Yeah, You Can Fly. But Are You Grounded? (what means the world to u?)
By: Honey, The Writer
When I graduated high school I did so in the top 5 of my class. I had been voted most likely to succeed amongst other superlatives. I was on my way to North Carolina A&T where I would be studying Biology with a Pre-Med track. My goal was to become an oncologist that focused on the care of breast and ovarian cancer in minority women in underserved communities. I was well on my way!
Fast forward to two years later. I was a college dropout with a newborn living back at home. I had no friends, I have little money, and I had little self-esteem. I was embarrassed and down right discouraged. This was a very humbling experience for me. But it was also a time that I learned no matter how high you fly you must stay grounded.
Think about this: what are the three most important things in the world to you? Are these things temporal? Like your car, clothes, shoes, or house. Or are these immaterial?
I had based my self-worth off of temporal things that could change- my finances, my academic standing, my social circle, and my “reputation”. When I was down I realized how fleeting those things were. Money comes and goes and when you’re dead and gone you can’t take it with you. Money cannot buy happiness and it cannot fill a spiritual or emotional void. Achieving highly academic is wonderful thing and can open many doors that would otherwise be closed but academics aren’t everything especially if you’re risking your mental wellness to achieve. I put so much stress on myself to achieve to the point that when I was struggled I completely gave up and basically dropped out of life. Friends are also great to have but you must ask what kind of friends are they? Are they fair weather or steadfast? When I started going through my storm only one friend rode it out with me; everyone else abandoned me.
Lastly, my reputation. Don’t get me wrong what people think of you does matter sometimes but it shouldn’t matter all the time. It’s not your reputation that should be your centering force but your character. I gave too many fucks about what people THOUGHT of me and when I came home as an unwed mother I saw how fickle and judgmental people could be. And just how quickly your reputation could change. I realize those plaudits that I held so dearly meant absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things at the end of the day. Simply put, you can’t pay your bills with the opinions of others.
While I was at home I realized what I could bet my house on my family, my faith, and my personal resolve. I will be perfectly honest I am not an easy person to deal with and my family can attest to this. But through it all my family has stuck by myself. When I have fallen they were still in my corner to give support, to cheer me up, and to give me a stiff kick in the ass when necessary. They love in spite of my shortcomings and failure. They don’t run at the sight of the first storm cloud. No matter where I go I know I can depend on my family.
Secondly, my faith. My faith is quiet, calming whisper even in the roar of a storm. My faith keeps me humbled, keeps me grounded, and gives me hope for tomorrow. Hebrews 11:1 is the keystone of my life. The faith that better days are to come, the faith that are things are possible, and the faith that no matter where I go my steps are already ordered. I know many people are not religious and this is fine. But you must always be hopeful.
And lastly, my personal resolve. I am not trying to sound vain or conceited. But I am tough as hell I have no choice but to be. I have learned that to be timid in this world will not serve me well. I have learned the beauty of saying no to others so I can say yes to myself. I refuse to give up and I refuse to settle for less than what I want. I have too much riding on my back for me to say the hell with it and give up. Without my thirst for better I pause to think about where I’d be right now. I keep this quote in mind “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” –Unknown
After my storm I could have easily gave up on my dreams of furthering my education and settled for much less. But that’s not my style I do not believe in settling (it’s not in my dictionary). My personal resolve carries me through when I feel like giving up.
I’ve said all of that to say. At the end of the day what means the world to you? And secondly, are these things temporal or immortal? Will these things outlast the storm? Or will they run at the first clash of thunder?
In life you must fly and you must not only fly but reach the highest heights obtainable for you. But at the same time never forget the things that keep you grounded, never forget your centering forces because if you crash (and in life from time to time you will crash) you need those things to build you back up.
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