to guide you,
not define you."
"Your past mistakes are meant
to guide you,
not define you."
Getting caught up in our past errors comes naturally, though to some of us more than others. It becomes difficult to move forward when you get stuck in that cycle, especially if those past mistakes happened more than once. A fear of repeating failure or going down a problematic path yet again doesn't go away as easily as you'd would hope. Rather it sticks around, popping out of the blue like a ghost playing a game of hide & seek, not seen but a presence always felt. But, we have to remind ourselves that the mistakes of yesterday and years past do not define us forever, rather there are markers of where we have been and reminders of what to look for in the future. It's really hard to forget the pain they bring sometimes, but in order to make them a benefit and not a burden, we must focus on what lessons our mistakes held for us. A guide for tomorrow, rather than a burden to bear.
I hope September has treated you well thus far. The summer days are yet with us in California as it is in many places across the country. As many of you have probably noticed, the blog was not particularly active this summer unlike in years past. I hope to discontinue this trend, but don't want to make any promises as the new school year vows to be a rigorous and demanding one. I have been working on content though! One thing I have realized about myself is that I am not that into taking pictures (I prefer to largely just snap a shot and mostly live in the moment). This, of course, is not the ideal habit of a blogger. Hopefully, I'll get better at it. It is likely that this blog will be more active than the main one, but I am hoping to be present on both at least a couple of times a month.
Just wanted to let you'll know I haven't given up blogging, but as my time demands change, the leanings and frequency of my posts will shift as well. Blogging has meant a lot to me over these past few years and I hope to continue to maintain Runwayffnd as a place of authenticity and inspiration as well as fun, reflection, and enjoyment. Thank you to everyone who has visited/followed Runwayffnd over the years and also those who have commented and shared your thoughts. I really appreciate it!
Hope you all had a wonderful Monday and enjoy the rest of your week!
The time will never
be just right."
This quote is completely different from what I usually talk about on the blog. Being ready for something or waiting for the right time is something I say often when considering something that I am not altogether sure I am ready for. Yet as the past year or so has shown me, you are never quite ready for what comes next. Now that is not to say that you should intentionally be unprepared or not learn new things, but more so that we have be to willing to take chances and work towards things, even as the fear or uncertainty scares us along the way. There are a few major things that come to mind when I think about this line of thinking, goals that I made for myself but am nervous about. Yet, I am hoping in to make a decided effort to work towards them, despite the mist of unpredictability and potential failures and setbacks that may come my way. While the timing may be less than 100%, the fact is it never will be perfect. And as time goes, the longer I wait, the more opportunities will pass me by and the last thing I want is to look back and regret all the chances I didn't take and feel like I didn't make the most of the life I was given. With that in mind, I hope to make the most of what comes next and grow as a person, regardless of the lack of sureness, I may feel right now.
Well, here I am writing about yet another year of college! I honestly find it hard to believe that I have completed my junior year; where has the time gone? Time seems to go by faster these days. Whatever it is, junior year has come to a close and it was definitely a year to remember for many reasons. It was a great year though it had its moments where it felt completely overwhelming. But I learned so much along the way and am really grateful for all the opportunities that popped up through the year. There are a few things I decided to share, mostly as a reflection exercise for myself but also just because these types of things are what this aspect of the blog is all about.
1) Seek out meaning in every class you take
How many of us found ourselves in a class where we couldn't care less about the content? (Raises hand, embarrassingly!) All joking aside, I find that it is an experience we have far too often in college and while we may not enjoy every class we take, I think it's important to find something, even a small detail or topic from a class discussion to pin down and take as our learning point from the class. While this is often an additional effort, it's well worth it, providing motivation and incentive to do our best work and bring more to the class than we would have otherwise. Also, it serves as another way to further our understanding of ourselves and those around us as we consider things from perspectives previously under/unexplored.
2) Consider new classes, even if you never considered that area of study before
This may sound similar to what I wrote about last year with regards to taking classes outside your major, but think this is more about taking a more directed effort to expand the breadth of your college career. There are so many disciplines that can provide a more nuanced and diverse understanding of the topics you are interested in, but are not necessarily required as part of your program of study. I found myself in several such classes this year, and it was largely unplanned. New classes pop up frequently and they often count for different major and minor programs or even general education requirements, making it less of a "extra" class and more manageable to fit into our typically packed course schedules. While completely unexpected, these classes provided me with insight and knowledge that has made my college experience that much more fulfilling. I ended up learning about subjects and issues I had not spent much time contemplating and as a result, gained greater understanding of them as well as topics I had previously studies in other disciplines. The value of these learning experiences cannot be assessed numerically, rather it has to be done with consideration for what you want to gain during your college years.
