So I guess this is growing up

To most people its just the beginning of August. But for me its that time of year again, its time to look back and see the changes that’s happened. It’s my birthday. It’s been a roller coaster of a year, and I’ve gained life lessons from every twists and turns.

I started working in a real lab, a job that I would cherish forever. It gave me a first glimpse of what my future holds, and I can’t say that I’m disappointed. For the first time, I felt like I was making my contribution to mankind through the work I was part of. One day, I can tell my grand kids that I took part in finding the cure to cancer.

I’ve realized that a simple act of kindness can make someone’s day better. Be nice to people, because you have no concept of the weight and magnitude of the baggage they carry. A little gesture can make a world of difference in someone’s day or even their life.

For the first time, I realized that I was capable of liking someone. Consequently I was hurt for the first time. From this, I’ve channeled my pain into art and writing. Without having gone through that trial, I wouldn’t have realized what I deserved, I wouldn’t have renewed my passion in art and in English, and most importantly I wouldn’t have felt so alive. For as long as I can remember, I’ve numbed and subdued my emotions in order to avoid the dismal feeling of heartbreak. In doing so I’ve denied myself of bearing real emotions; I kept myself away from pain and hurt, but also love.If I was capable of liking him, then I can be capable of liking someone else, someone who’s a better match for me. In a way, he was the pick ax that broke the frozen sea inside me, and even though it didn’t work out between us, I am still grateful.

I’ve realized that true friends aren’t always your best friends. True friends are the family you chose. True friends want the best for you and can see the real you even if you put a thousand masks on. Sometimes they know you better than you know yourself, and can tell when you’re acting up. They point out the errors of your actions in order to save you from complete disarray. You may go through rough patches and misunderstandings, but in the end they’re the ones that stand by you when everyone else has left. These are people that I will forever treasure and will forever be grateful for in my life.

I’ve realized that making dreams into reality takes hard work and even more courage. It’s tremendously difficult to remain steadfast in your dream when everyone else tries to shake you into letting go.

I’ve realized that at only at the darkest hour can you really see the light on what’s important in life. Struggle builds dignity: it’s not until you’re forced to the extremes when you realize what you’re truly capable of and how much you can bear. From all the curve balls life has thrown at me, I know now that I can handle it with my dignity intact.

Cervantes once said, “Make it a business to know yourself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world.” I’m not completely certain of who I am, but I know what I’m not. I can’t say that I’m completely free from all the veils of doubt and pretense, but I’m a lot closer than before to the right path towards my personal legend.

I still have a lot of learning to do, experiences to face, and challenges to encounter. Who knows what the new year holds, but with eyes clear, and heart full, I can’t lose.

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