Freshman year...check. It's true when they say that time flies a lot faster as you get older. No longer are the times when the two days before you could go over for friend's house to bake cookies seemed like weeks; gone are the days when you made paper chains to count down until your birthday or Christmas. The Taylor Swift calendar in my bedroom still reads March, and before that it read January.
It seems like only yesterday I walked into Music class late because I misread my schedule and ended up in a class of seniors (classic first day of high school). I remember so many individual days so vividly: lunchtime conversations, late nights (many late nights) of homework, a hard track workout, a play rehearsal. The individual days seemed to move by slow, but the weeks and the months rushed by so now I sit on my couch in Cape Code, typing away with the blue sky outside and nothing to distract me from what I love to do most: write, run, swim, and be by the beach.
I started this blog freshman year as a way to make a commitment to my writing. Here I have this faint vision, this vague idea of what I want to do with my life; somewhere in the distance I can see the finish line. Ever since 3rd grade when my teacher first inspired me to write, I think it's been there. In fact, it's probably been there my entire life, it just took me a little while to find it.
We all have a destiny, and life is about getting on the path to take us there. Some of our paths may be more direct than others; some people may need to travel on some very windy roads and at one point in our lives we will all probably have to make a U-turn. Sometimes we'll take the highway, sometimes we'll take the back roads. We may have to climb some hills in our life, but just remember as you're trudging along that there's always a downhill after to cruise on. At times we may run out of gas or a tire may go flat, and at this point it is time to pull over to the breakdown lane and reevaluate the situation. Not everyone is going to be a friendly driver; not everyone is going to let you pass. We'll probably all be honked at and/or pulled over at some point in our lives, but we have to accept that we're only human, and we're going to make mistakes. A ticket is not the end of the world, it's just a reminder that helps us stay on the right path. There may be a time we take the road with the cross signs, and we may ignore the "Danger Ahead" warnings. We may think we're too cool or know better than the "Stop" signs or the traffic lights, but we'll realize there are rules for a reason.
In light of my extended and hopefully not exhausted metaphor about the path of life, I thought I'd share a poem with you by Robert Frost, where he reflects upon the path he's chosen.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Coming full-circle, I started this blog in hopes that it would help me figure out who I was. We come into high school with so much prospect, possibility, potential. We are a slab of clay, just waiting to be molded, and it is in high school we start to meet those people, come across those places, and experience those events that begin to shape us into who we are. But coming out of freshman year, I still feel like I'm so far from figuring out who I am. I know my future has something with writing in it, but writing is such a broad field that I can take anywhere. I still don't know where I belong, but I think this blog brings me one step closer.
Self-reflections are important––although sometimes I may self-reflect too much, driving myself (and my Mom) a little batty. My favorite part about a birthday, the summer, a new year, is sitting back and thinking about what I learned. Freshman year was a big adjustment year, between the increased homework load, new friends, new commitments, and new passions. I've had to do a lot of self-evaluation, as I reflected upon in my post, Redefining Me. I've realized that I love theatre, and that I might want to tip the theatre vs. sports scale a little more toward theatre, despite my reputation as a track athlete.
Sometimes I wish someone would just show me a path, hand me a map, point me in the right direction. Chances are, though, I'll probably spend my entire life trying to find the best route. At some point, I will find my center point. I've begun doing Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskaar) in the morning, and I've found it to be a relaxing way to start my day. It gives me time to reflect and think about the day to come, as I ask to find my balance, and to find joy and happiness in all that I do. I acknowledge that I will make mistakes, and I make a promise to embrace change. I vow to live in the moment, think fondly on the past, and optimistically about the future. Every day is a new opportunity to get oneself on the path they are destined to take.
Take the time to reflect today. Do you have any advice for how to find your path? Do you have any morning routines? How do you find balance?
Here's hoping you all find your path someday,
P.S. It's about time "Did you notice..." was updated, don't you think?