Lola O.
Being back home has been wonderful. Seeing the people I love, catching up on their lives, just looking up at the gorgeous AZ sky fills me up with so much joy. I know that it will be hard to leave this place, my home for another year. I didn't realize all that I had missed until I came back. Now I worry about going back for another year. I know that for now my life is in Seoul. I'm happy there, but nothing compares to this feeling of love for the people and places I have here. I really do live in a beautiful place, and I'm thankful that over 11 years ago my mom decided to move us from New Jersey to Arizona. It was the beginning of so many wonderful experiences.

One of my favorite things to do is look up at the sky. The sky here is breathtaking. It is so beautiful, and it reminds me every day that beauty is here, there -- everywhere. We've just got to open our eyes and hearts to those little glimpses of beauty we discover every day. Whether in ourselves, the people in our lives, strangers, or our environment. There is something or someone that will bring a smile to your face as you go about your day. Just be open enough to receive it/them.

Since I've been home I've been doing a lot of reading. I've been reading my old journal entries and the things I wrote make me laugh, wonder how I could have thought that, remember what I'm fighting and living for, cry on occasion. I've always had too many thoughts dancing in my mind, with no place to go, and no room to breathe. So I wrote then and I write now to give them air, life, meaning. The entries that really got to me were the ones from the 18 year old me. Back then I carried so much weight on my shoulders. I wanted to save everything and everyone.

I wanted to be this perfect student, daughter, friend -- just perfect in everything and in everyway. A goal that could never become reality. Perfection has no place in this world. Our flaws, our weaknesses, and our failures are the stepping stones to our future triumphs if we just take the first step towards moving beyond that momentary setback. If we just choose to be true to ourselves, and not try to be someone other than the person who's reflection stares back at you in the mirror. I had so many worries and as the 23 year old me I wish I could have told my younger self not to forget that happiness starts and ends with being true to who you are in everything you do, everywhere you go, and with everyone you meet.

To not spend so much time worrying about tomorrow and spend more time enjoying today. To not be afraid to risk, to try, to challenge yourself to test your capabilities. That is how you grow, learn, live. To trust your intuition, yourself, and never let anyone crush the belief you have in yourself. As I grew older, I grew wiser. As the years went on I realized all of those things. That is the beauty of aging in body, you grow in mind, in spirit, in wisdom. I guess if I had traveled back in time to tell the younger me everything would be alright, she wouldn't have faced her battles and come out the stronger and happier me.

There was so much fire in me, like a flame that had no end or beginning, it just burned brightly with no direction. Five years down the road that fire is still burning inside of me, but it has taken shape, glows a softer shade of red, and lights my way towards the future I'm imagining day by day. I keep thinking to myself this is what happiness means. This is what having a purpose feels like. I might not have all the details worked out, but I've got the vision, the passion, and the perseverance to make these dreams into my daily reality.
There comes a point in our lives where we just have to let go of all we know and start again. I'm at that point in my life, and although it is scary it is also beautiful. I have no idea what the future holds for me, but I want to do my best to head towards it with determination and perseverance. I want to be the one writing my story and not reading it! I want to have the patience to let things play out instead of trying to rush everything. All the dreams I have will blossom in their own time. So for now I just want to nurture them and give them room to grow.

I want to start living the life I've imagined and take advantage of every chance to make a dream into my reality. I'm thankful that I have the time to see what else is out there, and create my future one day at a time.

I'm starting to understand what it means to "grow up"...

I wrote this December 4th 2009 in my entry Bloom.  As I read this entry again I find myself thinking, "this is my season to bloom. Right now I am blooming into my true self, the me that has been lying in wait for me to claim her. In my own time I've finally gotten to that point where I realize the power I have to do something amazing in this world, with my life, for people I come across. I'm the author, the pen, the pages, the words, the thoughts, the... everything in my story. No one else can or will tell my story for me. I've got to do that. I'm the only one that can do that. After all, it is MY story, my life, my struggles, my discoveries, my mistakes, my dreams, and no one else's.

It feels like I am at that point in my life where my eyes are wide open and clear. My vision is filled with clarity about who I am, where I am going, who I want along for the ride, and just my purpose in this world. The future I'm walking towards looks so exciting, genuine, and very true to me. I can feel it deep down in my soul that I'm heading in the right direction. I'm on a journey that feels like its been waiting for me all this time. Waiting for me to be honest, to be courageous, to be myself. Everything feels so wonderful. The heaviness of the 18 year old me has faded into nothingness, and the hope, faith, and vision of the 23 year old me gives me so much joy.

My hope as you read my story, is that you find the inspiration you need to pick up that pen and write your own. No one has your style or understanding of who you are. So only you can write the words that become the pages of your life. It took me a long time to get to this part of my journey, but now that I am here, the path ahead is so clear. So lovely. The path I walk on has become smoother and my footsteps lighter. I told my mom the other day "Mom, I'm going to do amazing things in this world. I just know it!" I smile as I type that out. I believe it. I own it, and I have faith in me. I'm going to help so many people find their way, because that is my purpose. The one I've been given and the one I've chosen. To be a lighthouse in the dark and murky waters of life. To light their way back and guide them to safe shores. I've got dreams. I've got plans. I''ve got hope. I've got determination. I'm going to make it happen, one day at a time, one step at a time!

As long as we are persistent in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.” ~Denis Waitley
Bloom where you are planted. 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 
People deal too much with the negative, what is wrong.... Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalms 1:3
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~Mark Twain
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed. ~Bernard Edmonds
Be blessed,
~Lola O.~
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