In August of 2016 I wrote about the 6 biggest regrets I had about my time in college, but it was more a rant about being unprepared for university life, rather than my regrets. Truthfully, though, I don't regret any of those experiences. I am much better because of the lessons they taught me, and I will be forever grateful for learning them. There is really only one thing I regret about the last four (okay, five going on six) years and it is this: I sacrificed the things I was passionate about to fit into a mold that I thought everyone was supposed to fit into.
How sad is that?
I thought that in order to be successful, I had to follow a very specific path. A "good" degree, grad school, work 9-5, pay off student loans, etc.
But whose definition of success is that, really? Certainly not mine. It sounds boring and unsatisfying.
I've come to the realization that my definition of success is doing something I love every single day. Something that fires me up, that helps me leave my mark on the world. Success is feeding my passions and turning them into something I can spend my whole life doing.
I want to take all of whatever it is I am feeling in a moment in time and put it into something productive. I want to use what it is I have experienced and use it to make something really incredible.
I am so much more than my failed attempt at college, my average grades, and my penchant for skipping class to write. I know to some, the last five years of my life will be seen as a failure, that I've wasted time, that I'm dumb or irresponsible; but I don't care.
These roadblocks have all been exactly what I needed to realize the truth: none of this holds me back in any way. If anything, it actually gives me a big advantage.
I've figured out what it is that I want in life, probably much earlier than most people do. I'm no longer held back by societal definitions of happiness and success: I know what those words mean to me, and that is all I care about.
The right one
will discover why
her eyes are wild. -Raquel Franco
So, world, what makes your eyes wild? What makes your heart dance in anticipation? What does your soul wish for every morning as you open your eyes?
Do that. Do what sustains and inflames your passions and never stop. Take your happiness into your own hands and feed it daily--life is too uncertain to live any other way.
Just think of it this way: would you rather take a shot at true joy and fulfillment, or live your life inside the lines of safety and always be asking, "what if?"