Be The Woman The Little Girl In You Wants To Be

Be The Woman The Little Girl In You Wants To Be

Never forget who you wanted to be when the only thing you worried about was your aspirations.
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When I was about 5 years old, I began dreaming of all the possibilities of what I could do with my life, starting with being a ballerina. I spent my days twirling around the kitchen in my tutu stumbling under my mom's patient feet. Dancing was my favorite past time, and if I wasn't wearing my ballet slippers, something was seriously wrong. But, of course, like most dreams at that age, that vision died fast.

As I grew up, I noticed that although I enjoyed dancing, it wasn't something I wanted to do with my life. There was a brief period of wanting to be a lawyer when I realized I had a knack for arguing in my 6th grade English class (it also helped that my teacher praised my newfound skills), but the second I heard about the number of years I would need to be in school, I threw away that idea as fast as I grabbed it.

In seventh grade, I took a trip with my grandma from my medium-sized, terribly average town in Central New Jersey to the big city: New York City. We took the NJ Transit into the world-renowned Penn Station and walked the bustling streets under the towering skyscrapers. I was not only captivated by the absurd amount of pigeons, but by the women who seemed to walk with purpose, even in high heels.

At that moment, standing 4-feet high and in a light blue puffy parka, I knew I wanted to be as powerful as them.

They had a confidence that radiated from their appearance in sleek trench coats, perfectly styled hair, and lipstick to match their purse. That image of these women being so impressive, so compelling, sticks with me even today.

My 11-year-old-self was captivated, almost as enthralled as I still am today.

One thing that rang true over the course of my occupational dreams was the want to be a successful working woman.

This desire to be prosperous has driven me for the past ten years in everything I do. Not to mention, the Girl Boss movement has instilled within me a confidence that reads "I can do anything" and pushes me to be the best person I can be.

I am proud to be the woman I am today. I'm dedicated, driven, and passionate. I care for the people around me, and I always work hard at a brighter future not only for myself, but for the girls that follow me.

Every so often, I ask myself one question to remind me what I need to do in my life: "Would my younger self with big dreams be happy of where and who I am today?"

If the answer is no, I start to make changes - some big, some small. I believe in the power of dreaming and recognizing where my aspirations came from. My aspirations have brought me to where I am today, and if I had never fostered those thoughts, I don't think I would feel as successful as I do.

My advice to you: Don't get too lost in life. Focus on where you wanted to be when you were younger and aim a little higher. Be the person you feel you were meant to be, not what others think you should be.

If you want to be a pastry chef, be a pastry chef. If you want to be a singer, be a singer. And I want to be a journalist, so I'm going to be a journalist!

Never say no, and believe in yourself. If you put in the effort and drive, you can sure as hell achieve your dreams. It's up to you, so grab that little girl's hand and work together to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

Cover Image Credit: Patrick Fore

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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