If there's anything that I'm proud of, it's that I grew up in a family that encouraged hard work is necessary when pursuing your dreams. My father's famous catchphrase is "Work hard, play hard." That's what my family did as I grew up. My parents worked as teachers when I was a kid, and would spend hours each week being the best educators that they possibly could be. During summers, teaching was not to be mentioned. We took vacations across the country, explored, and "played hard."
During my final semester at Daytona State College, I had three jobs: up to thirty hours a week as a cashier at hardware store, 10 hours a week editing and writing for the campus newspaper about 40 minutes away from my home, and volunteering when necessary at my home church. During that time I also took classes, and prepared for my move to Gainesville.
One of my favorite stories to tell about that time was the day that every detail of my life collided. I drove to Taco Bell on my lunch break at the hardware story, and an extremely important source called me as I picked up my order. As I tried to balance my phone in between my ear and shoulder, I heard my name called from the back of the restaurant. It was a friend from high school who I hadn't seen in six months. I waved to him as I ran out the door taking notes from the call in a torn reporter's notebook. When I got home that night, I felt so guilty. While I thought that everything in my life was balanced, it was clearly not.
I'm grateful for the opportunities that I received in every one of those positions. Each one developed a certain part of my personality, and guided me to where I am today.
I have realized that every person is a quilt. We all have different details in our lives that form us. Each experience serves as a small patch. However, we're handstitched together, and sometimes threads fray. We need to be maintained and repaired. We might not look as beautiful and fresh as we did in the beginning. Sometimes we become ragged.
While my life is far more together than it was that semester. I do sometimes feel that it's difficult to stitch each individual piece of my life together. I think that my quilt would be colorful, but messy. It would probably be made by an eight-year-old who learned sewing to bond with a family member. Nothing would coordinate, but it doesn't matter. My quilt would be meaningful, and significant. Each piece matters.
What kind of quilt are you?