Sunday, January 31, 2010

today i finally overcame trying to fit the world inside a picture frame.

for years, i planned on living life one way. i had it all planned out. i knew exactly what i would do and where i would be and i knew, too, what i wanted for the future. these pre-2009 plans have all but stayed the same, and i've now been given the opportunity (i can say that now and mean it) to make different plans, my own plans, and at the same time, enjoy my life right here and right now.

i will admit, when i first began thinking of different plans, it seemed like a chore, something i had to do. being forced to think about what i really wanted scared me at first, and i literally could not come up with a single thing. i was stuck. my mind was so fixed on those pre-2009 plans that i couldn't begin to think of anything else. my whole heart, for years, had believed i was moving in one direction, and just like that, it all changed. that's not something i adjusted to quickly or easily, and i can't say i've completely gotten a handle on it. even now.

once i got (somewhat) used to the idea that, not only had things changed, but things had changed for good, i was then able to open my mind up to new ideas and to think about what i truly wanted out of my life. and suddenly, it wasn't so scary anymore; in fact, thinking about the many possibilities started to excite me. it began to seem less like a chore and more, as i mentioned before, of a given opportunity.

that's honestly how i see it now. a given opportunity. an opportunity to be the person who i am meant to be now and to try the things i meant to try now. had 2009 gone any other way, these same opportunities might never have been.

so, what is the commandment for this journal entry? live the life i want.

although one of my goals these days has been to be here now - meaning, spend less time planning for the future and more time enjoying the present - i also find myself thinking a lot lately about the things i can do now and where i want my life to go from here. i have a list, a very specific list, of the things i want to do in this life i want to live, including going sky-diving, taking cooking classes, running more 5Ks and other runs, reading one book and trying one new cookie recipe a month, traveling... the key, though, in living the life i want, is to focus most of my time on the present, because i've learned that, no matter how much you plan for the future, you never know what might happen and what might change along the way.

i'm excited about the possibilities of the future. and, at the same time, i'm happy with living my life, step by step, in the here and now. this truly is the life i want to be living.

"let go of the life you planned. accept the life that is waiting for you."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

and as for the clouds, just let them roll away.

i have a lot of favorite lyrics from the counting crows. i was thinking about one lyric in particular lately - a sea of flowers won't bloom without the rain. this lyric has always brought to my mind the idea that, through and after the worst of times, a kind of rebirth and a new kind of happiness can appear.

that particular kind of rebirth and newfound happiness represents just how significant those worst of times were. in other words, i feel, the harder the struggle and the more difficult the time, the stronger and the happier (hopefully) you are at the end of it all.

i'm thinking this idea goes along with the commandment i talked about in my last entry - call it a lesson learned (the lesson in this case being seeing what kind of good can come out of the bad) - and with the idea that there is much to be learned and gained from the so-called rain. the lessons i learned throughout the course of the last year (in the rain, so to say) brought me to a stronger, happier place, and without those difficult times, well, the flowers wouldn't have bloomed in quite the same way. in other words, i wouldn't have developed into the person i am today, and i wouldn't be on the search still for the person i have yet to become had it not been for the rain.

a friend of mine once said to me, "you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet." it's a funny quote, but if you think about it, this saying goes along with the above lyric. in order to get to the "good stuff" (the blooming flowers, the omelet), or to a specific kind of "good stuff," you sometimes have to endure the "bad stuff" (the rain, the broken eggs) first.

i'm not saying i believe that good things only exist only when bad things precede them. i know of many good things that exist and stand all on their own. what i am saying is this - the struggles and difficult times lead you to a new place you never expected to be which, in turn, turns out to be a better place than you had even imagined yourself. without that particular "bad," you never would have reached this particular "good." i will say, though, that even though i don't believe good only exists after something bad, i do believe that there is always something good to be taken out of and learned from something bad.

whew. this one is making my head hurt.

so, what exactly is my sea of flowers thanks to the rain? it's these things - becoming even closer with my family and my friends over this last year and strengthening the trust and the bond i have with them; knowing myself in different ways than i ever have before; knowing what i want and don't want out of life and being comfortable with that; knowing who i am and who i will never be; writing again and having so much to say. it's these things and so many more that make up my sea of flowers. and the best part is, i know this is only the beginning.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

but i don't mind the dark, discovering the day.

so, getting back to those commandments.

commandment: call it a lesson learned.

