Where do I begin? My life for the past two months has felt like a series of storms that have consistently alternated between turmoil and the beauty of a thousand rainbows. Now, I am finding myself after all of the storms have subsided. The rainbows have receded back into their pots of gold, and I find myself sitting in the calm of our beautiful world. The adrenaline I experienced from escaping the tornadoes and lightning bolts threatening my path is no longer rushing within me. Things appear as though they are in balance. What an interesting life this is.
Throughout the past few weeks alone, life has been throwing me absolutely absurd curve balls. I still haven’t decided whether I’m just extremely prone to ridiculous situations, or if everyone has these experiences and overlooks them, and I may never know the answer to my question. However, here are some of the things I’ve learned, as well as things I need to remind myself in the future.
1) Embrace the bizarre. I say this first because my life has been extraordinarily peculiar lately, as I said… and I’m really enjoying it. While I typically find comfort in my expectations (which are sometimes unreasonable) and the normal “routine,” that seems sort of impossible for me right now because I’m in a state of transition. What was normal last week is all of a sudden not. Instead of finding discomfort (which is sometimes unavoidable) in the weird moments that have been thrown at me, I’ve learned to absolutely love them. I now cry of laughter while telling people about my painfully creepy job interview, the banker who complimented me at the gas station, drinking out of another man’s Starbucks coffee at 7 am because I wasn’t paying attention, and yes, instead of crying when I was stuck in the bathroom with no toilet paper yesterday, I decided to laugh about it. Things that could be considered so normal now have new significance to me.
2) Embrace evolution. I’ve been afraid to let go of the past, both in short-term and long-term ways. For example, graduating from high school was a huge accomplishment with which I felt profound joy, but I simultaneously experienced fear and doubt, as many graduates do. Because I have clung to my school as a source of identity and growth for the past four years, moving on makes me a bit nervous. In the short-term, I don’t enjoy when pleasant activities come to an end. Last night, I went out to an amazing and delicious dinner, and I was actually sad afterwards with no good reason, but probably because the fun had ended. I am realizing more and more each day that through the formation of memories and our past, we are not “saying goodbye” to life as we knew it (long-term) or an enjoyable day or moment (short-term), but we are rather internalizing that experience and taking it with us. We are not letting it go — we are letting it in. Somehow, each experience leaves an impact on us, and for that, we must be grateful.
3) Embrace goodness. Let me be blunt: we’ve all got issues. If we seek them as long as we are alive, we will always be able to find something wrong. Even in the most perfect moment, one could say, “This moment isn’t going to last forever, and therefore I might as well be angry about it,” thus creating a problem for himself/herself. Our emotions are not always simple enough to be identified as happy or sad. In my own experience, I often feel a million different emotions, and I identify with that which feels most natural given my circumstances. The point of my rambling is that in the midst of a cluttered mind and a chaotic world, the goodness is always there. At times, it is overwhelmingly evident, and at other times, we must work actively to find it, but we need to be aware of our blessings and remind ourselves that life is ultimately good, even when we feel otherwise.
4) Embrace yourself. This is self-explanatory. I was trying to organize my feelings last night when I texted a friend who always gives me wise advice, and here is a piece of what he said: “No one is this world is ‘abnormal’ and neither are you. You’re perfect the way you are and you will always be perfect. Through college, through life, and through any and all endeavors you’ll go through, you’re going to be you.” It was an important reminder that even when millions of things around me are shifting and transforming, I will always be me, and you will always be you. Yes, I am flawed, but I am no less powerful, strong, or beautiful with my supposed “imperfections” (and the same goes for you). Yes, we can all seek to improve in our lives, but success should not be our sole purpose. We are all incredibly breathtaking individuals, and we cannot forget to embrace our own humanity.
5) Seek balance. In the recent past, I’ve forgotten to do this. A lot. And I still forget quite often, but I think I’m improving. I find it far too easy to place my priorities in a funky order, and then I find myself to be an emotional wreck when one thing goes wrong. Remember that life is a balancing act, and it always will be. It’s your responsibility to find the balance that brings you joy, peace, and sanity. The scale will always tip one way or another from time to time, but in the end, we should find ourselves on a fairly even plane, in the calm after the tornado has become a calm breeze and the rainbows have stretched into the fluffy clouds above.
Who I am today is a reflection of the inspiration that you may have personally given me. I thank you.
Peace & blessings.