Long Strides

For someone who was, and still is, as impatient as me, I often find myself waiting. I find myself waiting for things to happen as if I already know something will happen soon. It’s like I’m always anticipating the next move.

But the thing about me is that sometimes, I don’t wait long enough. I wait just long enough until I can’t wait any longer and then I make my move. The irony is that my move usually happens just before a move is made by some other force of nature. It’s like I’m taking a half-step too soon or coming in a beat too early.

And that is my biggest downfall.

I wait, but speak to soon. I wait, but act too soon. I wait, but react too soon. I think it’s because I’m afraid that if I don’t, then nothing will happen.

I think it’s because I don’t trust that the stars will align as they rightfully should. But, as I have learned in the past, the stars have never let me down.

The biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in my life were due to my own impatience. My own pre-emptive actions. My unwillingness to wait just a little longer for a breakthrough. But lo and behold, that breakthrough always happen. I just end up taking a step forward and two steps back in the process.

When I look back at the past five years since I’ve graduated college, I feel as though I’ve come a long way, but still haven’t gone very far. And I know that I still have a long way to go, but that’s where my impatience kicks in. And I know that this continuous solo dance of one step forward and two steps back will just tire me in the long run.

One of my greatest fears is not fulfilling myself with the life that I dream of. And I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

Actually, I know that I’m not alone in that.

As Nelson Mandela once said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” It seems like such a silly thing to be afraid of. But if you think about it, it really is a bit scary and slightly overwhelming to think that we are actually capable of the things that we set our mind to. It all just depends on our willingness to do what it takes to get there.

For me, I always thought that my preemptive actions were shortcuts, but they’re really detours. And the times where I have found the most peace and clarity was when I was able to really sit and think about what I wanted in life. Though I’m still figuring it out, the picture is much clearer now. I’ve learned that by taking fewer short quick steps, I’ve been able to take longer strides.

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When all is said and done…

When I checked my WordPress blog “Stats” this morning, I received a notification in the form of a little, orange trophy on the upper right-hand side of my page. To my surprise, I discovered that yesterday was my one-year anniversary of having registered for a WordPress acount.

If you haven’t already noticed, I feel very strongly that one-year anniversaries of certain events are very sentimental. It’s a milestone. Of course, not everything in life needs a one-year celebration. I’m talking about the bigger stuff. The things that have really affected you and continues to affect you.

On a micro-level scale, I’m still always in awe of how much can happen in a month, a week, even a day. Things in life change so often that you can never predict where you will be at any given moment. And this is why I’m recognizing this one-year anniversary of having my blog as quite an accomplishment. For an entire year, I have this collection of events that I’ve recorded and can reflect on through my own words. For an entire year, I’ve committed to up-keeping something that I created myself. Not to sound lame, but this is very exciting to me. I mean, I’m not throwing a party for it, but I am shedding light on this the same way that I’ve shed light on anything else that I felt was compelling to me; by writing it in this blog.

When I look back on past entries that I’ve written, it brings me back to remembering how I felt at a specific moment; it’s an interesting feeling. I’ve always felt that reflection is extremely important. It’s important to remember our lives. If we don’t, then what do we have to show for?

I was on StumbleUpon earlier today (a website/app that populates your categories of interest and brings you to random websites that are relevant) I landed on a website that had a list of “50 questions that you should always ask yourself” One of them, which really hit home for me, was this:

“When all is said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?”

I’ve mentioned before that I’m the kind of person that holds true to anything I tell to anyone, including myself (especially myself). Because honestly, what do our words mean if we don’t take action on them?

This is why I’m recognizing this milestone of my blog’s one-year anniversary. Today I asked myself, “When all is said and done, will I have said more than I’ve done?”

I’m hoping my answer is yes because life is too short to think about the ‘what ifs”. I want to look back and see that I’ve done the things that I told myself I would do.

I’m glad that I have this blog to remind me of the things that I told myself this past year. It helps me remember…

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

If there’s one aspect of my personality that you can take away from reading everything I’ve written in this blog, it’s this:

I am an impatient person.

I’ve never been the type to sit around and wait for things to happen. My entire life, I’ve firmly rooted myself in the mentality that if you want things to happen, you have to go out and make it happen. Having this mentality has brought me success in several areas of my life; School, work, running.

The one area that constantly contradicts this mentality is relationships. Specifically, romantic relationships.

Before I left for New York City, a very close friend of mine bought me a mug that had the words “Live with passion” on it. It sits on my desk at work and I look at it almost every day and absorb this phrase into my mind.

I believe that anything you do in life should be done with deep passion, whether it be your part-time job or your favorite hobby. Otherwise, what kind of results can you expect if you don’t put deep passion into anything you do? There’s a reason why fast food doesn’t taste as good as fine dining.

