I was glancing at my monthly academic calender last night and I stopped to see what I was doing this time a year ago. I am amazed how much my life has improved and how much I myself have changed.

I cannot believe that just a year has passed it seems like a decade almost.

I have lost contact with many I considered good friends, made new ones and have come to the realization that some of the new friends are just not worth the effort anymore. I am mature beyond my peers, even at twenty-five. I have become a lot more honest in the past year, realizing I do not need to waste my time and energy on those I do not care about. I have realized I cannot make everyone happy so it is imperative that I make myself and those I love happy first.

I know where I want to be a year from now, in three years, five and in ten. A year ago I was so out of touch with reality and surrounded by drama I could hardly focus on the next month. I use to think that if only I knew more about myself at a younger age I could have made different choices. Yet if I had I would not be where I am today.

With my birthday fast approaching I can finally say for the first time ever, I am at peace with the person that I am and the future I am building.

I was not happy with the person I became after moving to Southern California. I drank too much, I stopped caring about my family, about school, about a career. I was immersed in a lifestyle where no one cared about tomorrow much less the consequences for their actions. I slowly began to adopt the same out look. I stopped trying because it was easier for me to not try at all rather than face failure.

That person no longer exists. I have surrounded myself with strong, positive, and ambitious people. By doing so I have found the happier side of myself. I am ready to work hard and achieve my goals. I wake up in the morning grateful for all that I have and for the ones I love. I take the time to find the good in things around me rather than focusing purely on the negative.

The most important transformation that has taken place in the last year is my relationship with Austin. Not only have we found true love but we have found true happiness with one another. Austin and I have experienced our share of bumps in the road and survived. He has become my best friend, he has helped make me a better person.

My mom use to put notes in my snack bag before every swim meet, the following one was one of her favorites.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most…We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Thanks Mom! It still inspires me to today.

Here are some of my life lessons.

no matter how much I care,
some people just do not care back

that when I believe the world has turned its back on me, to take a look around..
I most likely turned my back on the world

people will forget what I have said and even what I have done,
but they will never forget how I made them feel

that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it

that its not what I have in my life
but who I have that counts

that its taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be

that its a lot easier
to react than it is to think

that I can keep going
long after I believe I cannot

that I am responsible for what I do,
no matter how I feel

that I can control my attitude
or it controls me

that learning to forgive takes practice

that sometimes when Iam angry I have the right to be angry,
but that does not give me the right to be cruel

that just because someone does not love me the way I want
them to, does not mean they do not love me with all they have

that maturity is about what types of experiences I have had
& what I have learned from them

that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others
sometimes I have to learn to forgive MYself

that no matter how badmy heart is broken
the world will not stop for my grief

that my background and circumstances
may have influenced who I am,
but I am responsible for who I become

that just because two people argue,
does NOT mean they do not love each other.
and just because two people do not argue,
does not mean they do

that no matter the consequences,
those who are honest with themselves
get farther in life

that when i have lost faith it is possilbe to find it again

My Family, My Inspiration