“Fall for Someone Else, but Catch Yourself”, By Megan Duenas

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The biggest indication that provides insight on the way things were is through writing. The writing that is as potent in the veins as the heartache felt after a breakup. Or the pain felt when your parents tell you you were the one who broke the family apart because of your relationship with an older girl. The pain is continuing to live despite others and the way they treat you, as well as coming up with confidence in yourself to go on when you can’t justify what the next move in life is. You trust people in hopes of them valuing your life, respecting it, and in the ends what’s left is disappointment.

I learned that in life, happiness shouldn’t be brought upon you by someone else, it should be grown, it should be raised by your own existence, setting your own standard and definition of happiness that others will choose to contribute to. To live life, we should not merely live for someone else, we should have that reason be ourselves and create a purpose for our own life. Circumstances arise and lead people to make decisions for their own happiness and the relationships you thought would never end, could. It’s all a matter of how you see situations, how you would turn it around to a lesson learned for the next time.

Recently, I came across an entry I wrote in March about my own disposition :

“Too often, I am left in the darkness of a world where light surfaces to find me in the depths of despair. I walk barefoot into the garden of thorns and poisons to acquire a sense of reality, a sense of urgency to get out of this four paneled white room I come to know as home. I strive to break through the norms of single – mindedness. Where I stand is a place where many hide in fear, because through the ages that’s what we people were taught, to hide under the very sheets we use to make love to the ones who define who we are. I hide not because my life depends on it, but because my happiness does, and if those two are interconnected, then so be it.

I knew from an early age of where I stood. I stood in the crossroads of what was expected of me and what I expected of myself. But the fight to succeed both ended up in the dismantling of my hopes and dreams of what true happiness was. I took to all ends to take out my anger through others, through the bane of others feelings, when my own feelings were in a constant shift of suffering.  Not being able to fully express who I was more than suffering but an undeniable fact that many felt the way I did due to the fear of disapproval and revolt. I wasn’t attracted to those who saw me as an object of their affection, I didn’t desire affection, I wanted respect. I wanted all to know who I was under the cloak that sheltered me from the world that put me under the light of constant judgement and interrogation.

The day that I could honestly say took my breath away, was the day my girlfriend told me she loved me. She told me on the phone when she was 381.8 miles away, she spoke those words softly when our conversation was fading and it was time to say goodbye. She said it and instead of going through one ear and out the other, the sound whispered into my breath, trickled into my blood, sinked into my veins and allowed me to see that to be strong and courageous is to allow others the opportunity to share your life with them. Not necessarily depend on someone for happiness, but more so allowing others to share the happiness you create for yourself and others.

I can breathe and not have an ache in my gut at the discontent of the way I was living my life. Being with her, I never once looked back and speculated what would it be like if I didn’t make the decision to do so. The way I live my life is to set myself on a journey to find my inner happiness, pursue my passions and allow those passions to thrive and branch off for others to achieve theirs. I live everyday as if the next is questionable. Through the past, the distraught, the captivity of emotions unsettling in the depths of my heart and the constant rush with reality, I come to realize the healing process to achieve happiness comes from acknowledging the power lies within myself to make the difference. The mind is as powerful as any stimulant, any weapon, any word that is yelled, because the mind can counteract feeling, human’s most unique attribute. When in charge of your own thought, the events and circumstances that flood your garden will be drained with the yielding of incompetence.

The biggest obstacle I have faced was at the crossroad of truth and conventional norms. The point where I took a step back to reevaluate my life and what I planned to do with it. Was I going to hide myself under the sheets of truth or allow those to see me, naked and bare. Naked to the human eye to the truths that blemish my face, bruise my knees, scar my fingertips and leave me with goosebumps encompass my skin. I wasn’t going to allow those with ignorant beliefs affect the love I have to give. I am determined not let anything get in my way, or straddle me down to a point of no progression.

I go on breathing air, blinking my eyes and allowing my lungs to take in love and exhale distress and disillusionment. I am shaped by the wind, blowing freely trying to find the place I can call home, a home not just in the arms of my love, but in the arms of life, the arms that will grasp me and take me to a place where I will be in the light and have the light be me.”

Whatever arises in the future, whether it be a sudden love, a crushing heartbreak or a rush with your own self- worth, I realized that everything happens to challenge us, to see what we are willing to do about the circumstances that arise. I may not always have it together, but I know the pieces to put myself back together when I’m crumbling lies in my own spirit, my own worth. And at the end of the day, that’s where true happiness lies.

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Megan Duenas is a first year college student at San Jose State University. In the past year Megan widened her writing, reaching audiences like the creative community from Bunch Magazine, Anon Magazine, Popover and Conscious Magazine to organizations and foundations including Make A Wish and InHerShoes Movement, where she was the first featured speaker to give advice to high school girls on pursuing their own passions when taking the courage to do so. This past year she was given the opportunity to be apart of the Empowering Women of Color Planning Committee at UC Berkeley. Megan’s goals is to keep pursuing her dreams of writing and the freedom of expression while continuing her education and traveling. She urges many her age to ignore their age as a factor, take a risk, and put themselves out there if they have a goal in mind.

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