One year. 21 days at a time. Decide what you’re made of.
As I sit here writing this, I can’t help but glance over to the calendar pinned up beside me. The words “Birthday Boy” are circled in bright red below the freshly printed number 22. Oh, yes. I remember now. Next week is my 21st birthday. A multitude of emotions rush over me: excitement, happiness, and sadness. Another year without my closest friend. Another year without her. The silence in my room slowly becomes deafening. I can’t help but hesitate.
I quickly shake the dark feelings off my back. This next year of my life, this next chapter, is one that I don’t ever want to forget. My faith, my friends, and my family; I have made it here because of them, and I have much more to go. My journey is just beginning.
I have decided to create a new challenge for myself. One that will prove more difficult than anything I’ve attempted before.
Before I go on, let me give you a brief background of my fixation on challenges. Ever since I was a kid, I have been obsessed with discovering just how much of my emotions, actions, and reactions I can control. As the nights began to feel longer and the meaning of my life began to constrain, I became adamant about proving to myself that I could bear any sort of pain. This led me to challenge myself in different ways, such as seeing how long I could go without food or sleep.
(It is important to note that I never took these challenges to the point of self harm, but I thought about it often. I wholeheartedly believe that if it wasn’t for my loving family and amazing group of friends, I would be in a different place than I am now.)
I had a desire to improve my self-control but went about it in an unhealthy mindset. I told myself that I was completing these events in order to grow as an individual, but I now realize that I was only trying to hide from the pain I held deep in my heart. These recent years have been all about repairing what was broken. After endless hours of reflection I finally feel ready to approach the world with confidence and joy.
Now, onto my next big challenge.
I have decided to challenge myself to spend the next year of my life attacking various 21 day challenges in hopes to grow spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. My goal, aside from growing as an individual, is to show others that anything is possible and that you are ultimately in control of your own life. You are the master of your emotions and the master of your destiny.
The reason why I have made each challenge 21 days is because that is the minimum amount of time it takes for someone to form a habit. I want my efforts to shape new behaviors I can rely on for the rest of my life.
So, with all that being said, I would like to encourage you to take some of these challenges on with me. You don’t have to complete the whole 21 days or even attempt every challenge. Just embrace what you feel is right and take it one step at a time. Overcome your fears with enthusiasm and determination. The point is to show yourself that you are capable than much more than you settle for.
You can follow my progress through this blog or through social media. I will be posting regular updates about my journey and what I learn along the way. Email your thoughts and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear about your experiences and progress. Through faith and friendship, anything is possible.