I have one exam left and my semester is completely over. Classes have ended, campus seems empty and I know that I will not see many of the seniors I met this year again for a long time-if ever.
It is always encouraging to know that I have completed another semester at school, but this one is especially important to me. I cannot help but be nostalgic, because it has been epic in so many ways. The person that started this semester is gone and a replacement has arrived. The writer that began writing in the beginning disappeared and a new writer has emerged.
I began this semester with a heavy heart because I was very unhappy. Many aspects of my personal life were unfulfilled and I was lacking my “Ahna Spark” that I have always been known for. The big smiles and loud laughter had been taken over by this stressed out ball of anxiety-and I didn’t know what to do to change that.
I decided to return to counseling because if there is anything I love it is being able to discuss the thoughts and emotions that flash through my mind, with someone who has the ability to stay objective. I was very blessed and found a wonderful man who has listened and asked me about me. I strongly believe that everyone should experience the healing of therapy-we all have our issues and working through them makes for a more solid foundation. It has been instrumental in reminding me that I am okay, I am intelligent and that I am a good person.
But my reporting class deserves most of the credit for shaping me into who I am blossoming in to. When the semester began it terrified me on so many levels because I was going to have to be 100% responsible for all the work that I put in to it. I knew I was going to have to leave my safety zone. I had to build a “beat” or area of concentration in the community, I had to get to know the people involved, and I had to find my confidence so that I could approach them and ask for their story.
It is never an easy thing to be vulnerable, but this semester has shown me the riches in allowing myself to be just that. Week after week I hunted the story and with it I hunted the people. I have dealt with many of the ethical issues that we discussed in my ethics class while reporting, and there were a few times I had to approach someone for advice on how to handle those situations.
I did my best to remain objective in my story-telling and respect the people that gave me their time whether I agreed or disagreed with them. I learned how to conduct myself and became good at remembering to smile.
For me, my ADHD has always been my greatest enemy and my greatest friend. My mind is sharp and I see and feel things that most people overlook, yet I wrestle with self-esteem and confidence everyday. I have severe sleeping issues, after an hour or more of lecture I am so exhausted I can barely stay awake because I have been trying to focus. It is not easy-but this semester has shown me and has given me the confidence to continue on and know that I am getting better. If nothing else, because I will never give up.
I found a larger piece of myself this semester. I am seeing more and more the type of person I want to be and the places I want to take myself. My path is becoming clearer and I feel more confident about who I am right now-full of faults, but making strides. I cannot describe the changes that have taken place in the last five months, but I am thankful.
In life we often believe that we need lots of time to make changes, like the plants I have yet to replant. They have been patiently awaiting my hands and fresh soil yet I have put it off fearing the time it could consume. But the reality is that it would only take an hour or two. The change that occurs inside of us mentally or physically is often daunting because we wonder if we have time-but then we neglect the very essence of change.
It happens when we are open to it, when we are broken and in need. It occurs when we push ourselves to do things that make us uncomfortable and are outside of our comfort limits. There were so many days that I was scared to call someone for a story or too tired to walk into someone’s office-but I always made myself. And every time I did I felt that darkness slip further away.
The last part of my life was one spent living in fear of change. I wanted to hold on to comfort and hold on to the fake security that I had covered myself with. I was not willing to be vulnerable or open. I did not want to love or feel. No wonder I was so miserable! But somewhere along the way I woke up and began breathing, and then began walking.
Today I run. I am running into the things I want to do and accomplish. I am running into the person I want to be. I am running back into the arms of God. I am running into the boldness that I have always hidden. I am running into my future.
I have always said that life is short, and I always believed it, but lately I can taste it and that is real.