-i've (unfortunately) learned to be more cautious with my heart, my trust and my expectations. i have to say, this is one lesson i wish i never had to learn. i kind of liked being naive.
-i've (fortunately) learned, despite the questions and doubts i may now have, i'm still not afraid to jump in feet first and try new things (just a little more carefully than before).
-i'm learning that not everything makes sense but it's not my job to know why things happen the way they do. all i know is, there is meaning in all of this.
-i've (almost) learned you can't change people.
-i've (frustratingly) learned you can't always make people hear you no matter how many times you repeat yourself.
-i've learned that actions mean more than words; talk and promises are cheap. do something about it if it means anything to you.
-i'm (impatiently) learning that just because you think it should work out that does not mean it will or that it is meant to.
-i'm (sadly) learning that, just when you think you're settled, moved on and figured out, something happens, something changes, and you're right back where you started (although, it does get easier to "shake off" as time goes on).
-i'm learning it's important to learn how to make yourself happy; to learn what makes you happiest; to get things straight in your head first; and to figure things out for yourself (i'm not sure i'd call this one a "lesson learned" just yet; we'll call it a "lesson it progress").
-i've (suddenly) learned that i spent the better part of the last five years thinking this is me, this is who i am; now, i'm beginning to think i still have yet to know the real me (but i'm okay with that and with figuring it out in my own time).
-i'm learning that things that used to not scare me at all now terrify me.
-i'm learning that things that used to terrify me now excite me and don't scare me at all.
-i've learned, slowly but surely, that my first instinct is usually right; i just have to learn to trust it.
-i've learned that life is genuinely funny (even when it shouldn't be).
-i'm learning that i tend to say, "i hate making decisions; i hate picking," when the truth of it is - i know exactly what i want.
-i'm learning (more and more every day) how big of a difference a good song, a long laugh, a hard work-out and a little writing can make.
-i'm starting to learn how much i enjoy trying new things, finding new music and books to get into, getting to know new people and figuring out this new life of mine (one step at a time).
-i've started to learn how much of me can be found in my writing and my getting it out in this way.
-i've learned i am blessed with the most supportive family and friends in the world (well, i've always known this, but it has become even more apparent in the last year) who all help make up the person i am today and who help give me faith for the days ahead.
-i've learned (more than ever) that i am a quiet person with a lot on my mind and secrets in my heart, but eventually, you'll get to see the sillier, more open side of me.
-i've learned it takes time for me to be me.

i'm happy to know i've taken something away from it all and to have these lessons in my heart. i'm happy to be in this position now - guarded but open; uncertain but convinced; unsettled but content. it's not where i planned to be but i'm glad i'm here.

i'm in repair. i'm not together but i'm getting there.

so, wow. it has been a while since my last post. and, while i had planned on writing every day, or at least once a week, the past few months have gotten away from me. at the end of january (where did this month go? seriously), i find myself wanting to write again - here, in the blog; and elsewhere, just for myself.

while writing recently (elsewhere), i was thinking about the new year and the new start that is surely underway. i remember writing this - "i can actually feel it - a new start beginning." i've begun many years wondering how each year would be different from the last; how the year ahead could be better than the year that had passed; what new things i could try. this was the first new years, though, where i could actually feel a starting over beginning shortly after i watched a large part of my life come to a close at the end of 2009. and it was the first time in my life when i could feel different, better and new things coming in the days ahead.

with an end and a brand new start comes many opportunities for change, growth, repair and the trial of new things. not until recently was i ready for this; not until recently was i ready for a new kind of life - one filled with people, places and things that i might never have known had last year been any different.

with this new life just beginning, and with these new opportunities ahead, i carry with me the many lessons i have learned over the past year. in the next entry, i'll get back to the commandments and get into one commandment in particular - call it a lesson learned.

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