Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined ~Henry David Thoreau
I spent the better part of my teens and twenties as a smoker. My parents smoked and many of my friends in high school smoked, too. Exercise and eating healthy were things to do to lose weight. We were an average American family; my parents worked hard, and we kids managed to get through school, while attempting to get away with as much as possible with our friends! Health was about the absence of illness, and wellness wasn’t even in our lexicon.
If it was peer pressure and ignorance that led me into a rather non-healthy lifestyle, then it was peer pressure and education that led me out. I didn’t choose college life right away; instead I went to work. Most of the people I worked with were non-smokers. The people I enjoyed spending time with were both physically and mentally healthier than me. They were goal oriented people who bore the responsibilities of family, work and navigating obstacles as they soared to success. Watching them, I realized I lacked vision and goals for my life, and for who I wanted to be as a person. I not only wanted more from life, I wanted to offer more as a person.
My wellness journey began when I was 21. That’s when I first started to create a vision of who I wanted to be, what I wanted for my life, and how I wanted to live. I knew that in order to achieve my goals I needed to change my responses to life’s challenges. My vision started with me being a non-smoker. I quit cold turkey and started regular aerobic exercise instead (No, it wasn’t easy. At. All.). With exercise I realized that my emotional outlook was also changing for the better. I explored my spirituality as well, always asking questions, always digging deeper. I let go of ideas that weren’t productive for my well being, and I kept exploring. I took a look at my interests and only worked jobs that I enjoyed until I found a path with promise. Eventually I found my way back to college to give myself the firm foundation of knowledge to help direct the next phase of my life.
The journey is far from finished, and it hasn’t been without its zigzags, loopty-loops, and roller coasters. But with a commitment to my wellness, the journey has always been productive and in the direction of my dreams. Health and wellness are in my daily lexicon now, and that’s a gift I can give to my children.
What does your wellness journey look like? Find out how the University Wellness Program can help you soar to more in life and achieve the vision you have for yourself. Next week is Wellness Week at Georgia Southern and there are so many great activities planned. Check out the list of events on our website, and join us on Facebook and Twitter to let us know what your favorite events were!
Make Voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else. ~Tennessee Williams