Yes, I purposely wrote that two times because sometimes we need to hear it over and over again before we actually start to let it sink in.

Though I talk through my personal experience, this post isn’t just about me nor is this about having you follow my footsteps. Not at all. Everyone has a different definition of success. Everyone has different sets of challenges to overcome. In fact, sometimes I think society wrongly embeds this idea of what we should and shouldn’t be doing in order to achieve what society believes is “success”. But, I will say this, define success on your own terms and pursue that which makes you happy. And–throughout this journey, DON’T YOU DARE GIVE UP.

I spent the majority of my time today cleaning my room and packing up a box for my move to Connecticut. Each time I start packing up more things, I find myself on an emotional rollercoaster ride. There are moments when I get sad that I will be leaving all of my family, friends, and the Bay Area culture and lifestyle that I love with all of my heart. Then there are moments where I get nervous that maybe I’m not prepared enough for this new journey and that I might not perform as I hoped. Other times I get anxious and eager to choose my classes and get started on my PhD right this instant! And finally, there are moments where I am filled with excitement for this new challenge, new life, new people, new culture, and all of the opportunities that come with it. Today, I had one of those moments where I felt overjoyed.

As I was cleaning, I found an old journal I used to write in. My sister gave it to me as a gift and I believe it was made with/or by my cousin. When I opened it, I found an entry I wrote on the exact day I first decided to pursue a PhD:

I can’t even begin to explain the feeling I had when I read it now that I actually got accepted into a program. It’s so interesting how so much has changed in just three years. Since then I’ve grown so much. I’ve discovered my authentic self and I’ve learned so many valuable lessons.

Whatever it is you are pursuing, there will be good days and bad days, but don’t you dare give up. Sure the goal may need some alterations along the way (mine certainly adjusted time wise) and it’s okay to scream and cry about it every once in a while, but ultimately, just remember to get back up and keep pushing forwardOne day, even if it’s three years later or more (like in my case), you will look back at your journey feeling stronger, wiser, happier, and a step closer to achieving your purpose in life and it will all be worth the hardship.

Just like I mentioned there would be in my entry, there were so many days where I failed and felt like giving up because I felt inadequate and I felt isolated. I made so many sacrifices in my life since that day. I hardly had a social life, I rarely saw my family, my dating life took a toll, I barely got any sleep, and sometimes I even forgot to eat! In fact, my lunch breaks at work were spent reading textbooks for my classes. I pushed myself so hard. But this entry was a friendly reminder that it’s never about the destination–it’s about the journey.

I admit that lately I haven’t given myself enough credit and that I’ve been beating myself up for having fun so I have to give myself some self-love, just as you should for persevering on your road to what you define as success. So let’s take this moment to pat ourselves on the back, pour ourselves a glass of wine, put our feet up, and hit our restart button! We earned this moment and I am so proud of us for getting through another day.


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