It seems like just yesterday that I was making arts and crafts, using Popsicle sticks and glitter, and playing with my American Girl dolls that now sit in the back shelf of my closet. Next week I'll be turning 18-- the magic year when you become an "adult" only to find out you can't actually do much until you're 21. But, nonetheless, it will be a new milestone for me. Oh, I'm also moving away from the Bay Area, which has been my home, my whole life. Although I am beyond excited to be starting college, I still have my anticipations about moving away from familiarity and going into "unknown territory," but that is the beauty of life. There's something exhilarating and liberating about not knowing what will happen next. The way I see it is life is a bunch of events that intertwine together to create a bigger picture-- just like how a story is filled with chapters. When thinking about what you want to write in your own story, it’s important to remember a couple things.
Change is inevitable. It is often the hardest thing that we must come to terms with in life. If I have learned anything from my life experiences, it is that people are constantly evolving and changing. We are all going on different paths. It might take longer for one person to achieve the same goals as another and that’s OKAY. While you go through different phases, you learn to grow and adapt to your surroundings. You are always in the process of becoming (in the words of Sarah Kay). In every decision you make, you are getting one step closer in the process of self-actualization. Life isn’t easy. It doesn’t come with instructions laid out like the manuscripts that come with IKEA furniture. We don’t get to pick and choose our future plans that easily. Starting over can be a scary thing to do. This is a concept that took a long time for me to get used to. I am a long-term planner. I like to know everything ahead of time. And I like to have control in the decisions that I make. But sometimes you need to let the reins lose and stop thinking about what happens next. Accept the things that you cannot change, and change the things you can’t accept.
If you find yourself changing in personality it’s okay. You won’t always be the same person you were a couple of months ago. Sometimes these changes can be the most difficult—especially when you don’t get a positive reaction from your friends and family. It’s natural to want acceptance, and it’s not a good feeling when you feel otherwise. However, remember that our values and ideals are not set in stone. Our perception of life changes when we are introduced to new ideas and new experiences. This is a good thing. People learn from different aspects of life; otherwise how else would we grow intellectually and emotionally?
At the end of the day, it’s your life. Don’t waste time focusing on those who don’t see the best in you! If you keep trying to please everyone, you won’t be happy. Everyone has their own story but not every story will be the same. You will find that everything in life happens for reasons that you cannot explain. Everything eventually works out the way they're supposed to, even if we have to fight a couple dragons or witches on the way.