"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection." -Anaïs Nin
I was re-reading Facebook notes I've written in the past. I do that often, not just with notes, but with old journals and blog entries. Whenever I look back on them, I remember why I still keep them around: Because they always teach me something. It's the same reason why I go back to my Philosophy journals and papers too. Our wisest teachers can often be our past selves. As strange as that sounds, I learn something every time I go back to a moment in time.
Originally written: May 27, 2008:
I remember a year ago around this time, we were all sitting around wondering what college would be like, and now with this first year coming to a close, I've come to truly understand what Alanis Morissette meant when she sang: "You live, you learn."
Through the ups-and-downs, the silly arguments, the stress of school, and experiencing "firsts," we've lived in ways we never thought we could, but in learning, what I've realized is that the world can crumble but there will always be best friends to pick you back up. I don't think I could have made it through this first year without those connections and knowing that we are all living and learning.
When I look back on this year, it almost seems unreal - Did all of that really happen? I've learned that you need to talk, without communication everything can crumble. I've learned that life really is all about compromise, but that doesn't mean you can't stand up for your beliefs. I've learned that friendships only work if the effort goes both ways, and no matter how hard you try, those who refuse to leave the cave cannot be forced. I've learned that just because you live with people doesn't mean you need to force friendships with them either. I've learned that some people choose to be unhappy. I've learned that 2 a.m. is when you find out who your true friends are - the ones who go on walks around campus or spend minutes to an hour on the phone or have the most random AIM conversations with you. I've learned that for all of the racists, prejudiced people, and Atheists, there are still shining examples of hope out there. I've learned that love is not abuse, and with that, you can't be afraid to speak up to the people who know you best - no matter how much it scares you. I've learned that no matter how far you travel and no matter how much you take in, you can never let yourself forget where you came from, because the moment you forget that, you lose so much of yourself that it's only easier to spiral downwards.
I've noticed a trend in myself for most of my life to often fall down that spiral, and I let myself be taken advantage of by others. Only when I realize this do I force myself to stand up, cut ties, and move forward. I'd always been afraid to ask for help, and up until now I still was. It took something terrifying for me to finally realize for the first time in my life that some things just can't be fought against without help.
At the same time, there are things that need to be faced alone - I need to motivate myself to go out there and take control of my future. We can't always just sit around and wait for people or opportunities to come to us. Chances often pass us by, and I lucked out with my job, but I know I couldn't have taken it and grown if I was still held down by the drama.
And with that, I have learned that through it all, life keeps on going, whether you're prepared for it or not. The best we can do is to just keep rolling with it, stringing together the pieces of the puzzle we pick up along the way.
"Have some fire. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature. Be better than anyone here, and don't give a damn what anyone thinks." -Grey's Anatomy