You were in my dream last night. I was fighting to get you back. I wanted to know exactly why you left me. Maybe I could change. Maybe you’d come back because you forgot that you did miss me after all. It didn’t work in my dream. I had already lost you.
2016 was the year I completed my first year of college. I ran my first 5k. I had my first photograph published in a college level literature magazine. This passed year, a photograph of mine hung in streets of my hometown. I wore scrubs for the first time. I completed my first Clinical rotation. I started eating sushi. I finally went to the art museum I always wanted to go to. I experienced a lot of “firsts” and I hope to do the same in 2017.
We have to remind ourselves that somethings don’t happen overnight. That change isn’t always clear the next day. That love is a gift. That we can ignore others when needed. That pain isn’t always obvious. That being indecisive only takes you so far. That life is limited. We have to remind ourselves that we are incharge of our own lives.
Over the busy summer, I overheard a worried older adult state, “I have more years behind me than ahead of me.” The individual wasn’t fond of birthdays anymore nor the aging process.
Being the young adult that I am, I am looking forward to the years where I will be twice the age I am now. Sometimes I wish the years would go by even faster so I can finally find myself being a respectable adult in society with a meaningful career. Hearing this older individual remeniss on their past and also wishing there was more to look forward to, really opened my eyes. How lucky am I to be at an age that will be memorable for my entire life as I explore more of what life has to offer?
Although I’m thankful for the years ahead of me, I felt more remorse while hearing this individual’s voice go on. Yes, the years go by fast and yes, it turns out we are very unlikely that we actually travel to all those places we’ve picked out in our heads. But what we can and always can do is not take today for granted.
We wish we had more time, more opportunities, and more experiences than what we actually may encounter. That’s called being human, always wanting more and more of everything.
Every single day brings meaning and purpose, some more obvious than others. So before you start telling yourself that you have more days behind you than ahead of you, here are somethings to think about. Please do not be ashamed of losing a grib on the years and allowing them to sometimes rush along with the wind, because years don’t make life long and fulfilling, your perception of life and attitude are what make all the difference.
The blemishes won’t go away.
I find them on my face, wanting to stay.
A blemish is known for “spoiling the appearance of something.”
Am I being spoiled? Rotting away?
Tired of different pills. The morning cream. The nightly topical lotion. Blood tests.
The breakout ended, but the scars remain. Becoming darker and permanent.
Months go by, why haven’t they left?
They say to me, “you’re getting better….you’re skin is clearing…..you’ll end it…. you’ll be beautiful soon enough…”
Coated in foundation, no blemishes appear. A smooth even tone.
Fooling the others, but not fooling myself. Hiding behind coverup, since the scars won’t go.
Teaching me patience, telling me beauty is within.
I’ve learned my lesson. Please go your separate way.
The younger we are, the more we believe in ourselves. With age comes knowledge, knowledge of our limits.
When I was five years old, I jumped off the swing-set and broke my arm. Obviously, I wasn’t thinking clearly at the time. Earlier that day, I saw my older brother jump off the swing-set and I thought I would be capable of completing the daredevil act myself. I was not considering that I was only a small five year old girl. The thoughts that filled my head were those of wanting to have fun and to do anything someone else could do. I’m not saying that we should go out and be copycats of each other, but what I am saying is that when deciding to act on something we should never have to consider our size, age, or sex anyhow.
Never hold yourself back. Push yourself until you reach your limits. I met my limits at age five as I landed painfully onto my right arm (lol). I learned that I’m not as invincible as I may have thought I was, but I am capable of freely taking the next step once I tell myself I can. Lately, I have been thinking of five year old me, who believed in endless possibilities for my future. The girl who wanted to place a worm on her fishing hook by herself, who would dig up insects and call them pets, and who tried tricks on her bicycle until she was left with bloody knees. That girl wasn’t afraid of anything except for the dark. She made decisions with the idea of, “if I think I can, then I can and I will”.
Today, I challenge myself to revert back to the same simple concept. Telling myself I can. Instead of thoughtlessly climbing up the swing-set only to jump off, I will be climbing towards by goals and jumping into my future. The five year old me is telling me I can pursue my goals, and for her, I will.
I remember before going into second grade, I walked into the classroom and saw the second grade reading level novels sitting nicely on the shelves, ready to be burst open and hugged by tiny hands. I wasn’t ready to go near those books. I was scared. I made it through first grade, but second grade meant more reading and a lot more writing. I thought to myself, how will I ever manage to finish and actually read all these books? I was doubting my own abilities at age eight.
During second grade, not only did we have to complete the assigned books, but we had to read them out loud. Hearing my own voice was frightening, the voice that was never loud enough to meet the teacher’s standards. I’d always be asked time and time again to speak louder and to keep reading. One day, during reading class, it was my turn to finish the sentence on the page in the group, but the problem was I couldn’t finish the sentence. I didn’t know how to pronounce one of the words. I paused and looked around, waiting for a cue, someone to say it for me. No one said it. My teacher looked at me and sternly said to read the word and just sound it out. Simple enough, but I couldn’t pronounce it and didn’t even know what kind of sound to start with. I sat quietly, not knowing what to do. Instead of being helped, I was yelled at. I then was embarrassed as the entire class was silent.
I bursted out in tears. I said to myself I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t read on my own. I sat at my assigned seat with a box of tissues and the teacher said to come back into the circle whenever I was ready. I didn’t go back. Afterwards, I was no longer a high level reader. Maybe the color was green and now I was down to reading red labeled books. The worst part of it all was that I could read, but I was afraid of messing up, of saying a word wrong or losing my place.
Today, I remember feeling upset with myself, but I cannot remember what in the world that word was. Thinking back to this moment in my life that wasn’t a huge problem that my little heart made it out to be, makes me think of how we never want to disappoint others around us. We try to never show any imperfections that we may limit ourselves in the process. So what if sometimes we pronounce a word wrong, everyone does. Never let someone else who sees you make a mistake, stop you from reaching your full potential. I shouldn’t have been moved down a reading level (that didn’t last long anyway).
Sometimes in life we need to pause. Look around. Ask for assistance. Go ahead and lose your spot. What matters most is your feelings towards yourself, because those are the feelings that are carried around all day with you inside your beautiful mind. Never be too scared to ask for a little shove, because although others may be with you at the beginning, its between you and yourself at the final chapter of life.