Open water

Goodbye Illinois.

Goodbye cold weather and snow. Goodbye grade schools and middle schools and high schools and college. Goodbye to my first kiss and my first heartbreak. My first job and new friends and old friends.

Goodbye to good memories, and painful ones.

Goodbye to my family, and all their perfect imperfections that make them whole.

Goodbye to worry and stress.

A final goodbye to my old, murky, small pond. I have outgrown your waters and your sediment.

 I am craving for open water.

Hello sunshine. Hello warmth and positivity. Hello feeling fresh, new, and shiny again.

Hello to new places to explore, new friends to meet, new experiences to be lived and loved.

Hello to independence and maturity. Hello to growth, introspection, and self-discovery.

Hello to finding myself again and falling in love with the person I am supposed to be.

Hello to living, and living unconditionally.

Hello Miami. I am ready to breathe you in.

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My heart is full

Reflections from the night before graduation.

My heart is full. It is full with a thousand and more memories, ideas, people, places, stories, and emotions I have grown to learn and love over four years of insight.

I have struggled.

I have triumphed.

I have been challenged, in all ways a human can be challenged.

I have loved.

I have lost.

I have had my heart shatter.

And I have had it put back together with the soft hands of the lights of my life

                 I have grown.

                 I have become the version of myself I have looked up to in others.

                 I have become what I have chased unknowingly and blindly over a span of time.

My heart is full but my mind has plenty of room for more. It has been stretched and bent and it is worn in some spots where I tend to think too much, but it is ready for a new place. New ideas. New people and new things to explore.

It is as if I am bursting at the seams. Words and thoughts and love and emotion are flowing through my body like a river. There must be somewhere I can channel this energy. It needs a space. It needs a mold to fill, to crack. It is yearning to be put to work in a place that needs it the most.

There’s one more thing though. One emotion whose lines I can define among the tangled mess of the rest. There is a slight feeling of sadness. It feels similar to pricking your fingertip on a needle. Very small, but just slightly noticeable. It hurts to leave behind the shell that has housed all the warm and beautiful memories.

If there is one small idea I want to leave with all of the hearts that I have touched and have touched mine, it is love fully, be present, and be you. There is no greater pleasure in doing these three things. In doing so, one evades regrets and allows others to see the raw and real. There are no second chances in this life we grow to know and love.

So be here, be here now.

Be you, and do so relentlessly.

Let the love of others wash over you and heal you in the times of hurt. Accept this love not out of obligation but willingly. Accept this love because you are deserving of it. Don’t wait for special occasions or beginning or ends to give love to others who are just as deserving as you are.

But most importantly, be fearless. Be courageous in your words and your actions because you are strong and you can create waves in a pond that has been stagnant for far too long.

You are ready.

Begin.