One of life’s greatest ironies is that we can never completely realize the value something or someone has until it’s taken from us, only to be observed from a distance. This is something never lost on me, having lost everything from treasured media to loved ones over the course of my life, as well as witnessing others lose those precious things. Through my losses I’ve come to see it’s not the things themselves that build the value we link to it, but the experiences we build with them, the experiences that stay with us in times of prosperity and poverty. These are the things which guide us in our decisions and help us realize what truly has meaning in a world throwing everything at us at once, the same things I’ve come to appreciate the more I grow into my skin. With these experiences, our daily interactions become that much richer and rewarding, letting us see just how much more is there for us, if we build upon our past and let it lay a path to our future.
In my life this is meant traveling to the beach on my trusty bike, focusing my talents into something more tangible and doing something I haven’t done since elementary: being more social. From learning more about a foreign language and its culture I’ve honed the importance of speaking with others not only to build language and vocabulary skills, but also to listen to others and let their view of life enrich and enhance my own. The more conversations I’ve had, the more I see the meaning of making connections with the people around me, revealing new windows through which I can observe and learn from new ways of life. In addition, it’s let me continue to refine one of the core principles I hold about making more personal connections, that if I wish to be someone capable enough of being in such relationships, I must be as strong and capable as I would expect that person to be, if not much more so. Had I not made the mistakes in doing these things or lost what I have in my younger days, I highly doubt any of this would’ve stayed with me, or that I’d be who I choose to be now, the same person I intend to keep improving and perfecting through a willing spirit and an open mind.
In loss, a deeper understanding is gained of not only the things our experiences have passed onto us, but also what it means to sacrifice things close to our hearts to make our dreams reality. I see this not only in my own life, but also in the world around me, such as one Yuko Kawaguchi, who gave up her very citizenship to pursue her desire of Olympic gold(in case you’re wondering, she’s now known as Yuko Kavaguti). I know now whatever I must give up to press forward in my adventures, the experiences I gained with them will forever stay with me, letting me recognize where I came from and just how far beyond my limits I can go. Perhaps this will entail questioning and changing some of my core principles, but if that means I can live more of the kind of life I want, so be it. Even if I fail at something life has thrown at me before, that can only mean I gain the experience that moment has given me and become that much more capable of building the life I long envisioned.