Guest Post | Sharlene Cam

Alright! Brand new guest post! Sharlene and I were co-workers at a tutoring center during high school. All the high school workers referred to themselves as “elves,” and we’ve been holding elves reunions since freshman year of college. Sharlene’s a fellow Bear (Go Bears!), and she has a great assortment of posts on her blog, Tides & Tows ( Definitely head over and check it out! 

I have to say, I was quite impressed when I read Sharlene’s post. Very insightful and inspiring stuff, and well written too! Enjoy!

Like many before me, I’m pretty sure I spent more time thinking about what I would write for Glen’s blog than actually writing it. These thoughts have been sitting in my head for the whole summer, so hopefully I can successfully articulate them all. But, main point is, I just wanted to share a little about my (cheesy and possibly cliché) thoughts in hopes that what I say will resonate with someone (anyone!) and help them in their progress towards self-growth, as they did for me.

I had a lot of time to myself this past summer, so I spent a large portion of it in introspection and looking at ways I could better myself as a person. It was during that time that I slowly looked at the different reasons why I was the way I was, and from that, I realized that a lot of my behaviors were derived from the way I was raised. The way I viewed myself, the way I looked at things in life, and even the way I interacted with others were deeply reminiscent of behaviors that I had grown up around. Then this got me thinking about the way that the people around you influence you, because now that we’re all in this stage in our lives where we spend the majority of our time away from our parents, we have a choice in who we decide to surround ourselves with.

While many have heard that, “you are the company you keep,” what I think is more important is Mark Twain’s idea that “…the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great,” because in my case, this has proven itself to be true many times over. Ambition and drive inspires the same in others, regardless of field of study. It sets a subconscious standard for good work ethic and surrounds you with people who will not only celebrate, but also understand the extent of your accomplishments. For me, being around the right people was what helped me regain the self-confidence, after many failures, to keep pursuing the career that I know is the right one for me.

Yet, something I’ve often forgotten is, conversely, that letting go of people is part of the process. It takes two to help a friendship grow, but it only takes one to stunt or diminish its growth. That’s not to say, start purging your Facebook friends list of people you don’t talk to. Instead, I’ve just become more mindful of not only their position in my life, but also my position in theirs. Is this someone that I know well enough to know if I click with them? What can I still learn from this person, and what can I give them in return? This mindset was what pushed me to reconnect with many people that I had lost touch with over the past few years, and has shaped the way I value friendships that have depth.

And even then, the right kinds of people will always gravitate towards one another, both in relationships and in friendships – all you really need is good timing and good circumstances. It’s almost effortless (and beautiful!) the way things always fall into place, so in the end, the best things are worth waiting for.

Thanks for reading!

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