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