The biggest accomplishment in life is discovering who you truly are and being yourself 100% of the time. Let’s face it – nobody is perfect, therefore being the ultimate best version of you 24/7 is pretty unrealistic. But if you feel comfortable in your own skin and you are confident on the path you are on, you are doing better than most people.
Growing up is inevitable. It’s obvious when the physical growth of your body takes place, but the mental growth of a person is often tucked under the rug. Nobody talks about the days you wake up and the little voice inside of your head screams, “DAMN! I’m not the person I was yesterday.” Here’s a little anecdote for you.
I grew up in a household of 5, being the oldest child of three. I have a brother who is three years younger than me, and a sister who is 5 years younger than me. That being said, my subconscious convinced me that it was my obligation to never break one rule and to set the best possible example for my younger siblings. I never broke the rules when I was younger. I was a star student who always raised her hand before speaking in class. My after school routine was to eat a snack, sit down for homework time, dinner, extracurricular activities, rinse and repeat. I felt pressured to oblige to the rules of what my mental capacity should be as told by the great ruler called society.
My teenage years came with bouts of anxiety and doubt, and I feared that I would never be good enough. Good enough for who though? The first two years of college was when I was able to physically see my mental growth. I experienced a life-changing event that proved to me that the only person I ever have to be good enough for is myself. Not to say I should rebel against all and any advice, opinions, and help from others, but always remember the importance of putting yourself first.
Immediately after I graduated from college, I moved to Toronto, Canada, a place I had dreamed of living in since the age of 8. The common question was “What are you doing up there?” and my answer every single time was “I’m not sure yet! But I would rather be happy first, and let everything else happen second.” That was the first time in my life where I stood my ground; I turned right when everyone would have told me to turn left. Hooray to me, I finally proved to myself I was grown up enough to make my own decisions.
I went to bed on December 31, 2016 telling myself that when I woke up January 1, 2017, I was going to let go of my past and begin to live my life the way I wanted to. 10 year old Ariella would not be very happy with 23 year old Ariella because 10 year old Ariella was going to be a doctor when she grew up. But 23 year old Ariella realizes that life isn’t about finding your place in the world, rather creating it, doing what makes you happy.
What makes me happy, you ask? Here are some things that make me the happiest, from the large to small spectrum.
· Having a miniature circle of close friends (quality>quantity has a new meaning with age)
· When you realize the universe has your back and brings the right people at the right time into your life.
· Writing! I love writing. So much.
· Striking up conversation with strangers (when you work in a retail environment, it becomes a hobby)
· Following my intuition – the gut knows best, always.
· Genuine people. Period.
· Ice cream is definitely the best food invention.
Ok, the list could really go on forever. What I’m trying to say is this: most people let their dreams dissipate because they are embarrassed to start at the bottom. Take it from experience, starting from the bottom and creating something out of your passion is the most rewarding thing. I began an online blog about 4 years ago as a personal journal. I now have a following and even get fan mail! Work hard in silence, let your efforts speak for themselves.
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