REFLECTION: All I ever wanted to be was a shining star

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Lyric Aquino

As a child, I looked at the universe with amazement. I couldn’t fathom its beauty. It was the lush green grass between my toes, the river water splashing on my face and the warm sun beating down on my body that excited me. But the iridescent light radiating from the night sky, protruding through my bedroom curtains, illuminating my brown skin, was a sense of complete peace. I laid there, looking up at the ceiling wondering why I couldn’t be one of them — a star.

To me, stars were one of the best things life had to offer. They were beautiful, radiant and gave me a sense of hope, wonder and warmth. Every night that I got to look at a star was a night that I went to bed happy.

I wanted to be like one. I wanted to give people a sense of hope. I wanted to give inspiration, creation and wonder. I thought I had the ability to be the human equivalent of a star to everyone I met. I wanted to wrap them up in a blanket of safety and project an aura like no other.

Eventually as I got older, I put aside the star-like qualities I tried so hard to embody. I tried to separate myself from the world and watch as everyone carried out their lives. I thought being an observer from millions of miles away would give me the chance to live out my best life. I’d be able to focus on myself and shine brighter with every life accomplishment I earned.

As I separated from people and kept a few close friends, I felt as though I was dimming. My work didn’t seem to mean as much because I had no one to share it with. I wanted to share my life, the best and worst parts, with my friends. I wanted to be a beacon of light, energy and happiness, but I also wanted to take time to focus on myself.

I thought that if I was losing people while trying to climb higher I was clearly doing something wrong. I must’ve been wrong for needing to stay in to work on my writing, study ancient artifacts and produce presentations while trying to balance jobs, family, my relationship and friends.

I’m not exactly sure when that mindset started to change. Exciting things in my life were starting to happen and they were a result of my hard work and dedication. When I look back, I realize I had people to share my happiness with. I had, and still do, people who love me and want me to succeed.

I have friends who understand my schedule and have their own crazy ones but still make time for each other. I have a boyfriend who drives two hours after a 40+ hour work week to see me only for a few hours. I have a family that loves and supports me and check in on me.

I might not be the most available friend to have but I do know that I’m loyal, loving and I try my hardest to be there for people. Despite my hectic schedule and my dedication to my career I hope to be a person that people can find comfort in.

I’ve learned that I’ve always kind of been like a star. Sometimes I’m far away and distant, but I’m always there. Sometimes clouds block me from view but eventually I shine again. But most importantly, to the people who see me and need me ­— I’ll be constant. I’ll be there, and when you need me, you can find me.

Lyric Aquino is the features editor and a columnist. Contact her at [email protected]