Reflections on growth
As my school year wraps up to a close and I return home, I turn into myself and become reflective. What has the past year meant to me? What have I learned about myself? Am I satisfied with how I confronted challenge? What can I do better in the future? As always my goal as a person is to become the best man I can. Here are some highlights.
1. My life was dramatically changed when I completed my first Ironman last August. Through doing this I realized I could at least try to follow my longtime dream of being a professional athlete. This challenge has had many costs by making virtually everything secondary to my dreams. However the rewards far outweigh the costs as I have learned so much about myself and have come to realize the true potential of who I am. In addition, I love training and it has given me an acute awareness of how I fit into the world. I realized I can conquer anything I want so long as I commit to it!
2. Traveling up to Alaska in September was a mental challenge I had never faced before. Looking back it was as through my Alaska trip was foreshadowing what my freshman year would be like. I remember lying in my tent each night, in the relentless rain, all alone, fearing death of a grizzly bear. Through this I came to crave the company of others. I finally realized how dependent I am on others to make me who I am and it made me so thankful for the boundless love countless of people have showed me. I realized that life and beauty are meant to be shared.
3. Maintaining a long distance relationship with my girlfriend was an unexpected challenge that brought about great things. I learned more than ever that love is about commitment and when you are sure you have found a diamond there is no reason to discard it. Society always tells us that what we have is not enough or that we can do better but when someone or something provides you with true bliss there is no reason to discard it. Keep what you know is good in life and fight for it.
4. My time in Seattle and at school at UW has taught me the most about myself. First and foremost I learned that we all have an environment that is meant for us. Certain places call to us and just as a key fits into a lock, people fit into certain landscapes. I belong in the mountains, where it snows, and where the sky is free and the stars shine bright. Knowing where I belong is huge to knowing how I can utilize myself in this world and what I need to do to consider my future. Secondly, my time in Seattle has been somewhat of a struggle. All of a sudden I had to work to be happy. I had to learn how to balance my highs and lows in life. While I accomplished so much out here including training for another Ironman and making the dean’s list, it all means very little if you are not happy. I have learned what I need in order to be happy and once I am happy I am able to accomplish many more things. One’s first goal in life needs to be to be happy. This is why I made the step to transfer to Boulder next year.
5. Finally, I have really learned how to think in a new way. People in college can be so future oriented as we fear what the future may bring us. It becomes all too easy to take the easy way out and lose track of yourself and say that things like money and fame determine success and consequently happiness. This change causes us to look into the future and ignore the present. While I have certainly thought about the future a lot and was tempted to zone out and forget about WHAT I was, I managed to grasp the present. Always, or as close to it as I could, I managed to learn only because I wanted to and not for some future job or recognition. I believe many people have lost the reason for why humans strive for knowledge and I managed to renew this curiosity in the wonder of how the world work. Keeping control on the present and the future holds the key to a balanced life.
6. I learned to never waver from who I am. I am most proud of the fact that I stuck to what I believe in no matter what. The world tries to change us, sometimes in ways that incur a cost to our soul. Keeping my integrity throughout life gives me an indomitable spirit.
All in all, while my time as been a real challenge out here I am immensely glad for it. I would not trade it for any other life as it makes me who I am now. I encourage everyone to seriously reflect about their lives and realize what they need or don’t need. Who are you and what do you want to achieve? I hope, by making myself vulnerable, I will serve as a source of inspiration.