I look at my life as it is right now, and until now, it seems very average to me. I was a straight A student in high school, and I participated in my fair amount of activities that would sufficiently pad my resume. I graduated and came to a well-known, respected university as an Honors student, and now here I am.
Since being here, I’ve met people who have done and will continue to do incredible things. They lead movements for causes they’re passionate about; they encourage those around them in every way possible; they maintain impeccable academic reputations, and they’re loved by everyone they know. I’ve found people here who I can look up to, and I’ve encountered peers in the same walk of life as I am who I also admire for their accomplishments.
Recently as I was thinking about those incredible people, I began to reprimand myself for not being more like them. Why didn’t I have a fancy title (or two, or three, or four for that matter)? Why wasn’t I a recognized scholar or athlete? Why wasn’t my name and face well-known on campus? Why was I just another average person in a massive sea of wandering souls?
For several days after that train of thoughts occurred, I was angry. I told myself I never had enough potential to do anything significant anyway, and that’s why I had never tried harder to be incredible. I attempted to justify my own past laziness by telling myself that I’d done a few good things before. But the more I thought about it, the more angry I became at myself. I realized that I have forfeited so many dreams– big and small ones– because I gave up too easily and too soon. I wanted to graduate as valedictorian of my high school’s graduating class, but I let “senioritis” get the best of me. I wanted to earn a full scholarship to an out of state school, but I was too fed up with studying to put in the extra effort to improve my test scores so I might have a better shot at it.
Now, I’m not saying that I’m not happy where I am right now, because I truly am happy and blessed. I know that God shaped my life and my path to bring me to the exact point where I stand today, and I don’t regret any of the decisions I’ve made. Upon comparing myself with the incredible people around me, I did, however, regret forfeiting the possibilities that wholehearted pursuit of my dreams could have opened up.
After I spent nearly a week being angry at myself, I realized I was doing nothing more than having a prolonged pity party. Why was I wasting my time mulling over the past when I have a future full of possibilities? Who ever said that my window of opportunity to be incredible was already slammed shut and sealed tight? Let me think… hmm, no one! I finally realized that I have so many dreams in my heart, and there’s NOTHING stopping me from taking steps to accomplish them RIGHT NOW, in this very moment! The notion that it was too late for me to do something astonishing was only in my head– what a liberating realization!
So, although this awakening wasn’t an easy one to come to because I buried it in self-hatred for so long, it has finally risen to the surface of my perspective.
I cannot be told ‘no’ so many times that the word ‘yes’ will be eliminated from my world entirely. I cannot fail so many times that it will become impossible for me to succeed. I cannot make so many mistakes that I will permanently condemn myself to a life of mediocrity.
And most importantly, it is never too late to become incredible.