Lola O.
Originally posted on my Six Months Till Korea blog, but I thought it should be shared with a wider audience. Enjoy:)

One of the main reasons I write my thoughts down is so I can reflect on them in the future, but even more importantly to see how far I have come and how much farther I need to go. This week has been a week of reflection, dreams, chances, but more importantly it has been a week of living and enjoying the moment.

I tend to wear my thinking cap way too much, and can get wrapped up in my head without seeing what is really going on in my life. I made a promise to myself that 2010 is going to be my year, my season, my time to shine and bloom, and I am doing my best to stay true to myself and to keep that promise.

Maybe it is just me, but it felt like for a long time I was just existing in life and not really living it, not letting myself enjoy it for all its flaws and wonder. I always thought I had to be someone other than the person I am. Always trying to change myself for the better, when sometimes it was more about accepting myself than changing me. I can smile now when I say that, because I am finally becoming the woman I want to be, and doing it in my own way and in my own time.

Everyone of us has a journey to take, and mine has taken me in different directions on the way to where I am now. I don't know what the future holds but I know I am excited to live my life going towards it. I think it all comes down to how you see yourself, and how you want the world to see you. That should be your choice and only yours to make. I keep thinking about my favorite Thoreau quote about living your life the way you have imagined it to be and it is so true.

This is your life, and as far as I know we only get this one chance to live it. So why live a life you don't want, a life you don't love? One day we will all return to the earth, and I for one don't want to be tangled up in regrets upon regrets. I'm 22 years old, and for the first time in my life I feel in sync with myself as far as who I am now and who I want to be in the future. I understand myself better. Accept myself with every flaw, scar, and beauty inside of me.

When I got into college I had a plan for how I wanted my life to be, but I am realizing that it wasn't necessarily me following my dreams, but more of me following the safe path to success. I don't regret the path I chose, because it has helped me get to this point in my life, and I have met wonderful people along the way, and have had opportunities that shaped me into the present version of myself.

I feel comfortable in my own skin, and even in those moments of doubt and insecurity I know that I am going to be just fine because like my mom says, "It is well with my soul." We all stumble, we all fall, but we all have to remember to pick ourselves back up and take it one step at a time, one moment at a time, and one day at a time. Living is about choices, leaps of faith, and chances. Sometimes we wait too long to do something that we miss out on it entirely.

It always comes down to fear; the fear of rejection, the fear of failure, the fear of pain, the fear of everything and anything you can imagine. Fear is like a plague on the human soul. It crushes our spirits, steals our dreams, and leaves us broken. Fear is friend to no one, and an enemy to all, but for me I am realizing that fear will always be there and it is up to me to overcome it, and live the life I have imagined. It is never and easy thing to overcome fear, but it is as necessary as breathing.

Over two years ago, I decided to not go straight to law school after graduation, and instead to let myself explore what else life has to offer. My family wasn't exactly excited about that decision, but they supported me and have always supported me. Something I am deeply thankful to them for. It was scary changing course like that, but it felt right, it still feels right. I was walking along a path that wasn't clear and felt more like a burden than a gift. Anyone that knows me, knows that when I make up my mind about something it rarely changes.

So deciding not to apply for law school  was a big deal, but it was the best decision I could have made for me. I was young, I am young, and I had barely experienced what life has to offer outside of a classroom. There is so much to see, so much to do, that it makes me tremble with all those endless possibilities. It feels right to go to Seoul, to travel outside of my comfort zone and give myself this year to bloom. To stretch myself, and test my limits away from the comforts I have now.

Sure I am scared, but even that fear is a beautiful thing. Like Eleanor says, "we must do the things we are afraid to do," only then will we ever know what we are capable of. If we all stay in our little boxes we will never know what is beyond those cardboard walls. Going to Seoul is a chance to explore more of the world while discovering more of me. Going to Seoul is a choice that will take me down a new path and lead me towards another. I'm excited to be doing this, to be making one dream into my reality.

