So before I post about updates in my life, I just wanted to share this speech I wrote for my public speaking class. The assignment was to choose a quote/mantra/way of life and turn it into a speech. Even though I only got an 86% on this, I’m really really proud of it. It resonates with me personally because I feel like I have been telling myself this for years and the power of it did not hit me until I was actually standing in front of my classmates and my professor, basically pouring my soul into this speech.
So without further ado, here it is. No matter where you are in life, how old you are or what you’re currently going through, I just want you to read this and think about it the next time you’re doubting yourself.
Two phrases came to my mind when I brainstormed over a topic to discuss today. They’re both entirely different, but carry a similar message.
The first is from my favorite series of all time, Harry Potter, written by J.K Rowling. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” When I first read that line I was in sixth grade and just thought it was clever, so I saved it to my favorite quotes. Fast forward six years to my 17th birthday when one of my closest friends gave me a silver bracelet with that exact quote inscribed on it. Again, I thought it was very cool and thoughtful, but I was still naive to the actual meaning behind the quote. I didn’t truly understand it until a few months later when my parents decided to get a divorce the Spring before my senior year of high school, and my mother and I moved out of the house, separating me from one of my sisters and my father.
Over the next few years I began to understand this quotes true meaning and since my 17th birthday, I have rarely taken this bracelet off. The quote implies that you will be consumed by the darkness, whether that be sadness, or anger or isolation, until YOU decide to make a change. Until YOU decide to find the light in that darkness and change it. Over the past few years my amazing mother has constantly told me, “You make your own happiness.” I know it’s hard to be happy if you live in sucky conditions, or you have no friends, or your boyfriend or girlfriend leaves you, or anything else happens that just brings you down and makes you feel defeated or useless. But you need to look at it this way; no one can TRULY make you happy but yourself. Unless you say to yourself, “All of this moping is seriously not going to bring me anywhere. I need to toughen up and get myself together.” I’ve told this to myself too many times to count. When my parents got divorced, when all of my friends stopped talking to me, when my boyfriend and I broke up…there’s absolutely no reason you should be sad or angry at a situation, especially when you have the power to change it. Which brings me to my next topic.
“Why not you?” Think about it. Why can’t you be on on Broadway? Why can’t you get into your dream college? Why can’t you get that job? Why can’t you join that club? Why can’t you wear that outfit? Why can’t you move out of this god forsaken town? What in the world is stopping you? I’m sorry to break it to you, but it’s YOURSELF. When you really just sit down and think about what is stopping you from doing all of the things you want to do in life, you will realize that it’s you. We are constantly making excuses for ourselves, because we think we aren’t smart enough, or not pretty enough, or don’t have enough money for this or that. But you can’t do that because the only thing you DO have control of in life is yourself and your actions.
I think the biggest problem with our generation is our confidence. We see all of these perfect people with their perfect lives and perfect jobs and we think to ourselves, “That will never be me. I can never do that.” But seriously, what is stopping you? Do you think Kim Kardashian would have ever mounted to anything if she and her mom hadn’t worked their butts off to get her noticed? Nope. She would just be another sex tape bimbo with no life. Now look at her; she and her ENTIRE family have built an empire because, even though it’s contrary to modern belief, they worked for it. They took a horrible circumstance and made it into something. Because they had the confidence and drive and motivation.
Look at my sister. Beautiful, smart, athletic and funny, she’s the perfect package. Yet she has been cheated on twice, both of her relationships lasting over 2 years, and yet they still couldn’t commit to her. This last breakup happened right after she had back surgery, and the guy was like a brother to me, I loved him so much, so did the rest of my family, yet he still did such a horrible thing to her. But you know what she did? She picked herself up and moved to Los Angeles. She got a high profile nannying job for a family in Beverly Hills and made something of herself. She didn’t wallow in her self pity and feel bad for herself. She literally left all of it behind for a new, exciting life because she knew she could. Nothing could hold her back. Did she have any money? No. Did she know anyone on the West Coast? Absolutely not. But she did not make excuses for herself, she just did it because she COULD and because she BELIEVED in herself.
The next time you find yourself thinking “ I can’t do that,” or “I can’t pull that off.” Ask yourself why. And if the answer is because YOU don’t think you can, think again. Because you can seriously do whatever you set your mind to.
Why not you?