

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I Thought I Was Invincible But Then I Tore My ACL

i had to fall to get back up again

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Track has been my favorite hobby since I was in elementary school. Nothing could compare to the wind rustling through my hair as I ran, the sun shining down on me, the feeling of complete bliss and accomplishment as I crossed the finish line. Every spring, I lay in wait for the elementary track meet where I would prove I was the fastest girl in my grade (there was only two of us, so winning didn't really prove anything). Every race was a chance for me to do better–to become better.

High school rolled around and I was still as committed to track as I was when I was eight. The season was going well and I was on my way to do big things. The only thing on my mind was state; I didn't even think about the possibility of injury. The sprint relay came along, and like always, I passed all the competition with alarming speed and grace. My pride swelled with each distant cheer from my teammates and friends. It was just about time to hand off to my second leg when things went horribly wrong. I ran up on my teammate which caused me to step out of my lane. Panicking, I pulled my leg back into my lane and stopped. I heard a loud POP! and I went down in searing pain. My coach and other teammates ran up to me after the race was finished to help me off the track.

My coach couldn't determine what was wrong with me, so I hobbled over to our setup to rest until my next event. I ran the 800 relay with none of my former grace and ease, but I finished and help qualify my team for the area. That's when my life turned upside down. I went from being a regional qualifier to not being able to run in a matter of minutes, and I didn't know how to contain myself. This sparked months of rage and despair which made it hard for others to be around me.

Eventually, I started to realize that my sports career wasn't the only trait I possessed that made me unique. There were so many extracurriculars I was able to invest my time in when I wasn't able to do sports. It took some time, but I realized that my identity doesn't come from the organizations I'm a part of, but the type of person I am. Through my recovery time, I was able to get to know myself and rediscover some old hobbies, like reading. I was also equipped with the knowledge that good things don't come effortlessly. Instead, I have to fight for the things I desire.

The most important lesson I learned from tearing my ACL was this: I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined. My determination to overcome this set back showed me a type of resilience and persistence I never knew I possessed. I am strong, not because of my physical abilities, rather, my mental capabilities. These are the few lessons I hold in my heart as I finish up this year's track season. Events didn't play out the way I imagined but I'm thankful for every opportunity I've had to do what I love.

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