A few years ago, I had been attending a small, private college located in a magical town. There were a lot of ups and downs and I know that I would not be the person I am now without the experiences I had and lessons I learned during my stay. I was surrounded by beautiful people, diverse communication, and unique encounters. One of the lessons I learned would be one that completely changed my perspective on life forever.
In 2015, a few days after the new year, my friends and fellow classmates received news that someone we attended school with had passed away. It didn’t seem real. I had never experienced something so sudden and out of the blue, yet permanent. This was the first time I had experienced the death of someone so close in age to me. He was a beautiful person with so much energy and personality that none of it made sense. After months of watching those around me grieve, I came to a realization; as far as I know, I only have this one life and anything can happen at any moment.
I completely changed the course of my life. I dropped out of college the next semester and went home to focus on my mental health. Right now, I am in an entirely different place than I would have been if I kept forcing myself to live life in an unhappy and unhealthy way.
This year I challenge you to take control of your life.
I am a firm believer in fate and the idea that everything happens for a reason, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work for what you want. If you want something, go out and get it. Don’t just sit back and expect the universe to work its magic and give you everything you think you deserve. Simply sitting back and waiting for life to happen to you isn’t going to make for a very fulfilling life.
It’s okay to start small.
Sometimes what you are working toward can seem so far away, but you have to start somewhere. If you try to completely change your life all at one time, chances are, you won't make any progress. Think about where you see yourself in the future and take the necessary steps to get to that point.
Accept this life for what it has to offer.
When we do attempt to take control of our lives, things will not always go as we plan. That’s okay. Failure doesn’t mean you have to give up or that whatever you’re striving for is impossible to achieve. It just gives us an opportunity to learn from our mistakes, to get back up again, and to start over. Keep pushing yourself, no matter how many times you slip up, because the more you try to take control of your life, the closer you will be to reaching your goals.
Realize the opportunity that lies ahead of you. Be ambitious. Get excited about the goals you want to achieve. Life can be stressful. Sometimes it seems like you can’t get ahead or that when you do, something happens that knocks you back five steps. Keep thinking big. Don’t become discouraged because there is so much out there for you to experience, explore, and achieve.
Only I am in control of my life. I choose to live in the present and to the fullest. I still struggle with learning when to go with the flow and when to stand up and take control, but that’s okay. I continue to grow and learn everyday and I try to live a life that keeps me both happy and healthy because as far as we know, we only have one life to live.
Laura is passionate about the power of words and she hopes to share her advice and experiences in an artistic and interesting way.