This article was originally published for The Odyssey on December 18, 2017.
I’ve never been a religious person – I don’t know if there’s a god or several gods – but I do know that faith can be a stronghold when nothing else seems plausible. Besides in myself, my intuition, and my family, I’ve always placed my faith in one constant thing: the universe. If the past year has taught me anything, it’s that the universe is always listening.
I’ve had a rough year. Plainly put, it really seemed like all forces of nature had turned a blind eye to myself and my family this year. We have gone through a lot – both emotionally and physically – in the year of 2017. With American politics and also the state of my future being in constant turmoil, it’s been hard to keep my head up this year. This past summer, I hit the lowest of lows and the rockiest of bottoms. I thought returning to school would fix everything, but that wasn’t the case. It was extremely difficult to keep going and keep acting like everything was okay.
I wanted to give up pretty much every day until a couple weeks into September when I received a call from an executive board member of my student-run theatre group. They were calling with an opportunity, that after much deliberation and a long phone call with my mom, I immediately accepted. Accepting that opportunity was the best thing I’ve done all semester and it might as well have saved me.
After the summer, I truly believed that if there were a higher power out there – whether it be the universe or a god of some sort – that they had given up on me and my family. After receiving that call from my theatre company, I knew that I was wrong in my belief. I needed something to dedicate myself to and there it was as if it had been hand-delivered by fate itself. It sounds cheesy, but I truly mean it when I say this opportunity was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
Because opportunities have stemmed from it. Those further opportunities won’t just benefit me in the future of theatre, but it will also help me to grow as a person in other organizations and in life in general. Just when I thought the universe had given up on me, things started to be okay again. I was still dealing with issues that were difficult to maneuver, but they weren’t anything I couldn’t handle.
I don’t know that the universe makes everything happen for a reason and I don’t know if the things that happen are to make you stronger. I don’t know if the circumstances in each one of our lives are meant to make or break us. I don’t have those answers. What I do know is that when you are completely drowning and you give some effort to try to stand again, someone or something somewhere will reach out a hand to grab you and hold you up.
Even when things seem like they’re never going to improve, by the graces of wonderful, passionate and good people, you will see the light of day again. The universe is always listening, and even when it’s not, someone is always willing to see the potential in you – even when you can’t see it in yourself.
I am beyond thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been granted thus far. If you told me as a senior in high school that I would be where I am today as a junior in college, I would have never believed you. I had no idea my dreams would manifest in the way that they have. I had no idea I would change my future path a thousand times to adjust and adapt to my passions and goals. I had no idea I would get knocked down by heavy wave after heavy wave only to stand up after what seems like eons of impossibility. I would have never thought that I’d be the strong and resilient individual I am today.
I am so incredibly blessed to have people looking out for me – whether it be my friends, family, professors, colleagues, or kind strangers on campus. Without these people, I would not be standing so strongly where my feet are planted today.
Even when it seems like you’ll never be happy again, better days are coming. The universe is always listening to you and success is always just a step ahead of you. Remember that.