3) Pace yourself
This is probably the most important lesson I learned this year! By junior year, most of us have gotten into the heart of our program of study and the coursework is often the more complex and time consuming than what we have done previously. That being said, it is easy to feel pressured to take a heavy course load when that's the norm or what your friends are doing. However, as the coursework becomes more involving and you add on internships, work, social obligations, and simply doing the everyday things, your time can seem likes it is running away from you. And in the seemingly never ending mad rush, you tend to stop enjoying college. Something that I found to be of more importance as I've gone through it. You cannot make the most of your time if you're always stressed out or overwhelmed. That's not to say that you should stay in college forever or slack off, but rather plan thoughtfully and make your time fulfilling and engaging without going overboard.
4) Take advantage of opportunities to expand your college experience
College offers so many opportunities for growth and experience, something that can be very overwhelming at times. There are some people who are naturally good at signing up for multiple clubs, student organization positions, social events, and internships and handle them with ease. And then for those who are not as inclined to be in the height of everything, it can be difficult to find one's place and go out there to take advantage of those things. However, it is important to start somewhere. It can be something as simple as doing a voluntary presentation for a class or supporting an event on campus. From there the possibilities are endless and the potential benefits are often more than we can foresee.
5) Think about post-grad plans
Graduation is closer than you think! With that in mind, it is a pretty good idea to start thinking about what comes next. Of course, opportunities and obstacles do pop up so plans do not have to be set in stone, but it helps to start shopping around for potential pathways post college. For some of us, that is grad school, while others it's working in our field or doing long term volunteering or service work. But there are so many other options out there and it is important to go out there and seek them. Visit the industries/fields you are interested in or travel to places you'd like to study or work at. Take an internship. Meet with professors who are studying/have worked in your areas of interest. And don't forget to visit the career center at your university; they have many resources and plenty of insight to help you figure out what you want to pursue next. The thought of being done with "school" and having to figure out what comes next is hard to wrap one's mind around but searching earlier one helps with the transition and reduces anxiety and nervousness over what's to come.
6) Enjoy your time in college
As important as the five things mentioned earlier are, let's not forget to enjoy college for the adventure it is. I think this is something I struggled with at the beginning and only found the right balance for me this year. I found that while my time management was not the greatest, I did take time to simply enjoy college, whether it was hanging out with friends, exploring campus, or going for campus events. I hope to further figure out this balance this coming year (which is going to be really fun as academics don't lighten up senior year!) It requires quite a bit of effort and planning, but that's is better than looking back after graduation and realizing that you didn't have fun along the way and said no to more things that you'd have liked to. It happens once so make the most of it :) (Responsibly for the most part!)
"You will not always be motivated,
so you must learn to be disciplined."
Isn't that the truth? There are some times where motivation seems to fly out the window and is in no hurry to return. A sense of direction remains but the will to pursue the path we desire is often wanting. It is almost as if all the drive, ambition, and sense of purpose that propels us to move forward and grow simply fizzles away. How can that be?
Why it happens, I don't think any of us can really say. Motivation and drive is good and well but a poor master to rely on exclusively to reach our potential. After all motivation is only good as the consistent and conscious effort we put into all that we do. Discipline is essential to reach the goals we set for ourselves and achieve the dreams that otherwise remain figments of an imagination unbound by reality and the hurdles we face in life.
I write this post today largely as a reminder to myself to remember that motivation is the belief but discipline is the action required to grow. It can be difficult to establish, especially at the beginning and almost nearly as difficult to maintain but all that we pursue is what we deem worthwhile of our time and attention and therefore I really should not be surprised that what I want to become requires such effort and commitment consistently and rigorously, sometimes even tirelessly so.
Never let your feelings
get in the way of seeing things
as they truly are
But it's easy to get swept up isn't it? For me, anyways. I think this quote is interesting because it gives a different message depending on the feelings in a particular situation. In times of happiness, it can be a bit saddening, while in times of anger or disappointment, it can be reassuring. But regardless of what we feel, understanding the bigger picture is always eyeopening and reminds us of the world beyond ourselves.
