Here it is. The summer after my freshman year in college and my first ever blog post.
In a manner of speaking, I’m a sophomore. I can’t decide if I feel much too old to have already added that title to my list of accomplishments, or if I feel too incredibly young to count myself among the survivors of the freshman frenzy. In either case, I’ve lost the girl I was when I signed my name on that collegiate athlete scholarship. That innocent face that I see whenever I take a second to glance at my Bethel College ID card isn’t who I see in my morning reflection anymore — and not just because the lack of makeup and the stubborn bedhead. I can’t seem to find the child who was infected with a sense of wanderlust and wanted to travel the world and learn new languages so that she could practice with people that she had never met before.
The darker part of me wants to say that she has been crushed beneath the weight of reality and the burdens that one must carry in the “real world” of college. Maybe she was poisoned by the idea that the world was in her hands and she would change it in a way that no one could — although the concept was sweet, the actual realization was sour. Perhaps worst of all, her heart decayed like a rotten tooth and turned black as onyx. Worse yet, maybe her heart itself was rocky and hardened by the disappointment that echoed in her life.
And yet I can’t believe that. The burden of doing my own laundry in the real world wasn’t enough to bring me to my knees. Although the concept seems more of stretch than when I first left for college, I think there is still a way that I could wreak havoc on society and bring about a change. Last of all, my heart still beats and I can still feel joy and pain which makes me realize that it could not possibly have surrendered to the narcotic future of a rock because there is definitely no numbness within. The best conclusion that I can come up with is that I have learned to let go.
I’ll give Steve Maraboli the credit for these words : Letting go is to come to the realization that some people are part of your history, but not a part of your destiny. And he is so right. The craziest part is that it doesn’t just have to be people who comprise the jigsaw puzzle pieces of your past, but it can be things and events and situations that you simply don’t want to have anything to do with. You’re taking your sponsor sticker off the race car of life — you don’t have to be associated with that anymore. You’re free to make your own choices and learn who you are; you don’t have to confined to the “contract” and expectations that you’ve succumbed to for so many years. It’s regaining and rebuilding the courage to face those people staring at you in the face with that condescending glare and to rip yourself away from the chains that used to hold you in one place and confine your uniqueness to a version that society approves of. Sometimes, letting go is a way of freeing yourself and learning who you really are, stretching the wings of your potential and setting the horizon as your goal, being proud of taking off the mask in the giant masquerade of life and grinning as everyone blatantly stares at your revealed beauty.
I called my blog the “One Red Balloon” for these reasons: One – I am an individual unlike any other and I don’t have to be ashamed that I want to travel and see other cultures and places, that I like Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, that sometimes I just want to get all dolled up and wear red lipstick to the grocery store because I want to, that I still sleep with a teddy bear I had when I was three, that sometimes I can stand in a room full of people and command their attention and still feel helplessly alone, that I am so scared of someone reading these words and thinking that I’m not worth getting to know because I’m “weird” or “different.” Red – I am a passionate person and I feel things very strongly. I have a fiery attitude and I can be hopelessly stubborn. I love wearing red lipstick and one of my favorite albums ever is Taylor Swift’s Red. Red makes me feel pretty and it makes me feel noticed even when no one sees me. Red can come in the cherry-kissed hues of love, the fire-engine tints of anger, the poppy shades of happiness, the dark brick of consuming loneliness. All the emotions of the color wheel can be found in one color. Balloon – I want to be utterly free. I want to soar and kiss the sky, fly away over the horizon and make people jealous of how far I can go. I want to have nothing hold me back and I want to exceed all expectations and take advantage of everything given to me and watch as my potential swirls in the clouds of my accomplishments. I will make destiny my own. In one phrase, I can encompass everything I want to say about my life: One Red Balloon.
And now that my first ever blog post is done, I now only have one thing to say. Even this, is part of my history.