I’ve been in a pretty dang serious relationship for about three and a half years now and with the addition of experiencing what it means to be a college student, for the longest time, I’ve felt pretty lost in terms of who I am as a person and what defines me. I’m not talking about what my career is going to be in the next couple of years because to be honest, who does at this age, but rather what are my strengths, my hobbies, and the experiences that define me?
Don’t get me wrong, I live a pretty decent life -going to college, working part-time, making unforgettable memories with my good friends- but yet, there was always something tugging at me from within that I couldn’t quite pinpoint. I’ve honestly been feeling this year for about a year now and after a long day pondering on what it was that was bothering me, I’ve come to realize that I’m unhappy with myself because I haven’t been doing what I really want to do in my life. That is, to see the world, inspire others, pursue my passions, and be what it means to be truly independent. Instead, I’ve been tying myself down to my relationship and to the stereotypes of the “Asian pathway”, restricting me from my passions because of the thought that I’m not good enough or this isn’t meant for me.
Now why does this even matter? Well, because it does. I know that we live in a society where people always want to “fit in” to a certain category to be successful and believe that if they don’t then they should do whatever it takes to become that. Although this is all very cliche, I know there is a little part of you that feels this way, rather you’d like to admit it or not. I mean, I even admit it.
I’m here to tell you that whatever passions you have, keep working to maintain that because your passions are what make you, you. For the longest time, I’ve always been told that your passions are only meant to be hobbies and if you try to pursue it, you’ll only end up hating it, but it wasn’t until recently that I started to feel the opposite. Believe me when I tell you that I’ve tried to turn down my love for music and film and instead tried to pursue environmental science as my career. I mean I do enjoy learning about it, it’s just that I’ve interned at many environmental-related fields and have only found myself moving farther and farther away from what I truly want to be doing in my life.
Because of this realization, I’ve cut the crap, the bull, the negativity from my life that have been putting me down and creating unnecessary drama. I have ultimately had to change my perspectives on what it means to truly be alive and that it’s not just about making money and doing what I “should” be doing. It’s about living up to your calling, your passions, and doing what it is you want to do.
So here’s to my independence. Although I have let life just run its course for a good couple of years of my life, it’s my turn to take charge and direct it to where I want to go. As the saying goes, “you do you”, and don’t let anyone else, especially yourself, come in the way. Let this upcoming year be a representation on who we truly aspire to be with no rules in between.