This morning was tough. I stayed in all weekend in attempts to tackle a rigorous to-do list and make the most out of the 48 hours allotted to me. I was feeling a ton of guilt because my to-do list is growing considerably faster than I can cross items off of it. I had a week-old suitcase by my door that still hadn’t been unpacked, a car that needed maintenance, a month old YouTube video that still has not been completely edited and a workbook open in Word on my laptop that I was supposed to have completely finished by now. Nonetheless, I spent my entire weekend organizing my priorities and doing what I could to be as productive as possible.
I spent six hours in a Starbucks on Sunday afternoon listening to a podcast, sending and responding to emails, and scheduling some posts for the following week. By the time I found a good stopping point, it was after 8 p.m. Looking around the quiet dining area while wrapping up, I noticed three young ladies in there. Textbooks out, headphones in, laptops open, so I assume they’re studying. A part of me instantly felt proud, because they are what I love to see. Whether they were knocking out homework, running a business or applying for a scholarship, they’re spending their Sunday evening working when there were so many other things they could be doing.
Before walking out, I left a $20 with the barista and asked that she make sure each of the girls got a drink of their choice, which was such a small token of my admiration for them. It resonates so heavily with me because I remember being that girl; the girl who didn’t know exactly what she was going to do, but knew she was doing what she was supposed to. I knew I was making sacrifices that would benefit me in the long run, but had little idea of where it would lead me. From accepting a co-op opportunity in high school that allowed me to work for Shell at 16, to deciding to commute to college while working full time, to ending friendships with girls who weren’t headed where I was – every decision I made lined up the path that I’m currently walking, good and bad. I understood the cause and effect of my choices and the sacrifice many of those came with. My decisions weren’t always the most fun or exciting. In fact, they were often uncomfortable and even scary; but I had a vision for my life and was making strategic decisions to align with what I saw for myself.
What people fail to realize is that the distance between you and someone else is rarely circumstantial, but often only a series of decisions. The only differences between you and the person you admire are the decisions they’ve made that have allowed them to be in an admirable position. One of my close friends quit her job in Houston, packed up her car and drove to New York City without a job or apartment, only to land her dream position as a Marketing Manager with one of the largest television networks in the U.S. a few days after arriving. Your decisions determine your life and you’re often one decision away from changing everything about it. Whether or not you decide to go to college, take an internship in a new city away from your family and friends, or to stay in a relationship with a man who doesn’t deserve you, you’re designing what your future will look like. What choices will you make today, tomorrow or even next month that will change the way your life looks? Make them worth it.