My Sources of Inspiration
Eventually everyone starts a collection of something, whether it is sea shells or movie tickets. I never collected anything until I started high school. I unintentionally began to collect bracelets, each representing something significant in my life that I have learned and discovered. I now wear these four bracelets as a reminder to myself of what I have been taught.
I received the first bracelet during the summer following graduation. My friend purchased the bracelet during her vacation in the Philippines. She gave one bracelet to each of the 11 of us in our group of friends. Most of us had been together since 2nd grade, but some of us, including myself, have been friends since pre-school, so going off to high school without them would be a big change. These bracelets remind us that even though the 11 of us would not be together we would still be friends. Most of these friendships have continued throughout high school, and I wear this bracelet to recall that I always have friends who support me even if they do not go to my school.
I was given my next bracelet the summer that I entered 10th grade, while I was in South Africa. At the time it was just a souvenir, yet it remains an important memento to me. While in South Africa I saw shanty towns and other areas in great poverty that I never expected to see in real life. This trip sparked the realization that not everyone lives in a nice neighborhood in the United States. While I may complain that my room is too small, the people living in shanty houses only have one room that everyone shares. This bracelet reminds me to be knowledgeable of other people and places in this world and to emphasize with those people.
Inevitably my bracelet collection continued to grow as I purchased the next one myself the summer I went into 11th grade. At a summer camp in British Columbia, Canada, where I flew a plane by myself. I had never been on a plane by myself, nor been so far away from home alone prior to this. This was a new experience and my bracelet reminds me of my independence and gives me the assurance that I can do things alone.
The annual lessons I learned unintentionally continued throughout my junior year of high school as I received my fourth bracelet. My dad brought it back from Spain for me as a souvenir. I wear it to remind me of the importance of family. My family is always there to laugh and celebrate the holidays together. The fact that we are not always together makes celebrating the holidays even more important.
Inadvertently, each bracelet I received taught me a new lesson. Whenever doing something out of the ordinary, I will wear these four bracelets to remind me of the friendships, knowledge, independence, and family that I have. Essentially, these are my building blocks to a great life. Focus on these four building blocks: friendship, knowledge, independence, and family, and success will surely follow.