Sunday, November 24, 2013

What's my age Again? A Birthday Memoir by a Still Sassy but Silly Brown Eyed Girl Who Dreams of Conquering the World

Well, it’s happening again. Another year older and wiser too… Well, at least another year older. I hate to sound aged, but I actually do feel wiser… not that I am wise, but wiser than I was, say when I turned twenty. Yes, goodbye early twenties, hello to being in my late twenties.

As a tradition, every year I write a birthday memoir, but this year, it's going up on my blog, so it'll be pretty public I guess! It terrifies me but I figure the people that will read it already know me pretty well, so in the spirit of taking risks, here it is! :)

This last year I’ve done a lot of (I’ll run the risk of sounding cliché) “soul searching” and have learned a lot about who am I.  What I have learned about myself is that I’m not the same person I used to be, or even the same person I was yesterday. I’m always evolving and changing into someone new (even if it’s only minute differences) and so it takes daily reflection on who I am to really know myself.  What I’m still working on is loving myself, but that is sometimes a slow and tumultuous road. That is not to say that I don’t love certain things about myself, but learning to love my whole self is different, and takes time.

So another year has passed and whether or not I want to greet the next one, it seems as though I don’t have much of a choice. And this year I turn a quarter of a century old. Yes, I’m a ripe 25 years old. I don’t feel like it; it seems like only yesterday I was turning 20 and felt like I had the world at my feet. I know that was only five years ago, but so much has changed.

I’m an “older” student still, having taken time off of school several years back after I lost my job to reassess what I wanted to "be". For a long time I had wanted to be a nurse. Though behavior and the brain were always interesting to me, I didn’t think I was smart enough to make it as a psychologist, even though I’d been fascinated with it since high school. I wasn’t the greatest student most of my life, I always did just what was necessary (grade-wise) to play for the school soccer team in middle school and high school. Like that famous saying, I put all my eggs into one basket. Sports were always my thing, that’s what I was good at. When I seriously injured and couldn’t play anymore, it required some definite reconsideration, which wasn’t wholly worked out until after I went back to college.

When I took that time off, I realized that what I wanted most out of my life was to be happy, and that requires hard work, taking risks, and going after what you want. Turns out I’m actually a pretty smart kid who was wasting their potential (mentally) this whole time. Who knew? I didn’t, not until I found my passion and had something to work for. Motivation. Academically, that had been something I lacked because I didn’t care. The ONLY thing that mattered to me in life was soccer. When I lost that, I had to find a new purpose. Sitting in class of my first Psychology course, I knew what I had to do, what my new purpose would be. It felt almost as good as the day I realized I loved soccer. But there will never be anything that replaces that for me, and that’s okay. But I had a new love. And it turns out, I’m pretty good at it! For the first time in my life, I was getting straight A’s. I was accepted into Phi Theta Kappa international honor society. I hadn’t felt that good about myself since I lost soccer. I’d finally found my nitch in the world! And it felt great!

I’m a very goal-oriented person. I need goals in order to feel like I have a purpose and then to feel good with a sense of achievement. I’m preparing to transfer to Sacramento State University with my AA and once I get there will be pretty close to graduating. My goal while I’m there is to get into the Psi Chi (psychology) Honor Society and graduate Magna Cum Laude with my BA in Psychology. After that my goal is to apply to Grad schools for the PhD programs in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Neuroscience.  I realize that these are ambitious goals, but that’s who I am. I was raised to never settle.  In soccer, starting at a very young age and extending until the last year I played, my Dad always told me that “being average is easy, but being great takes hard work”. I read a quote last week that said “be ambitious to be great” and I absolutely love that. I know many people think it’s naïve to think you can change the world or that it’s cocky to think you can be great. But I’m a hard worker and I will always dare to be great. That’s not to say I won’t fail along the way, because I will. But I will always get up, wipe off the dirt and blood like I was taught, and try again. My mom once told me I was a tenacious and relentless little girl and I have held onto that. I was brought up to be a tough fighter, and though I don’t want to sound like a Christina Aguilera song, it’s the truth. 

This year, I’m not going to pine away for my lost years or begrudge how old I am or feel bad about myself for not being where I thought I would be at this stage of my life. And trust me, it’s going to be difficult for me not to do those things. It's hard for me to always feel behind. I'm not married, I don't have kids, and I haven't graduated yet- all things I thought I'd have done by now. And it’s hard when you’re constantly surrounded by people you have done at least one of those things. But that's okay. I'm learning to accept things at a slower pace and learning to trust in God’s timing for me. And you know what? I believe it’s what’s best for me after all. Funny, huh?
I’m learning to enjoy life in a way I haven’t before.  I’m trying desperately to not just have bucket lists of aspirations, but to work on achieving them. Life is meant to be lived, not dreamt about. Sure some things have to be put off because of timing/money/availability etc. But there are always things on your bucket list that you could do, but for some reason, don’t make it a priority. You never know how many tomorrows you’ve got left, so start doing more of them today. [I’m trying to practice what I preach…this winter break from school I will be teaching myself the Piano…hopefully it goes well. I used to play the Flute for many years so instruments/music are not new to me. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to play piano. Now’s my chance! ;) ]

So here’s to another year.  I hope to become a happier person. I hope to learn the piano. I hope to get straight A’s. I hope to learn to be a more charitable person. I hope to make people happy. I hope to have my car paid off. I hope to find new pieces of myself and to fix some of the broken ones. I hope to conquer old demons. And I hope that by next year when I’m doing this again, I will have a little more figured out about life, myself, and the world.

After all, this brown eyed girls wants to conquer the world. ;)

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