Well guys, the time has officially arrived. Those late night summer sunsets are beginning to dwindling down as the days get shorter; you're turning in your two-weeks at your summer job; the crisp tan lines you worked SO hard to achieve will slowly fade away; the college students are antsy and ready to head back to school, and before we know it, it's time to return to the real world, the world of responsibilities..the fall semester.
As we are kissing the warm, sunshine season goodbye, we welcome a new season. A season full of weekends filled with football, oversized sweaters, the smell of pumpkin spice lattes and warm apple pies, everyone's favorite fuzzy socks, last minute bonfires, rekindling relationships that seemed to have faded during the summer vacation, etc. As everyone knows, this season pays a visit once a year, and typically, we return to our same routine as the previous year: saying hello to the same school, same clothes, same attitude, same clique, and the list goes on and on, but honestly why would we change any of these things? I mean come-on, it's only been one year, of course I'm not going to transform into an entirely new person in just one short year.. or 52 weeks..or 365 days.. or even 8760 hours..
Throughout our lives; our "novels", we tend to carry our own personal "luggage" with us from chapter to chapter which is incredible! I define personal luggage as unique attitudes, perspectives, relationships, habits, cherished memories, etc.. These pieces help shape us and impact the thesis of our following chapter. Truthfully, it's what makes our story ultimately, OUR'S. However, sometimes our carry-on luggage reaches it's limit and we often find ourselves carrying around that old, oversized suitcase with the broken zipper that your momma told you not to bring on vacation. You insist on bringing it because it's your ABSOLUTE favorite and you refuse to leave it behind. This suitcase is dangerous because the contents of it are clothed in our history, and patched together with important milestones, struggles, and toxic relationships, we are blinded by the treasure we find in each of these articles. Truth be known this piece of luggage is what holds us back from traveling to our next destination, it's holding us back from becoming the person we wish to be, reaching those farfetched goals, or just pure happiness!
For most of you, your fall semester is just now beginning. I want to personally encourage every single on of you to think about this upcoming season.. think of the potential it embodies; think of this clean slate you're being given; think of the goals you have set, and have yet to complete. You are being handed a permanent marker and stack of paper, unfold this next chapter EXACTLY how you wish. Make this season, your season. Return to school with a positive attitude about learning: think of every class as a privilege, and not so much as a chore. Reach out to your old friends from middle school who you pass by everyday and don't even think to say "hi" to. Build relationships with your teachers (!!!) ; I promise, you'll cherish this one day more than you can imagine. Approach that person sitting alone, and ask them how their day is going. Say thank you and be polite, even if you're in literally the worst mood ever, because people remember how you make them feel. Never sit and dwell because everything earthly possible seems to be upside down, and going wrong. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Indulge in the little moments, and quit setting expectations with everything you go into; instead, take everything with a grain of salt and let your story be told. Don't put living today on halt because of yesterday's mistakes.
Everyone has a story. I have a story. Everyone's story is complex in its own perpetual way. Our stories may fluctuate with the seasons from time to time, and we may wish some chapters would disappear and be removed forever from our context. We should never run from our story or its chapters, every high and every low defines us. Your struggles are some of the best things that happen to you; you learn, you feel, you build from it, and you chose to move on. Embrace your flaws, because without them you wouldn't be you. You have a purpose. Observe your environment, and think for a second: what is my purpose for my placement? How could I impact my surroundings positively for the benefit of my peers, as well as myself?
This next chapter is in your hands. You're blessed with the opportunity to turn everything around, or remain the same for satisfaction. It's up to you. Regardless of what you decide, do yourself a favor and throw that awfully damaged, over flowing suitcase away. Throw it away and realize it's okay to not be okay, accept your history for what it is and come to terms with your demons. Confrontation is one of the first steps to the feeling of contentment.
Now go, go live the life you've always dreamt of. Step out of your comfort zone and find your niche. Fill your story with millions of "first", and remember to never stop smiling. Learn to love your story, your crooked, wonderful story. :)
I want to wish everyone good luck as we enter this 2016 fall season, I hope it brings fulfillment and is more than every anticipated.