Estimated Read Time: 8-10 Minutes
- The effects from missing out in high school.
- How and why I reinvented myself.
- The worst call I ever received.
- How I used my pain to shape my future.
In our lifetime we meet many people. People that teach us things, people that hurt us, people that inspire us.
I once knew a girl throughout middle school and high school that always wanted to be everybody’s friend. In middle school she was bubbly, energetic, played sports, an average student but made up for that in her personality skills.
Then high school happened. The first day was not the best day and she let that day affect everyday after that for the next 4 years of high school.
Missing over 200 days of school in her high school career.
Only went to school on game days, and even in sports you could tell she was not reaching her full potential. Her coaches would get upset with her because they could see her talent but knew she wasn’t using it all.
She let depression and other people’s problems that she couldn’t solve bring her down. She embodied the idea of what other people thought she was, even if that wasn’t her true self. She had anger problems to the point where she was working out 6 hours a day just to stay calm. Hiding behind silly jokes, but not having any real friends to tell them to, ignoring her family, and not spending time with the people who mattered.
Sadly this person was me. It was not until the end of my senior year when I realized I had wasted my high school experience.
The few best friends I had in high school are probably the only reason I graduated. It was at high school graduation I knew I would reinvent myself in college. I would do everything I wanted to, things I had never done before, things no one had ever done before.
I wanted to change the picture of myself that everyone, even my family, had. I did not want old problems to hold me back during the time of my life that would decide who I was going to be forever. I kept people in my life that could teach me, inspire me, and of course it is inevitable to get hurt by those you care for.
But honestly I think the person who taught me, inspired me, and hurt me the most was myself.
The person that I used to be. I thrive on being someone admirable everyday but not for others for myself. I wanted to admire what I did yesterday and look up to what I’m about to do tomorrow. I wanted to show others that no matter how depressed you may get in life you can always rise to the top. Your best days are yet to come.
So college came along and I did exactly all that I predicted. My freshmen year I was still dealing with some family heartaches but I reminded myself everyday those would not control my mindset. I had big plans to create my best self in college and that is what I accomplished.
My best friend got me to join a sorority and turned out my cousin and I both got into the same one! Little did I know that experience would give me exactly what I was looking for, the recipe to find my best self. I made real friendships with people who were likeminded. I was able to play sports at an intramural level and be recognized with several awards.
Best of all I was given numerous of people to look up to. I had always lacked a good inspiring role model but now ‘Greek life’ had given several of them to me. My years in college flew by and I had accomplished more than I had ever imagined. I received an award from a sorority other than my own, which nobody had ever done before. I joined the student body government, and shocking to all I was getting good grades in my classes.
I had finally found what I was passionate about and that was making healthy relationships with people. All of my hardships taught me to keep a listening ear because I knew what it was like not to have one.
The challenges I had faced truly transformed my mindset until the biggest tragedy of my life struck. It is a day I will never forget.
A phone call I could never forget answering.
My best friend called me while I was at school one day to tell me her sister had passed away from a drug overdose. I remember my whole world paused and I was in shock. I wished it was just a nightmare. I had walked away from everyone I was with and just collapsed in a corner.
It was moments after that the people I was with found me and asked what happened. I could barely speak. I just gave them my phone. A few friends of mine had driven me to my best friends house that day where everyone we had grown up with was at to grieve.
Again, I had come full circle – missing school and just sad as ever. A month or so had gone by and a fair amount of our friends were also missing school, but watching my best friends heartache and the sadness that came upon her and everyone else I cared about so dearly, that was the day I knew I wanted to make a difference in the recovery world for substance abuse.
So I returned to school and that following semester I started 3 minors in addiction prevention, marriage and family therapy, and leadership and civic engagement.
I wanted to be an impact for those who suffer losing their loved ones to drugs.
Most of all I wanted to be a hand in helping less families go through what I had seen with my best friend. My senior year came before my eyes could blink and by this point I had found two of the best role models I could ever ask for. I started a women empowerment league with one and the other helped me grow and build myself into an entrepreneur starting at age 21. I told them what I wanted out of my life one day and before I knew it with their guidance and inspiration I had yet again transformed my mindset.
People often search everywhere they can to find that one person who believes in them, I was blessed with two.
Growing with them gave me so much momentum, I had my career set up before I even graduated college. I landed a position in a women and children’s substance abuse rehabilitation center and built myself up as a motivational speaker as well. Now I am able to help people who think they come from nothing see that they truly come from defining moments that gave them strength and courage.
I have learned a lot along my journey and am still learning more everyday. I can truly say the most valuable thing I have obtained along the way is becoming that 1%.
Becoming that 1% was a game changer in my life.
From nights staying up waiting for phone calls from a friend in rehab, nights staying up crying with my best friend after the loss of her sister and my friend, to finally making the leap and deciding to use my nights for future planning and coming up with ideas to make a change in our world.
BE THAT 1% is more than a mindset, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a routine, it’s what you do.
It’s going above and beyond the average, having that desire to standout and be unlimited! Things in life can change you, but you can also change the things in your life as well.
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