"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."~Plato

Today, I spent some time talking through the events that have played out in my life over the past year. It seems like this journey started so long ago, but today I was reminded the path became more clear for me around this same time last year. I began opening myself up to opportunities, letting some of the things that had controlled my thoughts and actions go, and really started on this journey to uncover my true self. It's amazing to me that each time I sit and talk, new things somehow get revealed to me. And even after working so hard to become a better overall person, I still find things I'd like to work on.

One thing that hit me really hard today was the way I tend to view myself. I worry so much about what others think of me; my thoughts, my opinions, my views on life, and family, and love. I spend the majority of my time trying to be the person others expect me to be rather than being myself. I've been put in situations where I feel left out, my thoughts/feelings unacceptable, and so I've tried to change who I am. The truth that I came across today...I don't have to do that. I am a loving, kind, and caring person. I would prefer to say something to someone to make them feel better, to lift their spirits, and to let them know they are loved rather than saying things that could be taken as hurtful or condescending. That is not wrong, but just different from the way other people may do things. And it's taken me a long time to come to terms with that.

Here's what I do know: Everyone is on their own journey, with their own twists and turns, problems and fears, ups and downs. That journey defines them, their actions, their reactions. What I've learned is: their journey doesn't have to define who I am, where I'm going, or the decisions I make, big or small.

There are a lot of good things that happen in life, great memories to cherish forever, but nothing ever stays the same. Change is constant and so, we must be acceptable of it, flexible in the midst of it, and able to let go of it when the time comes.

I'm excited to reveal my true self to others; to show my love for them the way I know how, to share the joy I have for this life, and to spread the happiness that I've come to know on this journey...

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oh, summer break...I LOVE YOU!