I’ve found myself reflecting on my life and how much I’ve changed in recent years more so than usual lately, and I have to say, I have been extremely fortunate thus far. My path in life has consistently been steered far from the “norm”. But because of that, I am surrounded by some incredibly passionate, driven, inspiring individuals, and continue to meet equally amazing and genuine people. I’ve overcome so much adversity and fought to rid my life of toxicity in every respect (personal and professional). I learned I have always been far stronger than I ever realized or give myself credit for (among many other things about myself). I had what I thought was as close to a “perfect” relationship as humanly possible and still mutually decided to let it go because it wasn’t exactly right for us both. I have been able to have conversations with my family that I only ever dreamed of happening, but never actually believed would be a reality.

Perhaps one of the most important lessons/realizations of all was a combination of developing a stronger sense of self-awareness and a firmer belief in never settling for anything less than what I wanted and deserved. Slowly but surely, I have stopped “wishing” and started doing to make those dreams a reality.

I get that we all have our baggage and our circumstances. It’s not easy to take a good, hard look at yourself and to face your fears and discomforts. I know that I will still slip up and have unforeseen setbacks. I recognize that I have been very lucky to have the family and friend support systems that I do to be able to bounce back from some of these obstacles and failures a little easier. Are there things I still wish I could change about my past? Absolutely. But I am so grateful that I have continuously bounced back, fought back, and striven forward stronger and more determined each time.

Life is a crazy, beautiful journey that we only get once. Good or bad, we can learn and grow from it all if we are willing to. Yet all too often, we settle, repeat history, fall back into old, comfortable habits, and the likes.

Discover yourself. Explore the world. Find what fuels your passion(s) and never let that fire go out. Surround yourself with good, passionate people that challenge and inspire you to always be the best version of you. Never settle. Invest in yourself.

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