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How I Learned To Value And Believe In Myself

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In this contemporary world with such a complex society and environment, many of us are blinded and improperly influenced by material things so much we are mislead; we are conditioned to want what others have and want to become what others are, so those struggling either want to give up or continue to struggle, and I could say avoiding this mindset has always been a struggle for me, like many others, because of the unrealistic expectations we are bombarded with daily. We as human beings create scenarios that activate fears and it will continue until you get to a point where you learn that you can manage those thoughts, but when those associations start to break down you look for something to blame, whether it’s yourself or someone else. You try your best to be perfect for someone, or something, but never try to be perfect for yourself. That is why now I don’t believe you have to be perfect; I believe you just have to be yourself. Contrasted with other individuals, I have not been through a lot, at least not yet. Challenges consistently happen all the time, but that’s life. The genuine test in my life, the genuine hardship is myself. For whatever length of time that I could recall, it’s always been me. I’m scared of failure, letting myself down, letting others down, hurting people, and getting hurt. For all my life I’ve been thinking if I keep my guard up and focus on others things or someone else, then nothing that hurts will come my way. I soon figured out that it was a big mistake. In addition to the fact that I blocked out all my agony, I also blocked out everything, blocking out the pain, everything good or everything bad, until there was nothing left. In any case, it’s fine to live where you are right now, because the best thing about right now is that there’s another one tomorrow and I’m going to continue to make the most of every one of them. Throughout my elementary school years and for half of my high school years, I never seemed to care; I shut out everything on purpose, because I always believed that it was the solution to everything. I kept my guard up by focusing on what I had, which was my friends, my family, and the closest person in my life, until there was a moment where my closest friends were no longer there, my family of five and I had lost our house and had to move a total of three times in one year, including to a place where there were only two rooms and a kitchen, and I had lost the closest person in my life.

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From all this, I came to realize that not only did I not receive what I wanted to, I also realized I had nothing left, which showed on my grades and my physical image. Fortunately, I was able to see that for change, you have acknowledge and also recognize the next opportunity when it matters the most or ignore it, but I chose to learn from life’s tragedies, happiness, and obstacles. From it all, I have learned that to value life: I have to value myself first and that starts by caring. I was able to overcome the fear by committing to myself, my craft, and my everyday doings and by focusing on what I want in the present and not in the future. Once I was able to figure that out, I started applying my true identity and my true potential of what I can be into my surroundings. With that being said, I began to apply myself in high school, where I became a Chicago Star Scholar, and with that, I was able to have my community college tuition paid for, so I enrolled in Harold Washington College, where I’m currently enrolled. Through my years at Harold Washington, I have managed to place in the Dean’s list, place in the honor’s list multiple times, become a member of the honor society known as Phi Theta Kappa, become a transfer scholar and also tried new things like joining the transfer leadership class. I am forever grateful for choosing to face myself and what’s in front of me because I now believe if I put 110% percent in anything, I will be proud of myself regardless of the outcome. Not only did I learn the values of myself, I also learned the value of discipline, work ethic, and ambition – these are the traits that define who I am today and who I will be, no matter where I go for the rest of my life. A quote by Dr. Seuss that will always resonate with me, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not”.

01 February 2021

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