Getting back to the point that I was trying to make…Romantic relationships have always been something that I really care about. I’m obsessed with the idea of giving your whole heart to someone and giving them all the love that you can offer.

Someone once said to me, “You seem like the kind of person who follows through with exactly what you say you’re going to do”

This is true.

I will never give my word to myself, or to anyone else for that matter, unless I really mean it. And for this reason, I expect other people to do the same. Unfortunately, that’s not how the world works. And that’s most certainly not how everyone else thinks.

Since I’ve been single in New York City, my ongoing goal has been to find “the one”. Well, I haven’t been the least bit successful in finding that person. And the reason for this is because I don’t even care who “the one” actually is. I’m more involved in the idea of giving my heart to anyone who will take it. I’m impatient.

I don’t actually care who this person is. I just want to be able to dedicate my time to someone and smother them with my whole heart.

Yes, that might sound psychotic, but I can’t grasp the concept of sitting around and waiting for “the one” to walk into my life. I’ve carried my go-getter mentality with me in terms of finding a boyfriend, or a relationship, or just someone to spend my time with.

Well, I’ve learned that this approach yields a 0% success rate.

I’m familiar with the saying, “Good things come to those who wait”. Well that’s never worked for me in terms of school, work, or running, so naturally, I assume it’s an unsuccessful tactic. I’m used to putting in the time and effort and seeing results from the hard work that I’ve put in.

Apparently, that doesn’t apply to finding the right person for you.

I don’t know how to do this whole sitting, waiting, wishing thing.

I know it shouldn’t even be like that though. I should be focusing on myself, living my life, and eventually the right person will come my way. It’s just a matter of when.

Similar to finding the right job, the right apartment or house, the right workout regimen, or anything in life, it has to be the right time and the right fit. This holds true for everything.

One factor that I’ve overlooked in regards to the success I’ve had with school, work, and running is that I’ve had success because these things happened to be the right fit. Life kind of just let it happen. Of course, I still put in the time and effort, but everything happened with the right timing.

I guess all I can do is just let the chips fall where they may and trust that “the one” will find me in good timing. And then, and only then, will it be worth it.

New Year, New You

In an effort to avoid bombarding readers with an additional “Happy New Year!” post on New Year’s Eve, I’m going to publish this post early since it’s something that has already been on my mind for the past few months.

I caught up with a close friend last night, and we talked for hours about various topics about life. When we arrived at the topic of what our plans were for New Year’s Eve, we both began to look back on how much has changed in our lives this past year.

We’re approaching the end of 2013 and are about to begin another new year full of new experiences and memories that we’ll eventually reflect on as we, once again, approach the end of the year.

Although a new year may not seem so monumental to some people, it’s quite monumental to me. It’s a time to sit down and look back on all of the things have happened in the span of a year; the gains, the losses; the heartbreaks, the accomplishments; the failures. I always look forward to a new year and view it as an opportunity to learn and grow from the year(s) prior. I pin point the highlights, whether they be good or bad.

It’s always nice to have someone who has been there with you throughout the year; to help recall on the memories that we tend to block out; the hard times. It’s funny when we remember the hard times. Looking back, it never seems as bad as it actually was when we were in the heat of the moment. Remembering the hard times is what reassures me that I’ll get through life’s obstacles and come out of them being a stronger person, with a better perspective on life. It allows me to focus on the things that I want to change about myself.

I don’t write in my journal as much I did prior to buying my iPad, but I do still use it as another tool (other than my friends) to help me recall memories and events from past years. One major thing that I still use it for is to see if I actually accomplished the things I set out to do in the upcoming year.

I’ve developed this tradition with myself (ever since I’ve had my journal) where I list out realistic goals that I want to accomplish in that year. I’m proud to say that I typically accomplish the goals that I set out for myself. It’s because I’m the kind of person that believes that word is bond. Aside from making promises to other people, the most important promises we make are the ones we make to ourselves. If we can’t hold true to the things we set out for ourselves, how can we ever expect to hold true to the things that we tell other people?

It may seem selfish, but it’s absolutely necessary to work on yourself first before getting involved with someone or something that may take up a significant amount of our time. We should try to be the best version of ourselves, always. And this is why I’ve heavily overused the phrase, “New Year, New You” this past month as I’ve reflected on 2013 (A phrase that is a re-occurring theme for a majority of the January issues within my company’s magazine titles)

New Year, New You.

2014 is another new year where we have the opportunity to become whoever we want to be; to utilize the experiences that happened in the past year and learn from them.

Here’s to 2014.

The Science of Success

It may be ridiculous to say, but I’ve been inspired by a book that I haven’t even read yet. I’ve been intending on reading “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell ever since I first picked it up at the Barnes & Noble store where I worked while I was in college.

When I read the back of the book, I was instantly fascinated and intrigued to learn about the science of success. Is there a methodology? A pattern? Or just pure dumb luck and timing? Without ever having read the book, I can only hope that my theories align with that of Malcolm Gladwell’s.

