Last night, I imported all of my Wordpress blog content over to the blog section on this site. As I was browsing through the archives, I came across an unpublished draft from December 2006, and it just struck me to see how much I've changed from age 20 to age 29. To give some context, that post was written a month before leaving to study abroad in London (which was also my first overseas trip). I was just wrapping up the first semester of my junior year of college at USF, where I was rooming with my friend Steena, who I had known since high school.
This was a really difficult time in my life. I never really found my place at USF, and I was also dealing with a lot of health problems related to an untreated thyroid disorder. That's part of what sparked my decision to study abroad. Three years of college had passed by without me really making an impact on anything or anyone, and I had this romantic notion that getting far away was the only way to shake up my life and help me figure out my path. Here's an excerpt of the post:
In the nine years since writing that post, I'm proud to report that I've nearly become the person that 20 year old Amanda hoped she would be. I'm so much more confident, social, and outgoing, with an amazing network of human beings all over the world.
It was by no means a quick/easy process to become present-day Amanda, and I still feel like there are a ton of things I can improve about myself, but the point of this post is to put it out there (to whoever's reading this, friend or stranger) that you have the power to make big changes in your life if there are aspects that you're unhappy with. And it's OK if that process is a gradual one. Find the people who inspire you, and try to emulate what makes them successful. To that point: Steena Villamil, thanks for being such an inspiring friend and roommate over the years. :)