But for me it is not just about going to Seoul, it's about being the young woman I want to be. This quotes sums it up best:

There is an inner beauty about a woman who believes in herself, who knows she is capable of anything that she puts her mind to. There is a beauty in the strength and determination of a woman who follows her own path, who isn’t thrown off by obstacles along the way. There is a beauty about a woman whose confidence comes from experiences; who knows she can fall, pick herself up, and move on. -Unknown-

Years from now I don't want to regret not saying what was in my heart, not traveling to places I dreamed of seeing, and I don't want to regret not living the life I have imagined for me. I was thinking yesterday about my future and where I see myself years from now. I kept thinking about what exactly am I going to do for a living in the future. I always wanted to practice law, and it is still my dream but there is a part of me that is still searching for that career that feels like it was made just for me.

There is so many possibilities in this world, so many places we can go, and so many things we can do, that I worry that I will get lost in the choices and never find the one for me. Before, I thought success was measured by the amount of money I would make, but as I got older I realized that success is defined by me and no one else. Success for me is not about money, but the way I choose to live my life. I know I want to help people like me, people searching, people drifting, people who are lost, and people who come from fragmented families like me.

I know I want to help others discover themselves, and make their own dreams a reality. I know I want to do something and be someone that inspires others to live their life the way they have imagined it to be. I know I want to be the advocate for those whose voices are silenced. I know I want to leave a legacy of positive change, and inspire people to lift their voices, and use their bodies to help those that cannot. The problem is that even though I know this much, I have no idea how to make that into a career for me.

I've always felt my calling was law, and in a lot of ways I still do. The question then is what kind of lawyer should I be. I have been thinking a lot lately about being a human rights lawyer and focusing on helping the youth whether in domestic cases or international ones. I've always advocated and looked out for the people around me, and I feel like my voice could be the voice they need. But then, there are so many other careers besides law that I could be the one for me...

I don't know, these are just some thoughts racing circles inside of me. I'm at that point in my life where it is  feels okay to feel this unsure about my future, and to get a little lost along the way, because I believe with all my heart that one day in a moment all will be revealed to me. I just have to continue living my life and letting my footsteps lead me closer to where I am supposed to be.

I'm sharing all of this because I know there are other people out there, who like me are trying to figure out their place in this world. Who are beating themselves up for being lost, when they should remember that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find and be found. We are always changing so don't hold yourself back, take a deep breathe and jump. Jump, and let yourself go...
5 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Such a meaningful post.:-)I’m one of those people who are still trying to figure out their place in the world.:-) Sometimes, I feel like I’ve reached the crossroads in my life where I can't continue on the same old path I’ve taken before but at the same time I’m still confused about which path that lies before me is the right one for me. Still hesitant to make that leap of faith.:-)
    Your post reminds me of the line in that Robert Frost poem,
    "Two roads diverged in a wood,
    and I—
    I took the one less travelled by,
    And that has made all the
    Thank you for sharing.:-)
    ~ Ana.

  2. Lola O. Says:

    Ana that poem is one of my favorite poems. I wrote a blog about taking the road less traveled.

    Listen to the song, and maybe it will inspire you as it has inspired me!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Like I've said before, your posts really inspire me.:-)And that song was beautiful.It hit all the right emotional notes for me and I hope I'm able to listen to my heart and stay true to it.:-)But why does being 'Uncommon' have to be so difficult hmmm:-(.

    I'm sure you'll be fantastic at whatever you do decide to choose finally.:-)

    The only problem when it comes to your blog is that I can't speed read it because that would be like eating a gourmet meal as if it was fast food.:-) Your posts have made me think about my own life deeply and evaluate what I need to do, to fill the void that I sometimes feel in my life.:-) Please do know that your words do make a difference.:-)

  4. Lola O. Says:

    Ana, I'm glad you enjoyed the song. I listen to that song everyday and it gives me a little pick me up. I've reread the lyrics so many times because there is so much truth to them.

    I think the reason being "uncommon" is such a hard thing for us/people to do is because we spend a lot of our time trying to fit in, instead of letting ourselves just be us and stand out.

    Believe me, it took me a long time to reach this state of mind so don't rush yourself and just realize that your life is a journey specially created just for you so don't worry about following others paths and just follow your own path.

    It took me 22 years but I finally understand me, and am making my life into the one I have imagined and not the one others have imagined for me.

    I'm glad my writing has helped you, that is one of the most important reasons I write. I don't have all the answers and I've realize it is okay not to, I will find them with each passing day and so will you.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Your writing makes my heart smile.:-) Looking forward to reading more of your lovely posts.Take care:-)