First and foremost, I must acknowledge the despicable attack on Brussels, Belgium. I can only hope, as always, that continued perseverance and courage in the face of terror will rob violence of its power.
I’ve been labeled as a contradiction by someone who knows my passions, dreams, and ideas more than most. My mentor believes that I am extremely strong willed and do not easily neglect my dreams. He knows that I am (and will only be) motivated by purposeful work. He has reiterated that he holds the utmost confidence in me to reach my fullest potential. So, how is all of this contradictory?
To me, it is clear. We don’t use these words to describe every person in our lives, and as much as I am humbled by them, I am burdened. No, not burdened by expectations of anyone else, but by my expectations for my own life.
I feel that my mentor’s description of me accurately portrays my own mission statement, to make a positive, lasting impression on more lives than my own. However, beneath all of this, is a 21-year-old girl.
I love Pinterest, fashion, music, watching makeup tutorials on YouTube, binge-watching Orange is the New Black, and updating my Snapchat story. I am eager to plan a wedding to my high school sweetheart and go on a dream honeymoon. I am also excited to make money and feel the freedom of making more of my own decisions, but in the back of my mind, plagued by the notion that I need to be doing more.
This is where the contradiction comes into play; the constant tug-of-war between accomplishment and knowledge versus comfortability and short-term satisfactions. I would not label the 21-year-old self as the only enjoyable side, however, since I frequently hunger for and deeply enjoy intellectual stimulation. At a point, I consider pursuing additional education as a personal want against just diving into the workforce for remuneration.
Why am I writing this? I am in search of a balance. I tend to swing from one side to another between personal pursuits and duties, but I’m not looking to choose one side over another.
I hope that as time passes, I will find ways to mesh both sides of myself into one full being. Through this journey, I’ve learned that being a contradiction is what makes for an interesting life since we are flexible in attitude and opinion.
This doesn’t make us unreliable, it makes us open-minded, a virtue that I truly believe our society needs in order to achieve universal respect and maybe someday, peace.