Regardless of what stage of life you may be in, anyone trying to achieve something is going through some sort of process, and self-improvement is the end goal for this process. A monk meditates to become enlightened, just as a football player goes to practice to get better. If you’re lucky, you are born into circumstances where your overall general process has been to go to school, get good grades to get into college, graduate and get a job in a field of your major, and if you’re really lucky, you enjoy your job.
Part of opportunity really is luck. Plenty of people put their dreams on hold in exchange for stability, most often not by choice. We have all experienced situations in which our desired outcome just doesn’t work out, no matter how hard we have worked.
My closest friends and I grew up playing volleyball together, and over time it occurred to me that this was simply not going to be part of my future. Athletics were never really my calling or passion, and I realized that if I wanted to play in college, I was going to have to work twice as hard as everyone else to stay at the same level, and to me, it wasn’t worth it. I didn’t love the sport enough to do that, and I learned that in the quest of finding what you are passionate about, finding out what you don’t love and what you aren’t willing to work twice as hard for, is just as important as learning what you do love and are willing to work for.
But occasionally, you talk to the right person at the right time and your entire life can change in one email or phone call. This is how I ended up in California. At the time, the way I looked at it was – the only thing worse than uprooting my life, moving across the country, in the opposite direction of stability, would be to not realize the importance and rarity of the opportunity in front of me. It was my “ Lauren Conrad and the girl who didn’t go to Paris” moment. I decided a long time ago that I would never not go to Paris.
But more than that, I felt a sense of responsibility. I felt like it would be insulting to girls around the world who have dreams, just as big and as important as mine, but might not have the same opportunities. I think many second-generation immigrants have a similar sense of responsibility. I hear so many stories of women right now, my age, fighting to change the perception of and opportunities available for themselves in their home countries. So I decided to try.
That has also been my approach to this blog. Thanks to Maddie, I found myself with an opportunity to work with one of my most talented friends and use my voice to talk about issues that we believe in, and things we care about. The outcome is irrelevant because I’ve realized that the most important things I’ve learned about myself and about life, have happened in the process. As long as I’m moving forward, I’ll figure the other stuff out.