It always takes time to internalize and process my emotions/feelings before I can express myself and what I am feeling. Earlier today, as my co-workers/friends went around the table and were recalling memories of me over the past few years during my time working at Arizona State University, I desperately held myself back from bawling my eyes out and losing my sense of dignity in the process. It wasn’t until my car ride back home that it all truly settled in. I have turned the page on another major chapter in my life and am looking towards a fresh new beginning.
Over the past two-and-a-half years, I have had the absolute pleasure of pursuing a Master’s degree while simultaneously working for my incredible mentor, Dr. Jennifer Huberty. So much has happened in my life since this journey began, and I couldn’t be any more grateful for everything that I have gone through, both the ups and the downs. I have been so focused on my struggles to find a full-time job as of late, sometimes to the point of selfishness, that I haven’t truly taken the time to appreciate and reflect on just how wonderful the last few years of my life have been. I’ve experienced some setbacks and had my fair share of rough patches, but in the end I had more laughs than tears and have become a better person for everything that life has given me since starting out in pursuit of a graduate degree. I can only hope that my existence during this time span has also left a positive impact on the lives of those that I have come to know.
As all of this occurred to me while driving southbound on the SR-51 back towards home, I also got to thinking about how I am not alone in my experiences and that very often we all forget to take the time to reflect on our lives and just how incredible we are as humans. In the midst of our busy lives, reflection on our successes and triumphs can sometimes fall to the wayside in favor of the seemingly endless list of tasks left undone or the things we should have done better. We all want happiness, fulfillment, passion, adventure, meaning, excitement, love, family, friends, and personal growth in our day-to-day existence, and we all invest so much in order to make this all a reality for not only ourselves, but for those close to us as well. As we all move along our journey through life in pursuit of everything great and meaningful in this world, we get run down, beaten up, battered and bruised, and overwhelmed with such an incredible, yet rewarding, challenge. Some days it feels as if you are doing everything right, while others it can feel as if you are failing at all you set out to do. If you are anything like me, you tend to focus on the things that you can do better as opposed to the things you are doing well.
At the end of it all, I think what truly matters is that you were even brave enough to pursue a life of happiness, fulfillment, passion, adventure, meaning, excitement, love, family, friends, and personal growth in the first place. As difficult as this journey can be and as much as you may feel that you aren’t doing it “right”, take time to truly reflect on all of the progress you are making, all of the growth you have experienced, and all of the good that you have in your life. Don’t wait until a chapter in your life is over to look back and appreciate how far you have come, but rather wake up every day knowing that, although some days will feel great and others may not, each day’s experiences are important in helping you get where you want to go. Appreciate the good and the bad days, the ups and the downs, and the successes and failures, because all are essential for living the life of your dreams.