There was a time where I felt alone in my endeavors and was stuck in a rut of “failure.” I felt like I couldn’t achieve anything, it felt as if nothing good ever happened to me. I sat back and watched other people succeed, wondering how they got so lucky to live the life they did. I consumed myself in negativity and sorrows; falling further and further behind in life and watching people pass me by. It wasn’t until God put a friend into my life who would show me the difference between having it good and making it good, that I was revealed the truth in success - it’s not about luck, but rather about perseverance, passion, and prestige.
When I was a freshman in college I thought I’d find my luck. I thought I’d find my place, find who I was, and in turn live the life of which I had always dreamed. In search for myself though, I didn’t find the rainbows, butterflies, and sunshine. What I found was darkness, disappointment, and depression. I sat back and let myself be subjected to negativity, and whenever I did choose to get up it was solely for the purpose of adding fuel to the already burning fire. My life was headed in a downwards spiral, self-fulfilling all the fears I had, unsure of how to handle it, after all, I never actually worked hard - I just let life happen.
I felt unlucky, I couldn’t figure out why I got so screwed when it came to life. I grew to be angry with God, with myself, with anyone who crossed my path. I started to pity myself and question God about this “great life I was graced with.” I wondered why everyone I knew seemed to find “His” holiness so almighty and powerful, when all He ever seemed to do for me was leave me in the darkness. I searched for happiness, making myself known as the fool who chased the end of a rainbow looking for an answer on the other end, but I seemed to be stuck in a perpetual state of unfavorable luck.
After days of skipping class, not letting myself get out of bed, crying into my pillow, and rejecting all love and sympathy I was being shown; I decided I had no choice but to get up and move. I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going, but I started running. 15 miles a day didn’t seem like much at first, I was running away from my problems, and on such a small campus there wasn’t really anywhere special to go. Not until I decided to take a different course, where I’d end up at the most amazing place I could ever imagine.
I had gotten up to go for a run just like I had every other day for the last month, and in the midst of running away from my problems and seemingly unfortunate life I came across a water tower; which would turn out to be much better than a pot of gold, but my sanctuary of serenity. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was the only place where I could feel at absolute peace. As soon as I’d sit down in the tall grass, I stopped constricting my thoughts and I let myself free from personal imprisonment. It was there where I first began writing, learning to turn to the pages of a journal instead of to the bottom of a liquor bottle, finding an outlet and discovering relief, feeling free and peaceful for the short period of time I spent there each night.
In April, just a few months after I had been going there each night, I invited a stranger to come to the water tower with me. He was tall and handsome, but just as dark and depressed as me. We talked for hours that night, under the stars, about our philosophies on life and our biggest secrets. He listened, I listened, and that’s all it took to secure a friendship that will last forever. Through our friendship he showed me hard work, discipline, and how to find the good in the worst situations. He taught me how to express myself through my words and told me frequently about his pursuits of success and how it was the best vengeance for the people who had left him behind without blinking an eye. He was and still is the hardest worker I know, always going forward with passion in his eyes and without dragging his feet.
The most important thing he ever taught me was that life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about making yourself, and if you spend your whole life with your head down in shame then you’ll never be able to see the tools and experiences around you to give yourself the life you want.
His friendship taught me more than I could ever explain, because of him I came to be successful. I was now the person on the other end of the rainbow, receiving lost souls who would tell me how lucky I was to live the life I lived, and to be endlessly happy and optimistic. But instead of accepting the misguided praise, I did what no one had done for me until he had come along: I told the truth.
If you spend your whole life waiting for the right opportunity, you’re never going to find it because quite often we don’t even know what to look for or where to begin. We look in all the wrong places for “luck” instead of using what we have around us to be exactly who we want to be. I sat back and watched opportunities pass by and I chose to feel miserable in everything I did because I saw everything in my life as obligations rather than opportune moments.
Spend your whole life waiting for a chance and you’ll never be truly happy. Spend the entirety of your life creating opportunities through your own ambition and you’ll always see positive results. You can have the life you always dreamed of if you get up and go for it.
This article appeared in the March issue of The Vindicator.