Updates from Upperclassmen: It’s often hard to focus on yourself

Published 8:00 pm Friday, March 17, 2023

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Updates from Upperclassmen by Sophie Hareid

Focusing on myself.

Sophie Hareid

One thing that I’ve had trouble with my entire life is putting myself first and not feeling guilty about it. It’s always been friends, family and even strangers that I’ve put above myself, all while feeling guilty that I don’t do enough for them, even when I’m not doing a thing for myself. So this new year, my resolution is to build a better relationship with myself and focus on me more. And I’ve found that when I care less about external factors, I can finally be myself again. That’s why my main commitment for 2023 is to care less and live more.

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There have been many things that have helped me come to realize this life value — one of the main ones being my mom. My mother has got to be one of the strongest people I know. She has gone through so much, yet she keeps her head up. How does she do it? One day I had too much curiosity and had to ask her. She told me that she’s motivated by one simple phrase: “It is well with my soul,” meaning you can’t control anything in your life but yourself. Even if your life is hell, you have the power to keep your head up, ignore the devil, and keep moving onward. I probably recite that every day now. It’s just crazy how much jurisdiction you have in your own life. Nobody should be able to sway your feelings, your life, your future — but you.

Another huge aspect that influenced my thoughts was dance, more specifically my new coach, Jennifer Sims. She comes to practice every day with a smile on her face and a ready-to-go attitude. She never lets bad scores, bad days or bad thoughts cloud her brain; she finds the positive in everything and it inspires me so much. Almost every day she comes to dance with a new motivational quote or speech to start practice off right, and it always encourages me. Just the other day she said one of the most heartening things to us. She said,

“You are in charge of who you are.’’ Of course, she was talking about how our scores shouldn’t hinder our energy for our next competitions. But I took it in a different direction. I am in charge of who I am, or I am able to neglect the things that hurt me and be myself, without feeling selfish. I deserve to be happy, and I have the power to do so.

Not caring takes a lot of hard work but once you succeed, the results are worth it. That’s a reason why “care less and live more” is my favorite core value. It made me love myself again without being apathetic. The more you care about the little things, and the more you care about people who don’t care about you back, the less you care about what’s really important in life — having fun and living your life to the fullest. Your friends should accept you for who you are and shouldn’t be dragging you down so you shy away from the challenges, adventures and memories that you are going to make in your life. So do what’s on your bucket list, do what makes you happy, do what you’ve always wanted to do. Don’t let anybody or anything hold you back on living your life how it’s supposed to be lived. Life is short, live it however you want to. And thanks to this value, everything in my life fell right into place.

Sophie Hareid is a senior at Albert Lea High School.