Admitting to this though can be difficult, especially when you are caught up in the excitement of a moment and realize, it is just a moment. That disappointment is often a cruel awakening of sorts, when you figure out that something you had hoped for is not what you thought it was.
While this is something that is trying to follow as a standard rule of thumb, it is useful to keep in mind and consider when things go one way and then another or if the general circumstances around you leave you filling disheartened or lost.
Learn to embrace
the storms of your life.
It kind of seems strange to choose a quote like this in the summer but it fits too well for me to consider another. Sometimes,you find yourself at the crossroads of multiple major realizations and/or changes, making the present seem overwhelming and the future rather daunting. It is hard in those times to gain the perspective necessary to handle them. It gets even more complicated when you think you have figured something out and then a 180 degree turn happens and then you're back to square one. These "storms" of our lives are often difficult but they are also the birthplace of our greatest growth and most memorable triumphs. They encourage within us the sometimes dormant strength we forget that we have until circumstance calls upon us to utilize it. As hard and painful as they may be, they push us forward and keep us from becoming complacent and stagnant. And this is what I hope to remind myself when the winds get too strong. The growth that I seek requires an ability to weather the unexpected and prevail through the difficulties. So rather than run from them, I should engage with them thoughtfully and willingly.
"To be happy
you have to
make peace with the past
love the present
and be excited for the future"
I think it's really hard to do these things at times. As much as you know this to be true; turning these thoughts into actions can be a bit overwhelming. It probably is best to take things one at a time, settle each matter piece by piece rather than attempt to accomplish all of this in one try. And I think it is important that we do not limit ourselves to dealing with such things in a linear fashion. Sometimes the right time to deal with something comes up rather unexpectedly, which goes to show us that one of the best things we can do for ourselves is not try to over-control any one aspect of our lives. In doing so, we may be limiting ourselves, forgoing opportunities, and ignoring potential.
"Be strong enough to stand alone,
smart enough enough to know when you need help,
and brave enough to ask for it."
I really like this quote because it focuses on the balance between independence and interpersonal connection. More often than not, we find ourselves heavily on one side of the balance, either totally independent and detached from others or largely dependent on others' opinions and actions, struggling to simply be ourselves. Of course, this also includes the large gray area in between where we are still struggle with the issues of being ourselves yet being apart of something more as well. There are, as we can all attest to, benefits to being able to stand on our own two feet yet have relationships and communities that make our lives more meaningful.
That being said, the quote does highlight a general outline of how to balance the two and achieve something we might call interdependence, independence that is brave enough to admit when the support of others is need and seek it at those times. It would be nice to say that finding this balance is as easy as this quote makes it seem. However, we each have our various experiences and circumstances which affect how this balance will likely play out. In the end, only we can determine just how to do so; what we determine is necessary for to be fully ourselves without disregarding the importance of the people in our lives is entirely personal and unique and therefore cannot be determined by anyone else.
"Never let success get to your head.
Never let failure get to your heart."
This quote is just what I needed to hear. Sometimes it can be so difficult to maintain motivation; it feels like it is a pendulum at times, constantly swinging. When it is high, everything seems to work out and then when it falls, everything seems just a bit more impossible.
I like this quote because it emphasizes that there is a two-pronged approach to maintaining motivation. The first is about humility; our achievements ought to be celebrated and we have every right to be proud of them but we should do our best not to get so caught up in them that we neglect the other important parts of our life and the world around us. The second part is what about accepting failure as a step along a journey, not as a final destination. In times of constant hardship and/or repeated failure, it is so tempting to just give into the feelings of incompetence and give up. And, I think it is important to acknowledge these feelings as a momentary trial, not a lifelong burden. Dismissing them altogether seems harsh, but it is also important to get back into swing of things after time has been taken to set back and process what has taken place. It is daunting task, but I think it is important to remember that we are not given burdens greater than we can bare and we are always stronger than we think we are.
So here's a commitment to always strive forward and to be our best selves while doing so!
Hope you all have a wonderful week! And as always questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome.
So, there's really not much to tell. I'm a person of many interests, and talking to others about theirs.
So, I guess that's it for now!