I really can't express how much the past year has taken a toll on me. I am still recovering from a traumatic incident, coming to terms with the deaths of those close to me, adjusting to some new health issues and accepting that I am not an ordinary four-year college student and instead will finish a lot later than I expected.
Instead of feeling better, I feel as though I am only sinking lower and lower as time progresses. Recently, something shifted. I'm not quite sure how to explain it. It wasn't purposeful. Perhaps, subconsciously, it was and I just don't know it.
I was trying to feel focused and positive. I was hoping that all my pretending would somehow lead to me actually believing. That's pretty much how things have been for months now. However, a few weeks ago, I was feeling particularly low while I was driving home from an awful and emotionally taxing meeting with a potential school. I realized that I just passed a temple and decided to pull over. Now, I'm not a particularly religious person, but I like to acknowledge that I used to believe in something. I used to have faith that everything would really work out. But, after all the bad things that happened to me and all the wrong moves I've made, I was losing faith in everything and anything. I wasn’t optimistic anymore. It was the one thing I never thought would waver.
I was hit really hard with these realizations and knew I had to actively decide to choose something different. Everything in my control, including my perspective and attitude, is a choice. Since I took this stand a few weeks ago, something undeniably shifted in my heart and mind. I even feel physically different, stronger.
I know now that just because I've made mistakes, I could go back in time and probably do a lot of things differently. I have had really, really, bad, out-of-my-control things happen to me in a short period of time doesn't mean that everything has to be messed up.
I am more sure now than I have ever been that I am exactly where I need, want and should be. It might not be parallel with where society thinks I should be or where my college Facebook friends (who aren't really my friends, but I can't muster the courage to actually delete them) think I should be, or where I thought I would be. No matter what though, I am grateful for where I am.
Despite the wrong, bad and awful, things always work out. I didn't believe this four days ago. I have faith now that even through my past wrong circumstances and choices, I am still headed in the right direction. The past does not define who I am and who I can/will be. The past may set me back, but it won't hold me back from getting where I want to go.
I choose to persevere. I won't beat myself up about what's been done. Instead, I will learn from it, grow from it and choose to differentiate myself from it. I am exactly where I should be right now.