5 Things I Know For Sure | Sofiya Ballin

Photo: Stephanie Aaronson

Photo: Stephanie Aaronson

We’re keeping it rolling with the awesome words of wisdom as a part of the Growing Into Grace series. I hope that you have enjoyed all the insight from the ladies so far. I’m so thankful that they took the time out to share with all of us. I am learning and pondering along the way myself.

Next up is an extremely talented writer and fellow Temple alum, Sofiya Ballin. She is a staff writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and a contributor to Huffington Post. She’s done great pieces like “Are All Jawns Created Equal?” and “Why #Unconventionalblackbeauty Celebrates People Like Me.” I love her work and her interviews as she has given a platform to many of the rising artists in Philadelphia. She’s smart, funny, and driven. All the things that make a “Graceful” woman in my book!

Take a look at the 5 things that Sofiya knows for sure, below.

Sofiya Ballin, The Philadelphia Inquirer


1. You Are Worthy Because You Were Born. That’s it. It's a quote from Queen Oprah herself. And it's the only criteria or prerequisite to be whom you want and achieve dreams that touch the sky and walk the moon.  Especially now when social media makes it easier for people to doctor how their lives are perceived it gets easy to compare yourself. Comparison is the thief of happiness.  I guarantee you that no one can do what you do, the way you do it. Don’t let self-doubt douse your God-given fire.

2. Perfection is a myth. I always say show me perfection and I’ll show you the lie.
To be human is to be flawed. We’re made of imperfect lines and curves. Our lives aren’t any different. Nothing is ever black and white. Life is filled with gray and that’s where our humanity lies. Perfectionism is a disease, an impossible goal and frankly, requires way too much maintenance.

3. You Can’t Life Alone. I was talking to my mom about marriage and the possibility that I won’t get married (I’m overdramatic) and she said, “this life is too hard to go it alone.” And she’s right. Love is so important. I believe it’s why we’re here. Though I am a huge proponent of self-love always remember to make room for others because when life gets rough, (it will) they become your backbone and safe haven.

And to be in love is a gift not granted to everyone. It’s never to be regretted and always for the brave. I hope to muster the courage one day. There’s no such thing as a wasted relationship, even the ones that go sour. There is a lesson learned, memories made and a life fully lived.

4. Happiness Isn’t A Pursuit. The founding fathers lied about that…..amongst other things.
This is something I’ve battled with. In the middle of one of my rants my dad said to me: Sofiya, give yourself permission to be happy.

And he took the boulder off my back and I breathed finally.

We can get so used to chasing that we don’t see what we already have. For a lot of us, happiness is already inside. Don’t get wrapped up in the destination that you don’t enjoy the journey. The destination may not be all it’s cracked up to be.   What did J.Cole say? Beauty in the struggle, ugliness in the success…? Yeah.

5. I Know NOTHING For Sure. “The wisest man is he who knows he knows nothing.”
I wore this quote on my graduation cap. And I accepted my diploma knowing my “higher learning” wasn’t complete. Can’t even say I’ve begun. The more you know, the more you realize you’ll never know. Answers become breadcrumbs to more questions. Never stop studying. And every day is an opportunity to learn and unlearn. This list might look mighty different if I’m asked to write it five years from now, next week or tomorrow.