don’t ever quit

So for the past fourteen days I have posted something on my blog. It has been fourteen days of learning… A lot. Sure, I usually try and write everyday anyway; but I’ve never made a vow to myself that I would. Before this, I would mostly just think about what I was going to write, or what I wanted to write. Ever since I started this I’ve been able to see how many ideas I actually have. I’ve noticed my flaws and I’ve noticed my strengths.

I now have a long list of ideas written in a small notebook. Every time I think of something that could turn into more I write it down. I never used to do that before. It used to just be something that would cross my mind— later leaving it. The fact that these last two weeks have completely changed the way I view my writing says so much about what consistency can do for a person.

If you have something you want to improve at, you have to do it. Thinking about it won’t change anything. I’ve thought about writing ever since I figured out I was pretty good at it. Occasionally I would pick up a pen or pull out my computer— for the most part, though, I kept all of my ideas and dreams locked safe in my head. It was just this year actually that I started to really, really take serious consideration into what this could do for me.

I graduated high school a year earlier than I was supposed to, planning on going into the Army. Things changed and I was left stuck, evaluating my entire life.

What was I good at?
What am I going to do?
Is college the answer?
Is going right into a job the answer?
Do I just forget what I want and join the Military anyway?

I had a million questions racing through my mind about the rest of my life. I had to think; really think about who I was; who I wanted to be; and who I used to be. I tried to list off the things I loved. I tried to name everything that was always there for me since I could remember. What did I love? I wasn’t going to base my future off of which job payed the best, or which college would leave me with less debt, or which career would leave me the most successful. I was, and I am, basing my future off of what I love. What sets my soul on fire? What gives me the strength to keep going? What is something that no one can take away from me? What is the thing that will make me jump out of bed everyday excited to continue my journey?

Writing.

It was always writing. My entire life it has always been writing. Why did it take me feeling like I had nowhere to turn to figure that out? It’s not like I didn’t already know the way it made me feel to let all my thoughts fall onto the page— so why couldn’t I accept it?

I think that I was scared. Scared that I had decided that I wasn’t going to take the normal path. Although, I always knew I wasn’t meant for normal, finally accepting that I was going to officially pursue a path out of the ordinary was scary. I’m not saying the path I’m taking is one in hopes of becoming like Elizabeth Gilbert, or Veronica Roth, or Glennon Doyle Melton. I’m taking the path that I think will ultimately lead me to freedom— lead me to happiness. I’m trying to block out the people who don’t believe in my path and continue to push forward. I know that I will ultimately find what I am looking for if I just continue to fight. I feel like my entire life there has been a war within my own head because of mental illness. But now I’m faced with another battle outside of mental illness. I’m faced with all of the people telling me no, all of the people telling me I’m stupid for not going to college, and all of the people who give me a crazy look after asking me what my plans are and I tell them that I don’t really know yet… That I’m figuring it out as I go.

Those looks used to feel like bullets piercing my body. They used to make me feel like maybe this idea of freedom wasn’t possible after all. Now they are just motivation. They are motivation for me to prove to people that I don’t have to go to college or take the normal route through high-school in order to be successful. They are motivation to prove that success has more than one definition— that the true definition of success is so much deeper than they even realize. If I can wake up every morning knowing that I am having an impact on peoples day— including my own— just by allowing them to read what I write… That’s happiness. That’s freedom. That’s success.

If you’re someone like me who is trying to take the road less traveled, do your best not to let uncertainty stop your progress. Don’t let the worried look in other peoples eyes knock you into the ground so hard that you can’t get back up. Things are always going to get in your way, things are always going to find a way to knock you down, or knock you back a step. But you have to keep getting up. You have to keep moving forward. The thought of never achieving your dreams is truly scary. But the idea that you never even tried is way more terrifying. I say if you work towards it your entire life without achieving it, at least you spent your life working towards something you loved.

The ultimate lesson I’ve learned these last two weeks is that I can do this. I have an infinite pool of ideas in my head and I have the capability to put them down onto paper. And I love it. This is the path I’m supposed to take. I don’t know exactly what this path is, but I know that it feels right. And I know that now that I’ve started, I’m not stopping.

-Kelsi

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