When I finished Great Expectations by Charles Dickens for a summer assignment, the reality of Pip (the main character)’s life had me hooked for days. After all he had been through to create a high-end, ideal life, Pip ended up being exactly what he didn’t want to be at first—a laborer. I was not expecting that to become his reality, but here he was working for a humble man’s wage. It dawned on me that all the plans and visions I have for my own life could possibly never come true. But that idea also encourages me to persevere for the life I want to live.
I am a big dreamer. Throughout my seventeen years, I’ve dreamt of becoming a renowned Olympic athlete, an artsy Disney Studios animator, and even a bold congresswoman. Those dreams were like shining stars for me as a child—things that seemed quite far away but also felt within reach. As I grew older, though, I began to create a more realistic and practical vision for myself—a vision filled with the beauties of friendship, family, contentment, and a mindset of gratefulness.
Oftentimes when I see others succeeding, whether celebrities or people I personally know, it’s hard to stick to my vision. I get swept away in wanting to have so many friends and yearning to achieve fame and follow someone else’s journey when all I need is right before me. I don’t need all the glitz or limelight. I’ve realized that to stay content, I need to focus on my own life. I need to improve from my weaknesses, develop true friendships, and become a genuine person.
Journaling helps me remain grounded in my vision. I feel as though the pages listen to my words and thoughts without judgement, making it a wonderful activity for me when I feel like no one is there to hear me out. If you are ever antsy or finding it hard to stick to your true self, journaling can keep you on your feet while you trudge through the downs. If you’re honest with yourself when writing and don’t try to be perfect, you’ll start to see patterns emerge–patterns of your own characteristics and personality. This will help you develop your vision.
It takes a lot of effort to stay content. I’ve realized that I need to put in the hard work to grow as a person and remain grateful. After all, the only people who stay with us throughout our entire lives are ourselves. If I want to live my best life, I have to go out there and get it.