All of my life people have told me what I can and can’t do. Who to be, how to live, and the list goes on! My parents always told me to study, do well and make something of myself. “You can be anything you want to be” they said, “as long as that anything is a doctor, lawyer, or engineer.”
Even little child me knew this wasn’t really everything! I always found my comfort in sunshine and flowers, in creativity and art. Although I lived in the Carolina’s all of my childhood, I dreamed of New York, of the big city and my even bigger hopes. However, sadly, with the path I was told to take, there didn’t seem to be any space for the dreamer in me.
Growing up, I was an intellectual one. Always holed up studying, working my hardest. As a child I had read many stories, simply for fun, and this easily transitioned from the books I loved into textbooks I had to read. I took crazy amounts of college classes in high school, graduated with honors, and after many longs days and prayers, was accepted with scholarships to a college in New York!
…and with this my entire life changed.
A girl that had always been so protected, so controlled, was suddenly so free. Previously filled with the doubts of those around me, my clouded head finally felt oh so clear. I began to explore the world through my own eyes; the eyes of a dreamer, believer, and lover.
I still work hard, of course, as I have a double major and double minor to keep up with, but I’ve learned to balance it with the rest of life. I paint, write, photograph, explore, and piece by piece am finding who I was meant to be.
I discovered a passion in service, in helping others and trying to make a positive impact on the world. Living in New York and travelling to serve and learn has taught me more about people and the world than I ever could have imagined. And throughout it all, my faith has bloomed immensely, with God carrying me through the roughest patches and always guiding me along.
I am still young, a mere nineteen, but I suppose my message is that for others like me of any age, there is always hope! If you feel trapped, in a relationship, career, location, or anything else, you have the ability to be free, and happiness is sure to follow. The rougher paths of life can be frightening, and often discouraging, but with faith, love, and hope, anything is possible!
While criticism can be helpful, paying too much attention to the judgement of others can act as a barrier to your dreams and as an inhibitor of hope.
Free yourself of the negativity, and be abundant in joy! Dream big, and reach for the stars! Individually, we strive to do our best, but I’m learning that together, as women, we are capable of more than can ever be imagined.
You are, and we are, so lovely and so very free!
Laura Money is an artistic soul that studies in New York City. She loves lattes, sunshine, meeting fellow free spirits, and most of all, the Lord! She was born in India and has traveled near and far, but has a long list of places that she cannot wait to see. As an activist for social justice, she strives to leave a bright impact on the world.