A smile is powerful. A smile is uplifting. A smile can turn someone’s horrible day around. That is why I believe that a smile can profoundly impact a life.
Your parents love you. Your grandparents love you. Your siblings, cousins, guardians, and friends all love you. There no doubt about it. And if there’s one thing we have in common, it is that we all have people in our lives that want us to succeed and achieve great things simply because they love us. For myself, I am beyond grateful to have people who care about me and only want the best for my future, but there are times where I take their massive amount of love and care for granted and start to be greedy. Although, another part of me starts to negotiate with my conscience telling me that there are reasonable explanations as to why I have the right to have these feelings.
Love can blind you from remembering who you really are especially at a young age. With movies and books, we’ve grown up with this idea implanted in our minds that love is a necessity to living happily. Having that one person by your side through thick and thin, someone who truly cares about you and unconditionally loves you–that is the ideal dream. But because of that, some people feel the need to do whatever it takes and change themselves in order to achieve that goal. What I’ve concluded from observing those types of relationships is that they do not end well because you lose sight of yourself. You feel the need to have someone love and reassure you to such an extent that you are not able to be independent. You fail to love yourself, expecting your peers to guide you to feeling confident and beautiful. That is why it is important to fully love and appreciate yourself before you are willing to dedicate your love and time to someone else.
It’s astonishing how expressive and creative today’s youth have become. As I research and reminisce on Shakespeare’s plays, Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings, and one of my favorite television shows Bewitched, I realize that art itself has evolved levels far from what it once was. And that’s helped society today to finally encourage kids to share their minds and talents through whatever activity their heart desires–something I am grateful to experience and see in my everyday life. For instance, dance, music, acting, writing–these are only a few options to unleash your true colors and they have given myself, other teens, and many established artists around the world a voice of originality and passion.
My sister is now on her sophomore year at UCI. My 24-year-old cousin just got married last month. My dad lost his job the beginning of this year and is now starting over as he’s opening his very own shop. My little cousin just entered his first year at middle school. My uncle, after years of tough schooling, finally has a secure job as a pharmacist doing what he loves and making us proud. And my older cousin is graduating high school this following year. So, why am I sharing this, you might be wondering? Well, I wanted to make a point that our lives are all unalike. We control our lives differently. Individually, we are the ones who spin the wheel to make all our life decisions much like players of a board game, but not just any board game–I’m talking LIFE. I have played LIFE numerous times and like most people, I always want to win. Every time I play, I would carelessly choose the wealthy careers, life cards, and whatnot. It did not matter to me because my goal was to be the winner or in other words, the richest and most successful person of the game. But, it wasn’t until I had recently played the board game and won that I began to imagine the idea of how my actual life would play out. I started to picture the possibilities of what my life could become and, like the board game, which steps I could enter as I slowly pave my pathway. Obviously, the level of decision making for LIFE and real-life are exceedingly different, so I had a lot of questions. How can I avoid the debts and payments? How can I find my soul mate? How can I receive major pay days? How can I avoid losing my job? How can I find a career that is financially stable that makes me happy? Then suddenly, all I could ponder to myself was how do I win?
Everyone has a different perspective of what “winning” is. Some might say it is about playing it safe as long as it leads to security and less worries. Others might say it is about being risky and taking chances as long as it ends with happiness. That is what I am trying to find out for myself. LIFE gives a basic run-through of what doors are open right as you finish high school. You can either immediately follow up with a career, but have less salary options, or you can enter college incur major loans for dorms and books. After much thought, I chose to attend college and deal with the expenses that came with it. That was when LIFE hit me in the face. The game escalated very quickly leading to marriage, honeymoon, purchasing a house, having kids, and eventually repeating all of those steps for the “four kids” I was going to have. At that moment, being the sophomore I am today, it was hard to believe that that’s what I had to look forward to after the next two years. To be honest, I was and still am nervous and intimidated by the idea of starting school again, making new friends, testing new opportunities, and essentially starting a new life. That’s a big road to travel down and it’s freaky knowing that one step in the wrong direction can change it all and even lead to failure.