Trials and Tribulations

May 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

In need of some inspiration? Here’s a dose of positivity: no matter how ridiculous life maybe at this moment, Carlie Sheen has it worse.

So maybe the focus of this post isn’t Charlie Sheen at all; although he is the perfect example of an individual who got what he deserved twofold.

image credit: scm-l3.technorati.com

“Blame it on the t-t-tiger blood”

No, what I am here to talk to you all about is adversity and overcoming it; when bad things happen after you have tried to only ever do good in your life.

yawn- “not another life lecture-hall-style rant “ you say. And I can promise you,  it won’t be. This is a journey of a year and a half which ultimately decided my attitude on life, almost ruined my life, and a year which could have very well landed me in the hospital or even killed me.

long story short, during my junior year at high school I was incredibly sick, and handed off to a number of quack doctors who only made my situation worse. I was out of school more days than I could count, constantly sick to my stomach,dizzy, nauseous, panic-stricken, and afraid to tell anyone. This is to say, it cost me a number of friends and essentially became a pariah on the sports team I was a member of, who accused me of skipping out. Some of these relationships healed. Others didn’t.

By the time doctors had figured out what was wrong, I had already been thrown into some serious anxiety and my remaining friends, I could tell, were afraid for me.

This is the extremely condensed version of the story, although with the help of a good friend, I finally managed to distance the horrors of this year and a half by creating a short memoir film, which can be found here. I hope that this video will be an inspiration to you all to keep on going, even when the fuel tank of life seems to be stuck on empty.

there are two major life lessons which came out of this for me:

1. You can go your own way. Just like Fleetwood Mac said.

2.When you do go your own way, make it good

Highschool was an institution of conformity, and even as a public school student, the unwritten rules were even more stringent than those made by the administration. After my illness junior year, I really realized the “social rules” that I had been bound to were restricting past sanity. The “dress code” was Uggs, Northface, Hollister, and Abercrombie. I put these brands in a drawer permanently and started wearing heels. I showed up to my sports meets, regardless of the stigma I had accumulated, and enjoyed it regardless. I worked through the remainder of my illness and at the end of the year I managed to win the Principal’s academic award in sports my senior year. I remember seeing laughter in the audience. Frankly, I didn’t care. I had busted my butt, had avoided hospitalization for symptoms of the illness which could have permanently damaged me, and somehow maintained my grades. And for once, somebody had noticed.

Great things can come from pure willpower. When I got into college, fresh out of illness and in perfect health for the first time in nearly two years, I lept on literally every opportunity I could handle. College channel filming, Marketing clubs, designing a small fashion line, activism, news writing, and student government, to name a few. I had so much energy and felt renewed; but I soon realized that stretching myself in so many directions at once could be mentally harmful: I had some anxiety remaining from seeing my health falter so quickly and unexpectedly.

So, when I went my own way, the second semester in college, I soon decided that one thing would be my focus, for which everything else would fall to the side.  Marketing and business. In my overly enthusiastic way, I managed to land myself a referral from my first-semester marketing teacher to the head of the marketing department, who was ultimately responsible for placing me in a Senior capstone class the second semester of my freshman year.

But then I went furtherI auditioned to be a member of a national presentation team, earning the #8 spot in a class of 20 seniors, meaning I was on the team as a freshman; the second freshman in 12 years to make the cut.

In a little over a week, I will be flying to Texas to watch the competition.

If I hadn’t struggled so hard, I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today, and now I am a far cry from the outcast I had made myself by the end of high school.

I hope you, too can triumph over adversity and the trials which life presents you. Please remember this for me: never lose faith in yourself or life- everything is possible.

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