As I thought about writing this article, I had several decent ideas. Not wanting to have a terrible article on my hands or waste time writing something I didn’t like, I ran them by a good friend of mine to see if they would work. I told him about the first subject and his response was, “You need to take a more unique approach.” I explained my second idea and again his response was that I need a new perspective.
I thought on the idea of this “new perspective” for quite some time. My mind has been set on the same ideas and goals for a while. I have been focused on graduating since the minute I set foot in Edmonds-Woodway High School; even before then. Sure, throughout my time at EWHS I had other goals, however most of those related to graduating. They often focused on finishing homework, making sure I passed a test and doing my best to fulfill assignments.
I also had goals that weren’t related to school, such as putting on successful musicals, getting through drivers education and making new friends. However these goals always came after my big goal of getting through school and graduating. Now that I’ve left EWHS, it’s time to find new goals, a new mindset and a new perspective.
I found myself very confused as to how to do this. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around a way to change how I’ve been thinking all these years. So instead of immediately focusing on that, I pondered on my current perspective. How do I think about life now? I’ve found that I can often be an extremely negative person. I focus on what I can’t do because the limitations I have. I can’t get a job at QFC because I don’t have my food handler’s permit yet. I can’t stay out as late as I want because I still have a month until my 18th birthday. I can’t ask my friends to go out because I’m too afraid of rejection. I spend a lot of time thinking about how frustrating it is that I can’t do these things.
By thinking about my negativity, a new mind set arose. I need to focus on the positive aspects of my life. I have a lot to accomplish in the coming years — even in the coming months — and it’s going to be difficult to do that if I focus on my limitations. My goal for this summer is to change my perspective and focus on the positive aspects in my life, as well as working on changing the limitations I have control over.
Mostly, I need to work on changing myself. My fear of rejection is something that often limits me. I’m just too afraid to pick up the phone and call a friend or ask someone if they want to go out to dinner with me, for fear of them saying no. It’s an irrational fear that I need to work on eliminating. I’m letting it hold me back from a myriad of fun occasions and conversations. Another limitation I focus on too often is my age. I’m still a minor, whereas nearly all of my friends are over 18. While they don’t need to worry about a curfew or getting their parents’ permission, it’s still something I have to think about on a regular basis.
Instead of constantly whining about how frustrating it is to be young, I should be enjoying the time I have. Yes, I am limited in my time spent out and the activities I can participate in, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t enjoy the free time I have now to go out and not worry about work or school.
Sometimes it takes another person pointing it out to see that it’s time for a perspective change. It took some contemplation, but I believe I have found a way to begin thinking with a different mindset. My actions in the coming months will reflect my desire to become a more positive person and have a better outlook on life.
Lily Jaquith is a 2011 graduate of Edmonds-Woodway High School. She plans to attend Western Washington University this fall to study teaching drama and perhaps minor in journalism. She loves working in children’s theater and has been a part of Madrona Children’s Theater for nine years. In her free time, Lily writes for her personal blog and enjoys social networking on Twitter (follow @LilyJaquith).