For the past couple of days, I've received a lot of deep sentiments from those I'm close to as well as those I've recently been acquainted with.
"You're a boss ass bitch and I'm sure EVERYONE who has met you knows that."
"I was in this competition, but I was among one of your fans and number 1937274 supports. Yas I got in line for it. I was team Khanh all the way."
"You're an inspiration and always will be."
Their words were hard-hitting because in the back of my mind, I knew that it came from a place of genuineness, which is something that is extremely difficult to come by. Although I've heard similar things before, there was never a time that I thought I would be in search for that kind of reassurance. After all, life has taught me that it is extremely important to walk with my head held high and continue to be the light in someone's life. However, at the end of all of this, I took myself back to the nursing home two and a half months ago when I promised my grandmother that I would take home a title for her.
For the past couple of years, her health has slowly been deteriorating. She went from being able to walk on her own to needing a wheelchair for assistance. As time passes, she lost her voice completely and so the kind of conversations I've ever had with her was limited to nonverbals ie) gestures, head nods, smiles, and such. I deeply long to hear her voice just one more time. I want to sit down and explain to her how my commitment and perseverance didn't prevail, but I was too embarrassed to say a single word. I wish that I could tell her that through this experience, I've learned to love myself more and be more confident. However, the truth is outright. I am confident and I am loved. If there's anything that I'm sure of, it's these two things. What I really took away from this entire thing is that life will continue to throw me curveballs. My attitude and my reaction will be the true testaments to my character.
Over the course of 23 years, I've won a lot of things. Crossword puzzle competitions, tether ball games, Lieutenant Governor election, concert tickets to see The Weeknd (twice), and etc. Even then, I've been on the other side of defeat. I had love and lost it. I had best friends and a decade later, we are no longer on speaking terms. I was 2 votes away from being elected as Junior Class Vice President. The point is, I've come close to the finish line and have experienced both the highs and lows that come with victories and losses. How I try to make sense of each situation is to remind myself that I am a better person because of it. Morgan Wotten said it best. "It's often been said that you learn more from losing than you do from winning. I think, if you're wise, you learn from both. You learn a lot from a loss. You learn what is it that we're not doing to get to where we want to go. It really gets your attention and it really motivates the work ethic of your team when you're not doing well."
I've been more motivated to write and share with you my thoughts because it's the only way that I can reflect and make peace of everything. It's the only way that I'll ever learn. So what's my next step? I'm not quite sure, but I promise you it won't be a boring one.