365 days ago, I made a very big decision in my life. I decided to remove everything that made me unhappy, everyone who didn't believe in me and anyone who didn't care to dig deep enough into my soul and truly get to know me and everything I love. I decided to focus entirely on myself and my dreams.
Like I said in one of my articles, I have always been a dreamer and have always had extremely big goals and expectations for myself. Coming from a small town and an even smaller high school, I had my fair share of being around small-minded people. I never let that small mindset rub off on me, but I definitely down-played myself to fit into it.
A year ago, I let people tell me I couldn’t do something. I let people try and talk me out of doing something I wanted just because I didn’t have it in me to stop them. I still had the same fire I do now, I just hid it on the inside. I let others dictate my life. Do you know how stupid that is? But 365 days ago, I decided to change it.
I cut the people out of my life that weren't doing anything for me but make me question my dreams, my goals, my passions and quite frankly myself. I don’t like being around people who are satisfied with what is handed to them. I don't like being around people who only look forward to the next party. I don’t like being around people who are fine with where they’re at. Why? Because when you surround yourself with those people, their small mindset will rub off on you if you aren't careful. If I gave up on myself and everything I believe in, I wouldn’t be me. Nothing poetic or beautiful about what I did, I just gathered a whole bunch of courage up and removed the toxic from my life.
This was a new beginning for me. Something I would never let those people be a part of. It was the start of a chapter I would dedicate wholeheartedly to myself. As I achieve each goal I have spent my nights dreaming about, I won’t celebrate being surrounded by the people who didn’t believe in me. I will spend them with the people who genuinely support and believe in me; the people who love me. I learned to starve what kept me stranded and feed what made me fly.
This new chapter, this whole year, has been such a crazy experience. I’ve made mistakes, met people I wish I never met, hit crazy lows and even spent time being someone I am not to conform to the basic societal standards. It’s all because I was completely on my own - something I have never truly experienced in my young adulthood.
But the thing is, I came up from all of that a completely different person. Those low points in my life are the reason I am on such a high right now. If I hadn’t experienced those times in my life on my own, I may be the same person I was a year ago - and that’s what kept me going. I remember the feeling I had a year ago when I freed my mind and soul from the negativity. It was the most freeing feeling, it was full of hope and anticipation of what my future held. It was a feeling that I could do anything I wanted and accomplish anything I put my mind to. I learned sometimes you have to burn to see what you’re made of and find your worth in the ashes. If you haven’t been burned by the fire, then you know not of its heat.
Today, I reflect on who I was one year ago, on who I have been the last 365 days and who I am now. I have never been happier and that’s a fact. I have never been more certain of who I am or what I want. I am consciously evolving.
Today, I only have time have time for what brings me closer to my dreams. I only surround myself with people who are full of ambition and creativity and who offer something different to my life; the people who have a deeper connection with themselves and an outlook on life that absolutely terrifies others because they aren’t even able to wrap their mind around it. The ones that are undeniably themselves. The ones who don't play it safe - the ones who don’t just dream of what they want; they go out and get it freaking done. As the people we meet are a direct reflection of ourselves, I learned it's important to surround ourselves with the ones who are not just similar to us but the ones who will change our lives and make us better people.
There is no passion to be found playing small; in settling for a life that is less capable than the one you are capable of living. Over the course of a year, I changed more than ever. A decision I made 365 days ago has had a positive domino effect on my life. The choice to free myself from what wasn’t mine and focus on me and everything I wanted was the best decision yet. Always believe that at any moment you hold the power to be who you want to be. You’ve always had permission to witness yourself rise, you just have to decide when it’s time you start believing in your potential. The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation.
"Seek therefore not to find out who you are, seek to determine who you want to be" - and never go back.