Based on personal experience, I can proclaim the theory that the science of success is based on a compilation of factors that include Methodology, Pattern, and timing. Here is why:

Below, I provide you with a breakdown of the series of events that caused the interpretation of my own success.

I.) Methodology –

I’m a firm believer in destiny. However, I also believe that destiny is determined by our actions and the decisions that we make on a daily basis. Essentially, we are in control of our own destiny. Similar to the movie, “Back to the Future”, I think that alternate lives can be created depending solely on a single choice or occurrence. Our approach to the methodology in our daily lives such as the courses that we take in college going all the way back to our decision between playing a sport or playing an instrument determines the kind of life we’ll lead. Of course, this is not set in stone, but it sure does map out some sort of direction.

In all honesty, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I first entered college. I didn’t even figure it out until the very end of my sophomore year, in which case, I still had to apply to get into my major.

My methodology?

First, I asked myself, “What do I like?”

What do I care enough about to the point where I’d voluntarily sit through numerous days of hour long classes and actually enjoy it? What have I been doing with my life up until this day?

At first, my answers seemed silly to me.

It was simple. I liked to run. I liked to write. I liked showcasing my love for these things. I wanted to be in an environment that supported my love for these things.

I chose Exercise Science, concentrated in Sport Management, because I could be in a field where I was able to be involved in the realm of Sports and Exercise, without actively participating as an athlete. I wanted to be behind the scenes.

Entering my Senior year, I knew that I was required to apply for an internship in order to graduate.

Similar to when I first entered college, I had no idea where I wanted to intern when I reached my Senior year of college. I didn’t even find an internship until after the deadline had already passed. Fortunately, thanks to good timing (which I’ll discuss in my third point) I found one that suited me perfectly.

Pattern, though, was the other factor that aided me a great deal towards landing the job that I currently have job.

II.) Pattern –

Pattern, or routine, is necessary in ensuring that you are on the right track. After all, practice makes perfect (as long as your practicing correctly)

In many previous posts, I’ve discussed how time management and the ability to balance the many areas of my life was a very significant skill set that I learned. Being able to maintain a daily pattern in my schedule helped me stay focused.

I juggled between part-time work, full-time school, a boyfriend, a social life, and relaxation time all throughout college. Figuring out a way to incorporate all of these things into my life without completely losing my mind wasn’t an easy task. Fortunately, I was able to develop a routine and stick to it.

I devoted certain hours of the day and certain days to schoolwork, my part-time job, spending time with my boyfriend, my friends, and myself.

Once that foundation was established, it was easy for me to go about my days without being stressed out all the time.

It’s imperative that one establishes some basis of routine or structure. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for spontaneity and randomness, however, spontaneity and randomness in excess leads to chaos. And chaos leads to destruction. We need to be in control of our lives, but still be open to the idea that life throws curveballs at us.

Some like to call those curveballs “conflicts” or “struggles”, but I like to call them life lessons. And we need to take those life lessons and learn from them in order to grow. Life is all about timing. Everything happens in our lives as it should. As the saying goes, “God never gives us more than we can handle” (or something along those lines)

Anyways, this brings me to my third and last point, timing.

III.) Timing –

Have you ever been somewhere at exactly the right place or time? Well, this happens to me a lot.

My family and friends have always told me that I’m a lucky person. I always tend to find money on the ground, run into some sort of wild event, or win things.

Instead, I’d say that I just have really good timing.

There have been many times where extremely unfortunate occurrences have happened to me. In High School, I suffered a serious eye injury while playing soccer just weeks before attending Junior Prom. In college, I caught Mono and Strep Throat in the same year and then the following year, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I partied my way into Academic Warning during the first semester of transferring to Rutgers University from Montclair University. Somehow, I miraculously overcame all of these obstacles and managed to avoid major life events that could have collided with these unfortunate circumstances.

My eye was fully healed in less than the time predicted by my Doctor and I was able to attend Junior Prom. I caught Mono and Strep Throat in between the Fall and Spring Semester, in which I didn’t have to miss any classes. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease during the semester prior to my Senior Year, in which I again didn’t have to miss any classes. I bounced back from Academic Warning the following semester and was able to graduate college with a 3.0 GPA.

I can label all of these things as pure dumb luck, but I won’t.

It was a combined effort of good timing and willpower.

All of the tragic events that have happened to me happened during the best timing and I’m eternally grateful for that.

This series of ups and downs throughout my college career were the building blocks for the type of future that I was going to have. More importantly, how I reacted to this series of ups and downs determined my success.

In life, we must learn that endless waves of good and bad happen to us. Our methodology of approach, daily patterns, and timing all contribute to our direction. Ultimately, the science of success is in our hands. We have to play the hand that we are dealt, whether it be good or bad.