A Voice, Not Hands

“My goal in life is mainly to be happy. The time I feel most happy is when I am creating something. Anything, really. I don’t care about superficial things anymore. I’ve realized our time is so limited and everything we do is just going to happen, so you have to just do what makes you happy.

I was very lost for a long time. I honestly still am. I deal with mental health issues daily that have made it hard to be ‘happy.’ So why let myself do anything I don’t want to do? Once I realized this, I changed my major from water resources to mass communication to give myself a broader opportunity of what I want to do. I truly care about the environment and water issues, but I couldn’t be confined to working in an office staring at maps of water gauges and over-looking environmental policies for the rest of my life. I needed more freedom. I wanted to be a voice not a pair of hands.

My family was not very supportive of my decision. I know many people struggle with this in other aspects, but I think what I learned from this is applicable to anyone who is dealing with the fear of their family being disappointed in them. It just doesn’t matter! This is my life. Easier said, right? This, among having an anxiety disorder, has been the HARDEST obstacle I have had to face in my pursuit of happiness. Eventually, my family realized they were just going to have to let me live my life with or without them. Luckily, they decided they wanted to stick around. It’s nice to finally have them at least understand that my life decisions are my own.

I still deal with anxiety daily, but I have wonderful friends and family members who understand it’s a part of who I am and love me for it. I definitely do not let it affect me the way it used to, but it is still a part of my battle. It’s like a purse; I take it everywhere with me, but I have just learned to be happy with it strapped on my shoulder. I hope one day in the future I forget the purse, and leave it at home. However, I will not hold on to that thought for too long because I want to focus on my real goals of finishing school and finding a career that fits my lifestyle.

I know that life always has a weird way of working out the way it should and you just have to be happy with it. I feel like I have figured out what makes me happy and what doesn’t at a ripe time in my life, like before it was too late. But it really is never too late. Goals are good, but they’re not important if you strive to grow everyday and be happy. That’s what plants do and we are more alike with plants than we realize sometimes. So make sure you water yourself.”

Tabitha Guardiola, 20

Mass Communication major, Texas State University

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