Yesterday I received this note on a paper I wrote for Intro to Counseling:
“This paper ‘set the bar’ for the rest of the class. Way to go!”
I received 17 out of 15 possible points.
I’ve done really great in school since I’ve started. I’ve never failed a class and I rarely make anything lower than a B. Looking back on blogs from just a few of years ago, it shocks me how little faith I had in myself. I pretended college didn’t mean much to me, but I know now that this wasn’t truly the issue. I didn’t believe that I had the intelligence to go to a four year university.
In a year and a half, I’ll be the first female to ever graduate college in my family. Partly because of this, college was never something that I was really encouraged to do. I was never discouraged from going to college, so I guess you could say my parents were supportive either way. I understand this. My dad has been extremely successful without a college education. He never pushed college on me, because he believed I’d be fine without it. In a way, this was a relief. I’m not so good at doing things when I feel they’re being forced on me. At the same time, never being given that extra push hindered me. A college education started to intimidate me. I was never really told that I should, which in turn didn’t make me think that I actually could.
It took some friendly pushes from other loved ones (My best friend and her mommy to name a couple that really stand out) to really show me that I had the initiative, determination, intelligence and strength to strive for more than an associates degree.
Looking back, where I’m at now still sometimes amazes me. I never in a kabazillion years imagined I would be where I am at 22 years of age. So many of the wishes I wistfully hoped for but never actually expected have come true now. I’ve made them come true. But as I’ve gained confidence over the past couple of years, I am constantly striving for more and more and more. My goals are ten times what they were two years ago, and the rate at which I accomplish them at least the same. This is good and all, but it’s also put me in a place where I fail to notice how far I’ve come. I all too often dismiss where I’m at in my journey to get where I’m going.
And I’m at a pretty damn good place right now. I’m a house-owner. I’m also the owner of a pretty wonderful husband (Ha.) I’m able to travel frequently. I have a job that I love and that helps pay the bills. I’m getting closer and closer to graduating. I make good grades. I’m able to try new things and go on lots of adventures. I’m constantly surrounded by people who love me.
It hasn’t been until recently that I realized I deserve all of this. I’m not just lucky. I work really hard. I study my ass off. I sometimes spread my time thin with projects and extracurricular activities. I make (mostly) good decisions. I try (though I’m sure I occasionally fail) to be the best and kindest person I can be.
I know that I’ve been my toughest critic. People often see me as this super-confident,outgoing (sometimes slightly insanely so) girl. But there was a time in my life where I was all kinds of insecure, shy and awkward. The moment I began having the tiniest bit of faith in myself, all of that started changing. I’m confident now not because I think I’m the greatest thing to ever exist but because I have to be. (Confident, not the greatest thing to ever exist.) Believing in myself has gotten me here; To doing what I thought I couldn’t do and then some. I’ve raised my own bar. And I’m proud of that. As great as getting there will someday feel, looking back has shown me just how amazing being right here really is.