Find Your Passion

Find Your Passion

Pursue It
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I feel like my articles have become rather repetitive when it comes to the topic of college and the impact it has had in my life, but it truly has been one of the biggest learning curves I've experienced. I have learned how to withstand forces never put against me before and come out the other side one way or another. I have learned how to handle social struggles, an insurmountable load of anxiety, and numerous academic challenges. But through these experiences I have one learned thing, never give up.

Through all of the long and often teary-eyed phone calls with my mom, there was always one thing she would say that could calm me down no matter what manic state I was in. "God has a plan." As easy as it is to say, it's not always as easy to believe, especially when you're an overtired, overstressed, over-everything college student. The smallest bump in the road feels like you totaled your car. All in all, it's easy to lose faith in not only Him but yourself throughout the course of life and especially college.

Throughout winter break I had a lot of soul-searching to do. I contemplated changing my career, my hair, any little thing in my life that I thought would make me happier. Little did I know God's plan is always better than mine, even when I try to deny it. A valuable lesson I've come to learn is that you have to go with the flow and you can't let one minute mishap knock you down.

Like the song by Chumbwamba "I get knocked down, but I get up again."

I spent three weeks going back and forth about what I truly wanted to spend my life doing. I thought I had lost my passion for physical therapy, lost belief in myself and my academic ability, and all that I used to pride myself on. I felt numb. Not quite sure where my passion, my drive went. I felt like I was in a rut I was never going to get out of. I went back to school and kept going through my normal daily routine in hopes of something coming back to me at some point.

It wasn't until I went back home for spring break did the little glimpse of light I was waiting for came to me. I took a visit to the same special needs school where I had originally discovered my passion for physical therapy and helping others. I walked in and I instantly was flashed back to 8th grade when I had first seen a physical therapist working with special needs children. That's the woman I want to become. I want to be a part of something bigger than myself. I want to make a difference in people's lives.

There is a certain light in the eyes of special needs children. An innocent joy that can turn anyone's frown upside down. I take such inspiration from down syndrome and special needs children that glow with happiness despite what life may have given them. Standing in therapy with children who have been given all the odds to deal with, but still belly laugh and smile loud enough and big enough for everyone to see because of the pure joy in their hearts. I want to spend my life making a difference in the lives of those children because of the difference they have made in mine.

All of the original raw emotion I felt came flooding back and I had my "ah-ha" moment. God has a plan for me. He wants to use me. I need to let him. I don't know how I was able to lose this pure passion just because I went through a few rough patches, but it certainly taught me to never give up on myself.

So on your next bad day, when you get that crappy grade back, or you're just not feeling yourself, remember. God always has a plan. You may not be able to see it, it may not feel like it, but you were put on this Earth for a reason. So find your passion, pursue it, and never look back.

"Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40: 30-31

Cover Image Credit: Isabella Creech 2014 Down Syndrome Family Connection Photo for Calendar

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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.
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High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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I Expected It To Have It All Together By 22 And I'm Still Far From That

What we expected and what reality actually is, are two completely different things...

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Oh our 20s, how we expected them to be so different. We expected to graduate college at 22, have a career by 23, be engaged by 24, married with a house by 25, kids by 26-28, vacationing with the family by 30, and retired by 60. We expected college to be parties and cute boys/girls. Instead, we got late nights of studying and crying after a job that barely pays for our car, food, dorm, and textbooks. We get no social life and if we do our grades suffer for it.

Our 20s were expected to be all fun but all we got were struggles and stress. I mean I don't know about you but I expected, to have it all together and I'm nearly 23 and far from it. I had all the scholarships and great grades, and I still don't have any type of degree.

Reality hits after 18. Most of us don't have the help of mom and dad anymore. We have to find our way and make a path for ourselves. Sometimes our dreams and goals have to be put on hold for that. The 20s isn't fun. It's about discovering who you are, who you want to be, and where you want to go. Some of us serve our country, some become incarcerated, some of us parents, some teachers, others cops, others travel or study abroad, some dead, some ill, other managers, others homeless, some still living home, and some even addicts.

The weird thing about your 20s is everyone is doing something different, but yet everyone is confused and comparing themselves to others. People feel if they're not doing what others are doing, in their age group then they have failed themselves. What people forget is that with life comes obstacles and sacrifice and everyone's life and situations are different. You are where you need to be right now, for you, and I think that's something to remember in your 20s.

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Another thing about your 20's is you're free to think for yourself now. No more having to follow a religion you dislike or hold back from things you love. The world is literally yours to discover and learn from. Possibilities are endless! I think your 20's are the years you create yourself to the best version of you and build the foundation for your future. Just remember, we all build at our own pace.

Signed,

The lost 22-year old that believes in you

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