I was sitting in class the other day. As I listened to the monotonous explanation of statistical analysis, tears welled up in my eyes. It wasn’t the mathematics that moved me, but something in me was wakened (not in a dirty way). I thought about the kind of person I was last April.

From the outside looking in, not much has changed with me. I have the same hairstyle, for the most part I wear the same clothes, and I have the same attitude. Reviewing last April to this April, I feel like (and most likely am) a completely different person. I’ve been happy, I’ve been sad. I was in love and I was heartbroken. I have been poor and I have been financially stable.

In my “core” I haven’t wavered, but experiences have affected me in a way that I am forever grateful for. The past 365 days served as a series of self-reflection. The negative experiences have brought about change in perspective and the positive ones have given me a fulfilling gratitude. I view every interaction as meaningful, even the painful ones. I am self-aware and my strength in my character is better than ever. I am not constantly competing with others, my self-worth is not determined by how others perceive me, and I am faithful to myself.

I am now speaking my truth…

It’s going to take patience and determination to live your values and grow in who you are. It took me a year to realize I wasn’t living genuinely. Laugh, cry, sleep, run, love, live, travel, binge watch TV, paint, write, work, travel. Find meaning and fulfillment in whatever you choose to do. It’s okay to change behaviors and it’s great to admit that you need to grow. Taking some time to reflect is also never a bad idea. I am not here to explain to you the meaning of life. But, living genuinely and authentically is how I achieved satisfaction with myself, my life, and my surroundings.


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