15

15 years ago I was plodding through wet puddles trying to find my way to my dad's old minivan. I could still remember the way the rain hit my face as I breathed in the afternoon air. The smell of fragrant jasmine permeated the school grounds. It was late afternoon and I was going home.

I still wasn't used to our new home, only a few miles outside of the gated community we lived in. We moved into a bigger house, on a more secluded street. It was a cold day in early February, and I could still remember my teeth clattering from the unseasonably cold LA winter, a stark contrast to the desert climate I was used to.

That afternoon, I started writing poems about objects in nature, the avocados that fell from the neighbors yard, the lone orange cat that came by to visit, my dad's rusty minivan in the driveway.

It all started with the rain.

I look back to the girl I was 15 years ago. A girl with wonderment and curiosity for the world, determined to do something different than what I knew from example.

Fast forward to now. My fingerprints are tainted on a cup I drink out of, my eyes are a bit heavier though i can still feel the rain on my skin.

I think part of oneself can change dramatically if there is a dynamic shift in your perspective. You are not defined in one sort of behavior or another – you can be a person of many wholes, not limited to one identity. It is with that knowledge you can be the dreamer tasting the ambition of your spirit, like the wild rush of an ocean wave.

When you walk through life as a young person discovering the nuances of the world, you imagine yourself in hypothetical scenarios like living a blissful life doing the things you love, making our parents proud, living life alongside a lifetime companion who shares our hopes and dreams. The eagerness of youth seems to fade as you age and reach a plateau, and you find yourself feeling trapped and more cynical. Giving up on your ambitions like as if tomorrow may not come.

That disparity is a common theme I see today. When you reach a certain phase in life, and not feel good about yourself because you have all these reasons to define why you're such a failure. Your ego, your sense of pride, really really deludes your judgement. And it isn't until you realize that you may not know this now or even in a year or two… but as the days go on, you have many tomorrows to look forward to and destroying a new day for all the yesterdays just doesn't make sense.

Whenever I have that fledgling moment of self doubt, from time to time, I think back to the girl I was 15 years ago. She wouldn't like it at all.

My days are still filled with various victories and defeats. Some bad, a lot good but still ounces of ambition. It's not over yet, not even close.