As I was deciding what to wear on a Thursday morning, I came across a white blouse with Lincoln’s quote: “I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.”
I removed it from the closet and took a long and deep look at it.
Where has the girl who bought this blouse five years ago been? What happened to her?
A millennial. That’s who I am. I’m surrounded by corporate-driven competitors and a fast-paced environment, but I decided to swim against the tide.
As an economics major, I was expected to start making money at 22, but I decided to go into academia. Reckless, maybe. Stupid, for sure.
Several years later, I started to compare myself to others. What if I never reach my full potential? What if I’m not good enough? What if I made the wrong decision? What if I failed myself?
The thoughts ate me alive. I lost confidence and productivity. For months, I let myself become a couch potato, thinking that this was the most I could get from life, from myself.
But when I looked at this quote, time stopped.
I took it into my hands, sat on the side of my bed, and walked down the memory lane. And what a lane it was!
The woman I have become bewildered me.
How much I’ve grown felt surreal—the struggles I have overcome, the knowledge I have acquired.
Throughout the years, I managed two degrees, a social life, a healthy lifestyle, heartbreak, therapy, a pandemic, and an economic crisis. Throughout the years, I fell and got back up.
I may not have grown in the eyes of the world and the corporations. Yet, I have grown in my own eyes, and this is what mattered most.
Throughout the years, I’ve learned what I love, what makes me happy, what brings me peace, and what makes me the person I am today. And if this isn’t walking forward, I don’t know what is.
One thing I learned this year, at least, is that each person takes a different amount of time to reach their goals. While others may be sprinting, I am walking.
Slowly, true, but never backward.