When I was in middle school, my science and math teacher asked me, “Do you like diamonds?”
I said, “Yes.”
“Would you rather be a diamond or a regular rock? And why?”
Wondering where this was going, I replied, “Diamond because it is considered the best and toughest stone.”
He asked, “How is a diamond generally formed?”
I said, “After enduring a lot of pressure overtime.”
He asked, “So if you like diamonds and want to be a diamond, why do you run away from pressure and challenges?”
I felt blindsided and thought to myself, “Because I do not want to fail so everyone can laugh at me.” But I replied, “I don’t know.”
He said, “You cannot become a diamond if you aren’t willing to experience life’s challenges and pressure. The only way to become strong is to endure the pressure and rise to the occasion.”
Even though at the time I didn’t know how to apply what he said, I always remembered the conversation because I did want to become a diamond. In high school, I started to step out of my comfort zone a little bit and take on new challenges. When I finished my freshmen year of college, I made a promise to myself to outdo myself academically at least a little bit every year. For the next three years I took on more challenges, responsibilities, roles, and activities. Since I was taking out loans for tuition, I made sure I was making the most out of it. By the time I was a senior, I made sure my plates were full.
Keeping busy doing things that I was interested in and would help me to grow is my overall goal. I get bored if I have too much time on my hands. Any new challenge and opportunity my professors recommended, I did them all. My professors and friends would check in with me to make sure I wasn’t doing too much and overly pushing myself. Aside from a couple of moments, I was usually fine and happy because my self-care rituals helped me to maintain my mental state. It was not until I was having a moment of self-reflection with myself a night senior year while thinking about various aspects of my past that I remembered that lesson from my middle school teacher. I realized I had been unconsciously working toward becoming a diamond throughout the years.
Before my way of becoming a diamond was related to academics but now I incorporate other aspects. One of the main aspects I make sure to focus on is my inner self. I work to make sure I maintain inner peace and love for myself. Making sure that I am functioning optimally both physically and mentally ensures that I would be able to perform effectively as a student, friend, daughter, advocate, etc. Becoming a diamond does not have to only be related to academics or a career, it can also encompass the parts that lie inside of me. Currently, I am still a diamond in the making but I am not any regular rock that people just kick to the side.
Time to Focus on You:
Do you want to be a diamond? And what does that mean to you? How can you start to work or how have you worked toward it?