De Parte del Maestro
By Josh Flores
The best ‘you’, is you
One of the toughest times in life has to be the time you are going through right now, adolescence to early adulthood. Personally, you could not pay me to relive these times in my life. People will often tell you ‘if I could only go back and do things differently when I was younger’—I am not one of those people.
Yes, like anyone else, I would have liked to make a few wiser decisions and, of course, I have my ‘what if?’ moments but nonetheless if given the chance I would not go back to my teenage years. I know that there is a ton of pressure on teens, and it literally comes at you from all angles—friends, family, and teachers, to name a few.
But what about the pressure you put on yourself? I believe that this pressure is the toughest of all to deal with. There is pressure to perform well in school or athletics, to be pretty, to be handsome, to be hood, to be down, to be fashionable, and, ultimately, to be accepted.
The key to whatever we want to be is strongly influenced by our natural desire to want to feel we are a part of something. We are social beings and we crave attention and acceptance by those who are around us. Which takes me back to the topic I addressed in my last column, the people you surround yourself with will dictate ‘who you are,’ or at least how you are seen by others.
With all of the pressure and confusion that accompany the teenage years, there is one primary outcome that is supposed to occur: You grow up. Now this is quite easier said than done and the begging question is: ‘What am I supposed to be growing up to be?’
The answer is not a simple one because each of us must choose our own path and, with any luck along that path, we find out who we really are. In other words, despite all the pressures that you will endure the best person you can be is you.
Ironically enough, it is one of the hardest things to discover. With all of the external and internal pressures that we face, particularly in the teenage years, we often lose sight of who we are. At one point as a child we all said: ‘I want to grow up to be a…fill in the blank. Then life happens and we lose sight of those dreams and ambitions or we simply change and we grow into something else. Regardless of the reason, it is important to rediscover that ability to dream without limits, because you can ultimately accomplish anything you choose.
So often I hear people overuse the phrase ‘keep it real’ or ‘real talk’, but the most important person you can keep it real with or have real talk with is yourself. When you look in the mirror everyday you can’t lie to the person looking back at you. We are all different and we deal with things in different ways.
I am not here to tell you how to live but I do want to share that when you are yourself because that is who you want to be, you eliminate a lot of pressure. In the journey of finding out who you are, you may lose friends. Others may say you have changed, but remember, change is a good thing when you change for the better.
When making decisions remember tú eres lo que haces—you are what you do. In finding the real you I wish you luck and the strength to not fold under the pressure. ¡Hasta la próxima vez!