As I sit here eating my lunch (it’s been sushi for the past couple of days) I can’t help but notice one of my teaching assistants sitting about eight feet away from me. We exchange an awkward eye contact, him avoiding any chance that I would recognize who he was. I am pretty sure it’s really hard to forget someone you spent six weeks dissecting flies in a lab with. But, he just looked right through me. Maybe it wasn’t that hard.
I remembered some of the conversations that he would have with his fellow TAs. Conversations filled with competitive success stories about their test grades in organic chemistry and how they obtained a position as an undergraduate in a lab that only accepted graduate students. These memories made my heart drop in disappointment and embarrassment. Why couldn’t I be like them? Why does everything always seem to go wrong? Why do I constantly feel like a failure? Is this what I am really supposed to be doing?
This week I had a physics exam and the topic was centered around Newton’ Laws of Motion. Newton’s second law has been marinating in my heart for a while and I wanted to share some of the realizations it made me discover as I continue to fight for my place in this world.
“Newton’s second law of motion pertains to the behavior of objects for which all existing forces are not balanced.”
The world we live in is full of forces in which we can control and those we can’t. This unbalanced feel of forces causes us to sometimes feel liberated with the feeling of excelling and moving forward in life while at other times, it feels like it slows us down, even to the point where we just stop entirely.
“The second law states that the acceleration of an object is dependent upon two variables – the net force acting upon the object and the mass of the object.”
Although there are forces in our life in which we can’t control such as death, disappointment, and failure, Newton’s second law says that these aren’t the only things that keep us from moving forward in life. Acceleration is not only dependent on those forces in which we can’t control (think of that as the net force previously described) but it also depends greatly on ourselves as human beings (think of this as our mass). We have to stop thinking that the only thing that controls us are all those negative forces that hold us back. We too are in control of how fast or slow we move through this thing called life. Those other forces are only part of the story.
“The acceleration of an object depends directly upon the net force acting upon the object, and inversely upon the mass of the object. As the force acting upon an object is increased, the acceleration of the object is increased…”
We are who we are and that will never change. However, the experiences and trials we endure help drive us forward. As the force acting upon the object increases, the acceleration increases. We have to stay strong in tough times because that is what drives us towards greatness.
With all that being said, I know a lot of us struggle with things in our lives that we can’t necessarily control. We look at others and see their success but when we look in the mirror, we often fail to see our own. We only see the depression, financial deprivation, or maybe even the color of our skin. As you continue throughout the week I want you to think about Newton’s Second Law. Your acceleration through life is not solely dependent on the forces of life you can’t control. It’s about how you endure them–the good and the bad.
Choose to stay the course.
Choose to endure the forces.
Choose to accelerate.
Remember, you are blessed, brilliant, and beautiful.
Want to read more about not comparing yourself to others? Check out this blog: You Are Not Her