One of life's greatest mysteries is the question of where life is supposed to take us. People wonder about the meaning of life and what we should value most, spending hours upon hours in an effort to discover the undiscoverable. For me, the answer came in the form of a measly Google Doc I began in March of 2018. Almost everyday, I would write about how my day went, my goals as I grew older, and the things I considered to be important. There's a lot of value in taking the time to write as often as you can. It's therapeutic. To take a little bit of time every now and then to contemplate anything and everything… as the author, you are in control of what you want to illustrate. Writing can be an escape from the troubles of daily life, a thought-provoking journey where you alone have the power. For me, writing has become a means of understanding. Understanding myself, my surroundings, and my aspirations as I grow older. And frankly, that's the beauty of it. As a writer, I am capable of crafting something entirely my own.
I took a medical leave from my second semester of my sophomore year. I had injured my ankle during a swim practice and needed surgery to repair it in late December, 2017. It was a frustrating decision for me, as I would be missing much of both school and the swim season. As difficult as it was, it was a choice I have come to appreciate. Of course, at the time, I was devastated. I was taking a step back and leaving my friends; it felt like someone had hit pause on my life. I was struggling through mental and physical hurdles and was unsure of what exactly I planned to do with myself. I was bedridden for what felt like an eternity. I began to write almost every day to keep track of my life and reflect on myself. I would write about how my day went, what I planned to do when I returned to Villanova, and what I wanted to do with myself after graduation. It felt good to discover more about what I really wanted as I got into the rhythm of writing. It was my mental rehabilitation. It taught me that the value of life was in the way you lived it. A simple lesson, but one most people often overlook.
I was convinced that I would work in the field of business for most of my life. It seemed like the most logical fit for me. Both my parents had done so; I was in the business school at Villanova, and had convinced myself from a young age that I would want nothing more than to pursue business when I got older. But once I got there, I never felt a real connection to the subject. I enjoyed the classes, but I failed to connect to them as I hoped I would. For so long, I had convinced myself that my future was business. In doing so, I cut myself off from expanding my horizons; from looking towards other potential futures.
The time off allowed me to pursue a newfound passion I would have never thought was for me: writing. I grew up eager to meet as many people as I could. Considering my love of sports, my love of presentation, and my love of connecting with people, I sought a career path that would allow me to utilize all of these passions. After four months of difficult contemplation, I decided that a career in broadcast journalism would be a perfect mix of my talents and interests. I would have never considered this path for myself had I not taken the time off to discover more about myself each and every time I sat down to write. The hours I would spend reading and writing provided me with confidence to pursue such a career. Writing allowed me to learn what I considered valuable and worthwhile for myself. Most importantly, I felt like I had a unique voice with something to say and writing allowed me to express that.
I grew up underestimating the value of self reflection. Writing was my mental rehabilitation. It taught me that the value of life was in the way I lived it. A simple lesson, but one most people, including me, often overlooked. I'd been so accustomed to write 5 page essays in perfect form with exceptional grammar and one word text messages with awful grammar, that I rarely took the time to write something for me- something personal. I have learned now how writing can present me with the chance to further understand myself. Just writing to write. A simple and useful tool, often forgotten and neglected. I do not consider myself an expert in the field of writing- I do not write eloquent paragraphs with perfect sentence structure. I write because I want to learn more about myself and to understand the world around me. I write to further my perception of the world. I write because I believe in the value of words and the impact they can have on people. At the end of the day, I write because I have something to say. And I think, more than anything else, that makes it worthwhile.