Be grateful for the journey

This week has been unexpected, great, and refreshing. If any of you have had to deal with me for the last couple of months y’all know I’ve been needing a break.

I, like many of us spend an unnecessary amount of time over-thinking, stressing, and subsequently eating and crying over the struggles of daily life.

I use to be a planner. I thought I knew the exact path my life needed to take in order to achieve all of my goals. We’ve all heard it- ‘just graduate high school get your degree and go out to the real world.’ I remember taking this as the golden rule to success. Needless to say life taught me otherwise.

Two-years ago I had no idea that Cerritos College existed or that I would ever have the need to attend community college. As a high school student I always thought of myself as ‘better than community college’ after all I had worked my ass off to get the best grades and had been admitted to 9 out of the 12 universities I had applied to. According to my advisers I was set to succeed in the traditional ‘high school, college, real life’ scenario. I thought I had it down.

Once the summer after high school graduation ended I made the BIG college move. I was ready to face the world and so on a journey I went. I moved from San Diego to London without hesitation and as a result of many years of my mother’s hard work.

I thought I was ready for it and 3 weeks later I wanted to come back. I felt so out of place. I wanted to quit.

Most of the students had grown up privileged through no fault of their own. Their perspective on the world and the value of money and hard work was so different from mine that I often questioned how I would ever succeed in that foreign land. How would I be able to relate to someone who has no idea what it means for me, my family, and my ethnicity to be sharing this space with ‘the other?’

I had to step back and realize that I couldn’t give up just because I thought it would be difficult. I was extremely fortunate to grow up with a mother who always persevered even in the most difficult situations and it was because of her hard work that I was getting the privilege to cry and mope in one of the best cities in the world.

I got my shit together and decided I needed to focus on what was important. Get that education, meet people, and have fun. (The struggles of achieving all of those will be discussed on a separate post)

I like to take a look back at that moment when I decided I couldn’t quit.

Through unforeseen life events I wasn’t able to complete my degree in London and 2 years later I was back in San Diego and a year and half after that moved to Los Angeles.

Guess where I am now? That’s right. COMMUNITY COLLEGE!

I often struggle with looking at the good around me, because I’m over-stressed with figuring out a way to make sure all bills are paid, that all assignments are done, and that I make it to work on time and you know I also have to deal with my good old friends depression and anxiety. (thanks mates)

This week has been different and for that I’m grateful.

I have taken a step back like I did that day and I just want to say that I’m grateful.

Grateful that the plan didn’t work. If it had I would have never ended up at Cerritos College. Today I am grateful for the people I have met and the countless opportunities that have been offered thus far. I have explored new career paths in journalism, sociology, and I now have the opportunity to tutor other students. I’m about to take on new roles and for that I’m excited. I feel like I’m succeeding and for as long as it lasts I’m gonna be happy about it.

I am nowhere near where I thought I would have been by now, but now I can appreciate the journey a little bit more. It’s not easy and I constantly feel like failure but days like today I look back to what I’ve accomplished and think ‘damn, you’re doing it.’

When you feel like you’re working hard and nothing seems to go your way, please take a step back and look at the bigger picture, cherish the little triumphs.

It’s worth it.